Taekwondo is a Korean Martial Art which can be traced back as far as 2000 years. It comes from ancient Korean martial arts such as Takkyon and Subak. Korean martial arts schools were known as 'kwans' and during the mid-1950, nine main kwans dominated. South Korean president at that time, Syngman Rhee, asked that the various kwans unify their martial art teachings under one name. The name chosen was Taekwondo.
After this event, the nine kwans were recognized as the founders of taekwondo. With the evolution of the martial art over many years, taekwondo birthed a more sport focused side to the martial art and in 2000 was inducted as an Olympic sport. As of today, taekwondo is now one of two Asian martial arts in the Olympics, and is one of, if not, the biggest martial arts practiced worldwide.
To me, Taekwondo has become more than an activity. It started out like that; as a class I attended because it looked cool. Because I wanted to be like a character from an anime, not that that's changed, I’d still like to be like one of them because they're really strong. I began because I was bullied at school; my father’s employee suggested I begin taekwondo as a way to get my self-confidence up.
Taekwondo did initially aid me with the bullying, it made me more confident and I found new friends at both school and taekwondo. I no longer worried about the bullying that was occurring at school because I knew if it escalated I could defend myself to some extent. I then became more involved in the club and went twice a week.
I remember when encouraged to join the advanced class and tiger training. I found that I enjoyed the classes and enjoyed and appreciated taekwondo much more. I began to attend Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday tiger training too. I made even more friends at taekwondo and began enjoying taekwondo for the social aspect.
However, now I practice taekwondo as a sport and martial art because I have a desire to improve. I want to win. I now aim high and hope that I can achieve my goals for this sport. More than the sport and martial art, taekwondo has made me a much more social and happy person. It has allowed me to develop my social skills and as a result of various experiences, I believe I now share a strong bond with many other students here at JNT.
As my first instructor who taught me some of the basics of taekwondo, I would like to thank master Sam.
As the morning Saturday class instructor, I would like to thank master Brian for refining my kicks, stances, punches, patterns, sparring... Everything really. And although I am a nuisance I'm grateful to you for putting up with me.
Thirdly, I would like to thank Jerome for strengthening me, bashing me in order to harden me up, and also for listening to my silly problems at times.
Next and second last I would like to thank my parents although they're not here today, I want to thank them for driving to and from in order to get me to class, to thank them for paying for my taekwondo classes and for supporting me throughout this journey.
Lastly I would like to thank Master No for everything he's done for me. For teaching me the basics like Sam, for refining my movements like Brian, for his tutorage and for asking people to bash me so I can toughen up. For encouraging me to go to more classes, and for putting up with my spaghetti legs and trying to fix them.
So thank all of you for the tutorage and opportunities you have given me.