How many years have you been taking Taekwondo? Three years.
What inspired to you to take Taekwondo? Martial Arts as a way to defend and protect people from harm from bullies always fascinate me. Since childhood, I grew up in the Thai boxing atmosphere. My dad was a great fan of Thai boxing and my three brothers were boxers. So I counted on them to protect me. Subconciously, I want to be able to protect myself and others. During my tenure at Crim H.S., I got in couple confrontations with teachers and students and received a few threats for physical harm. I consulted a Thai boxing champion/instructor but he discouraged me from doing it because of injury issues. In 2009, I enrolled in a Yoga class which is next door to Tae Kwon Do class and I thought about making a switch but again was afraid of physical harm. When the Yoga Class was terminated because of administrative problems,
I consulted Tae Kwon Do Instructor and Director about trial enrollment for a short while. They encouraged me to give it a try.
What have you learned the most from your experience? I learned to overcome fear of physical confrontation and fighting.
How does Dad feel about you taking Taekwondo? Dad thinks it’s good for me to learn to fight in case I need to defend myself.
Have you faced any barriers or negativity from others being a Grandma black belt? Not from classmates but from a Korean Tae Kwon Do Master who came to school during one of my belt test (Green Belt). He told me that it would be better for me to drop out and take Tai Chi in stead. Before my Black Belt Test, an administrator of Kukkiwon which is the Headquarter of worldwide Tae Kwon Do advised Master Taylor not to test me as a regular DAN but to divide my test into two sections and test under “Honorary” guidelines. In spite of scheduling the test for two one hour sessions, I went on and completed everything in 50 minutes. So I was awarded regular DAN. I have mixed reactions from my social friends. Some politely congratulated me while others made some comments about wanting to stay away from me thinking that I might use kicking and punching skills on them.
What was the hardest part of the black belt test? The most difficult part is to control testing anxiety because I had to demonstrate skills of all that I learned from Day One based on the test administrator’s request.
Would you recommend Taekwondo to your grandchildren? Yes, definitely. T.K.D. helps students build strong body and mind. I like the character development aspects that help young people prepare for life. The five tenets: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirits are the guiding tenets that T.K.D. is built on. Some parents told me that they want their kids to learn to defend themselves from bullies.
How long do you plan to be active with Taekwondo? For at least ten more years. I have not decided whether I want to teach part time.
What is your normal Tawkwondo workout regimen? Do you practice outside of class? It’s a full 60 minutes class. There are 4 classes available weekly and one class for instructors and Blackbelt holders. Most people attend two classes weekly. Yes, I practice at home to increase my stamina.
How has Taekwondo helped you in your daily life…physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc…I incorporate Tae Kwon Do forms to meditation practice daily. It helps me improve my physical balance and build stronger legs and arms. It helps combat craving for foods, emotional anxieties, and depression. It challenges me to improve my health and well being.
So proud of my mom. How amazing to earn a black belt in a lifetime, but as a Grandmother…WOW!
Bullies BEWARE, don’t mess with Mo or B, or you will feel Granny’s wrath!