Fleur's Taekwon-Do Story
I was aged four years and five months when I first put on a dobok. Having watched my big brother learn Taekwon-Do, I thought that it looked interesting and fun and I couldn't wait to be old enough to join in. On my very first lesson with Mr Simmonds, I remember feeling very nervous I was absolutely terrified of everything; the other students and all the other things in the dojang and even my instructor. He was very kind and funny and encouraged me to try the moves. I finally got used to it and enjoyed going every week.
While I have been doing Taekwon-Do, I have had one main instructor - Mr Simmonds, and lots of really kind and friendly assistant instructors have helped me along the way. Mr Simmonds has helped me so much to learn Taekwon-Do and hopefully I will be fully aware of all I have learnt if I end up in a situation where someone wants to hurt me!
I never thought I'd get to green belt, but at age six and a half, I did just that. I remember feeling very proud. I really enjoyed learning my pattern, Won Hyo, and it's still one of my favourite patterns today.
I have loads of memories from Taekwon- Do- from the new- belt moments to the funny things my instructors did. All the instructors at Taekwon- Do are kind, friendly and helpful and they are very willing to help if someone is stuck. They are very good at explaining how things are supposed to work and why.
The patterns are the most interesting things in Taekwon- Do in my opinion. They have so many different moves and stances. When I was a blue belt, I saw the pattern Choong Moo being demonstrated for the first time and I thought it was amazing! At one point I think I even asked Mr Simmonds to move me straight up to black-stripe!
The patterns are a great way to learn self-defence. I used to pretend I was fighting criminals or evil robots and I used my pattern as the fight! It was very fun and I always won.
Sometimes I do it privately because I think I'll look silly fighting no-one, or I will pretend they're there when I'm just practicing my patterns in the dojang.
Learning Taekwon-Do has given me lots of confidence. As I graded for each belt and learnt more and more moves I became stronger inside.
When I got to black tag, I suddenly realised that black belt was within my reach. Being just one belt away made me put in extra effort in classes and do more practice at home. I worked really hard to learn Choong Moo, at first there seemed to be no logic to it, but I persevered and kept practising until I knew it. It is my favourite pattern so far.
When the message came through from Fortitude that I had passed my black belt grading I felt so happy I nearly burst! I couldn't stop smiling all that day, and the next and that joyful feeling lasted for ages. Mr Simmonds and my parents commented that I seemed to be walking just that little bit taller. Now that I'm a black belt I want to work hard to learn all the new patterns and techniques and be the best that I can be. I also want to help beginners like my instructors did with me, to achieve their potential. It's given me even more confidence because I know if I can do this, I can do anything.
By Fleur - 1st Degree Black Belt :)