First off, I want to introduce myself to anybody who may stop in from time to time to read my blog. My name is John, and I am from Long Island, New York. I am a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo and have been training in the martial arts since I was fifteen years old. Taekwondo is absolutely my first love and I plan on continuing my studies in this art for as long as God will allow.
I have had the good fortune of being exposed to many different styles of martial arts, although to varying degrees. While Taekwondo is the style I have been practicing the longest, it is not my first art. I began my martial arts journey in a Jeet Kune Do school, which is quite ironic in that my passion now lies in studying and practicing the traditional martial arts.
I remember as an early teen riding my bike on a warm afternoon and seeing a group of kids around my age. Although I do not like to judge a book by its cover, the group seemed to be thuggish in nature. Although they said nothing to me as I rode by, I began to think to myself: what would I have done if they had attacked me?
I have no idea what provoked this thought but I quickly realized that I honestly had no idea what I would have done had that group of guys instigated a fight. In reality, I, in fact did not even know how to throw a punch.
Fast forward about a year or so and I began to crave a hobby. I had always been involved in sports, and had played hockey for the majority of my life. But I wanted something different to do, not a sport. My experience with the kids while I was riding my bike may have had something to do with my wanting to start taking martial arts classes, but I believe the fact that my cousin was training at a school in town had more to do with it. My other idea of a possible hobby was to start learning to play the guitar.
As I began to ponder what I wanted to dedicate my time to, I weighed what each hobby would have to offer me. As I was thinking, I kept seeing all the practical benefits that martial arts training could offer me and so, I decided that would be my new hobby. I asked my mom if I could start training and she was happy to see I was interested in pursuing a new hobby. My father was fine with the idea but did not think I would stick with it for very long.
Naturally, my mother took me to the school closest in town, which was where my cousin also trained, although he had stopped by now. We talked to the instructor, a man named Sifu Charles Chi, who was very nice and he offered to let me try a class. As soon as the class was over, my mother signed me up right away. From then on I was hooked. Although the instructors wife, who managed the school, recommended training two to three days a week, I was in there every day, six days a week.
My love for hockey remained strong, but my new passion for the martial arts took over. I loved everything about it. Hitting the heavy bag, working on combinations on the focus mitts, shadowboxing. Learning self defense techniques against various grabs, etc. The physical exercise was great, doing pushups, situps, squats, running, etc. I was having the time of my life and getting in great shape too.
My passion for the martial arts did not end when I was done with class either. When I was at home I was on the internet reading and learning as much about martial arts as possible, joining various forums and expanding my knowledge. This is when I first read about the martial art of Taekwondo...
I will continue my story in another blog.