Guilderland, NY – I was speaking with a student the other day and they mentioned that they have noticed the benefits of training in Taekwondo even though they had been back at training for a short time. We chatted and I asked questions so that I started to feel like a reporter on an interview, though I am nothing of the sort. Since the holiday season is underway and we draw nearer to the New Year that may bring resolutions including exercise, I thought I would write my version of the “interview” that took place. As usual, I will protect the identity of my students and call this student Taylor, a name that does not identify any of my current students, and is not specific to gender.
Taylor: I went for a jog yesterday for the first time in almost a month, and I noticed that it was easier than I thought. I think taekwondo made my legs stronger. I didn’t lose anything.
Me: Didn’t lose anything? So you used to run a lot?
Taylor: Yeah, like three times a week. But lately I’ve been a little busy. But now, even though I hadn’t run since my last 5k, it felt easier.
Me: A 5k? So you are a competitive runner?
Taylor: No, not really, but I have run in quite a few 5k races and I did the Spartan Race once.
Me: What? That’s a crazy race, that’s amazing that you did that! (readers: If you don’t know about the Spartan race, you should look it up!)
Taylor: Well, it was quite difficult, but very rewarding. I enjoy exercise so much and now that I’m training in Taekwondo, it has made all of the exercise I do much easier, and my hip pain is gone! Also I can achieve even more. You know what else? I have lost 8 pounds as well.
Me: Wow that’s awesome!
Let’s pause here for me to tell you that this conversation really happened, that I am not fabricating any of it; on my honor as a sixth degree blackbelt. Some of the terms used may be mine however, since I am writing it after the conversation took place as I did not take any notes.
Taylor: And I am much more flexible too! (Taylor demonstrated for me.)
Me: Well I am really happy for you! What do you like best about Taekwondo?
Taylor: I like the mental challenge of remembering and performing the forms and I like to kick. I think that the kicking really helped me improve my strength and flexibility, though I will say that the performance of the stances in the forms improves my strength as well. I also love the application of kicking to break boards and self defense.
Me: Well Taylor you really made my day. Thanks and keep up the good work.
I have had many students over the years explain how Taekwondo has helped them in school, work and other sports (the cross training benefits are significant). Many comments expound upon a topic I endear, character. This time however, was very special for me because the focus was on the physical benefits experienced by a very happy student.
As with any sport or exercise, in Taekwondo, you get out what you put in, and Taylor puts in a lot to get these results! If you are looking for something new for the new year, perhaps to do with your family or to complement your other exercise pursuits, Taekwondo may be a good fit. The character development and physical benefits are real and you can experience them too!
I sincerely hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and the best New Year ever!!!