When I was small, I remember watching KungFu Panda and being completelyentranced by the bravery and skill of the characters- the way they could leapacross buildings, move with such effortless grace and defeat opponents farlarger than them with a few well executed kicks and punches. I admired theirspeed and their strength and I wanted to be just like them. Over the years, I watched a lot more movies and read a lot more books just like that, thoughperhaps with a bit more sophistication, and I grew to love the martial arts. Iremember attempting a roundhouse kick once after seeing it on television. Mykick obviously did not go anywhere but the kick on television managed to knockout a full grown man. From then on, and perhaps even before that, I knew that I wanted to learn Tae Kwon Do, or any other type of martial arts.
Myactually starting Tae Kwon Do was really by chance. I remember that it wasduring the summer holidays I was with my mum and we were just walking aroundlooking for a place to eat when we saw the dojo. It wasn’t particularly big orflashy, but it did have a very impressive photo of a man kicking in mid-airplastered on the wall which caught my attention. I remember dragging my muminside and a group of men and women sitting in a circle in Tae Kwon Douniforms. One lady had stood up and told us all about Tae Kwon Do, itsuniqueness and how useful it actually was in real life.
Istarted classes immediately after, and I worked very hard and attended theclasses every day due to it being the holidays. I remember my arms, my legs andmy stomach all aching after the first lesson and how my parents told me itmeant that I had worked hard. I remember also that feeling of great pride when I received my yellow belt, after working very hard for about a month for it.
I remember the friends that I made at that dojo and the lessons I learnt. I alsoremember some of the hardships that I had faced and how I had learnt toovercome them. And all those memories I brought with me back to Shanghai afterthe holidays had ended.
Weimmediately started looking for Tae Kwon Do classes when we arrived home andsoon I was enrolled in another dojo, the one that I currently am at now.Looking back, I am really glad I managed to stumble across that first dojo.Because of that, I have learnt and experienced a lot of things. I have learntthat strength comes both mentally and physically. That perseverance is a veryimportant asset in life. And most importantly that, “The only thing that standsbetween you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it isactually possible.”