By: Ashmith Kumbala
Senior Red Belt, 12 years-old
I have done taekwondo here for over 2 years, starting as a yellow belt. I was about 10 back then. My ultimate goal: to get the much coveted black belt rank. It takes time and effort, and sometimes, even a lot of pain. Yet, unlike many others, I have decided to continue because, personally, I enjoy taekwondo and I want to be great at it. However, why did I want to accomplish this?
First of all, becoming a black belt isn’t the easiest thing to do. You have to put in hours of effort; as your rank gets higher, then the amount of work that you have to do increases. To quit taekwondo would essentially put all of that hard work to waste, because if so, all preparation would potentially amount to nothing. I also am attracted to challenges. When given the choice between doing something easy or something hard, I would choose the latter. Taekwondo is something quite difficult, and, indeed, that is the beauty of it.
Second of all, I want to be a black belt because, after over 2 years of experience, I have built a lot of character. By continuing to do taekwondo, I can develop more of it. There are 5 tenets of taekwondo: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. Thanks to the training that I have done, I have already developed plenty of these traits. For example, I always tell the truth, even when I do the worst things imaginable; this is an example of the tenet of integrity. Although I still have many flaws in my character, taekwondo has helped me get further than I once was.
Now that you know a little about why I want to become a black belt, let me explain to you about my taekwondo career. I have had experience in taekwondo even before VRTKD. I used to live in New York, and back there I did taekwondo, too. My parents were interested in enrolling me in extracurricular activities, and they found taekwondo to be effective. I started out at the age of 5, continuing all the way to until when I was 8. At the time I was about a blue belt. There, the strategy was a little different from here: no forms, no sparring, and there wasn’t testing. Nevertheless, taekwondo was a great way to grow skill.
Back in 2015, I moved to Valley Ranch. My parents thought it was great to start taekwondo again. We did. I, however, bore a different opinion. I had to start back at a much lower rank, and I was already upset that the format here was different. Of course, it takes time to get used to the new. However, I started getting used to the methods here, and, believe me: I started liking it. I think it may have probably changed my life.
When I had first started taekwondo long ago, I was having a hard time at school. Now these days have went away, for the most part, at least. Moreover, taekwondo has changed the way I think about myself, and I have gained a lot of valuable experience from it. Not only does taekwondo help you improve your self-defense, but it also helps ready you for the real world.
In closing, I really want to become a black belt. But I just can’t become one, say, by magic. It takes a boatload of time and effort. Although it may be very, very hard, I just think of getting to the ultimate goal: being a black belt.