Dedication and Love

February 9, 2013
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Most people play tennis, soccer, and baseball, but I find passion and love in martial arts. My parents are both 100% Korean and we usually speak Korean at home. Once in a couple of years, I visit Korea, to see my grandparents and cousins. But when I go to school, I speak English. Before, I haven't been able to really find a way to connect with my culture and heritage back in Korea.

A couple years ago, I started martial arts. I've always passed by Tae-Kwon-Do places in the car, but I've never considered it. But one day, my mom decided to go in and visit. Then she came home and asked me if I wanted to give it a shot. I laughed and responded, "Absolutely not mom! That's so weird for girls to do martial arts." I've always seen it as a masculine thing and it was too boyish for girls to do. But my older sister decided to try it, so I went along with her.

In the beginning, it was awkward. I had to wear uncomfortable clothes and learn the manners of the sport. In order to understand this sport, one has to have the spirit to win.

The first year was challenging and difficult. I remember coming home one day and crying because I didn't pass on of the level tests that I prepared months for. I got into the car and told my mom, "I don't think I'm cut out for this intense sport. I'm gonna quit. I hate that I even started." She replied, "You can decide after you've cooled down a little and tell me after you've made your final decision."

The next day, I marched into that place, and practiced harder than ever. I was focused and determined to improve.

Now it has been 3 years since I've been doing martial arts. I went from a level 9 to a level 1 and I'm soon becoming a black belt, which is going to be huge accomplishment for me. I find immense pride in martial arts and I think it's such a honorable sport. I found myself becoming part of a community there and making new friends. I've learned endurance, patience, and persistence. I've learned more about the culture of where I am from. It's made me stronger. I've found my love and dedication in martial arts. It's played a huge role in my life and when I have kids, this is one thing I would love to do with them.

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