December 3, 2016 Taekwon Do Testing. Judy Anderson-Bruner

Birth date: 12/18/1952

Taekwon Do Birth date: 9/19/1977

My TaeKwon Do journey past, present, and future

Past: Like many young people I became interested in martial arts when I saw fight scenes and kicking on TV shows. When I left home for college in 1971, I was very excited to learn that I could take classes called “judo” and “self-defense” and get college credit for them. I took all of the classes I could and had time for that were related to martial arts during that time. After graduation and starting a new job I did not have the opportunity to continue this until I found out that my older brother was going to Jung’s TaeKwon Do in Cedar Rapids. I watched my brother in class, talked with GM Jung, and was signed up for class. I learned quickly that “real” martial arts and what I had done in college were very different. This was so much more than just learning a few kicks, throws, or hand twists. I learned that the mental part of martial arts was as important, if not more so, than the physical parts.

This class was not only developing me physically and mentally but it had become a family event. Both of my brothers were there, and I met the man who would later become my husband during my first class. I had the goal from the beginning of earning my black belt. This was not easy for me. I have never been very coordinated and it was a challenge to learn to control my body and movements. I watched the students who came before me, my mentors and could not imagine myself being as good a martial artist as they were/are. The mental part also presented a challenge for me. I do not find learning difficult and did well in school, but I was a bit prone to becoming very angry at others. I think this has also improved with practicing TaeKwon Do. Finally the day to test for black belt arrived. GM Jung had told me that I had no excuses. I wasn’t old, ill, or disabled in any way, and if I wasn’t at 100%, I would not pass my test. GM Jung has said this test today is one of the best days of his life, that day was one of mine. 10 months later, one month prior to marrying my husband, he and I tested together for permanent 1st degree. Future Dan testing, while very important to me has not been as meaningful as promoting to the 1st black belt.

Present: TaeKwon Do has continued to help me in many ways in my life with physical health and fitness and clearing my mind of the daily stresses. It has continued to be a family activity with my husband, daughters, grandson and countless nieces, nephews, and other family members. It is very special to me that I have the opportunity to continue to practice, and today to test with some of my seniors.

Future: No matter the outcome of this test, I will continue to practice TaeKwon Do. The number of my rank is not important to me, what is important is that I can come here to practice, to help young students learn, and to try to live up to those who came before me, who are always my senior no matter the number that goes with my belt. I don’t feel that you only earn belt rank one time, you earn it on a daily basis in how you live your life, how you teach your students, and how you treat others. I continue to use TaeKwon Do on a daily basis, when things go well, when they are not going well, and when life gives me challenges. I thank GM Jung and all of my seniors for the skills they have given me to live life in a positive way.

And my husband is always the best thing I got fromTaeKwon Do