What is Martial Arts

Ava Burgoon
Temporary Black Belt

Hi, My name is Ava, I’m sixteen years old, and I’m in tenth grade.  I figured it would be an okay school, that I would make friends and it would be easy for me, like my last school.  I was wrong.  In sixth grade I started to get bullied, I got name called and threatened, even cyber bullied and beat up.  The school didn’t do anything about it so it continued until ninth grade.
At first I thought TaeKwonDo was only about self defense but I realized it’s about much more than that, I learned self control and discipline, and it gave me confidence. When I go to TaeKwonDo I feel welcome and I feel no stress or anxiety, it all goes away. I’ve made friends at TaeKwonDo and I enjoy going, it’s really helped me a lot.

I’m testing for temporary black belt and I feel good saying that, I know I’m better than the people who bullied me. They called me weak and I know I’m not. If getting a black belt was easy it would be handed to me on my first day of TaeKwonDo, but I practiced and worked for it, and I’m happy to say I’m testing for it.

After I receive my black belt I will help and teach lower belts. I want to help them because they could be going through the same things I went through, the bullying and the anxiety that comes along with it. When you’re bullied it doesn’t just stop one day, it goes on and it’s tiring. You feel like you can’t escape it and I want to help lower belts if they’re going through the same thing. I also have a passion for TaeKwonDo and I will continue to practice until I am a Grandmaster.

I am thankful for Grandmaster Jung, Grandmaster Phillips, Master Pham, and Master Smith. They all teach me and make me feel welcome in the Dojang. They make me feel confident and give me motivation to keep going if I feel challenged. I had a good class at TaeKwonDo one day and Master Smith asked me why I don’t do that every class. He asked me “Why do you think I push you so much?” I realized it’s so I do my best. I thought about it that weekend and since then I’ve been putting my best every class. He asked me “Who’s going to push you if I don’t?” and it felt comforting knowing besides my mom and dad, I have someone who will push me and motivate me to continue to do my best. I hope I can make someone feel the same way sometime.

Ava Burgoon
16 Years Old
Temporary Black Belt

 


Michael Pagan
Temporary Black Belt

My Tae Kwon Do journey began in 2018 on a whim. I was in a period of transition and needed to start a new passion to channel my energy into. I wasn’t quite sure what I could do to jumpstart things, but I knew that I needed some exercise and discipline.
As I tried to figure things out, I casually looked on Google, found Jung’s Tae Kwon Do, and called the number to the Dojang. After leaving a voicemail I received a call from Grand Master Jung, and later than afternoon at 1510 Mt Vernon Rd, I discussed signing up for Tae Kwon Do.
To my surprise Grand Master Jung never gave me a chance to waiver and wanted me to start right away. I would have preferred to wait and begin later that week, but to his wisdom, Grand Master Jung knew the value of striking while the iron is hot. So on Monday October 1st of 2018, I started my Tae Kwon Do journey.
Tae Kwon Do to me is about discipline and excellence. It has helped me realize the function of moving steadily forward, and pursuing my goals by taking small actions everyday. I’ve learned the value of focusing on the things that matter, the little things that most people overlook. Just as in real life, when you start Tae Kwon Do you aren’t generally great at kicking or practicing your forms but you progress through practice and repetition. So as I moved up in belts and rank, I also did the same with my business and the life around me. All the while my Tae Kwon Do family has been there for me, sometimes to offer wisdom, other times offering laughter, and on the occasion a much needed kick to the stomach.
At times life is difficult, and even though there are challenges you still need to show up and perform your best. If you don’t feel like going to the dojang, there will still be people waiting to practice and learn about Tae Kwon Do. As a senior belt there will always be belts who are looking to you for wisdom, instruction and humor to help them even when you don’t feel like it. Showing up at Tae Kwon Do when I feel worst has given me greater self value than in the moments when everything is great. If I am half way, but I show up at the Dojang, I am sure that my instructors, and peers will look to me for my best, and I am glad to have that challenge in my life.
As many others who join Tae Kwon Do I want to be great, and being great to me is about leaving the world in better shape than I found it. That could be something as small as making sure that my room is clean, but if it is better than when I found it I am glad to have done those things and done them well. This is why becoming a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do is so important to me. As I move forward in my Tae Kwon Do journey I see the real results of becoming a better Tae Kwon Do Artist. Just as I progress in Tae Kwon Do, I progress in life and that is incredibly important to me.
With more knowledge comes more responsibility, and I hope to teach people the value of starting small and growing. The tallest of trees all begin life from a small seed, and to grow they must be rained upon regularly and have the proper amount of exposure to the sun. The strong winds strengthen the roots and trunk of the tree, and the plant be situated in the right mixture of soil. This is the same as the situation that is presented in the Dojang. Everyone starts from the same place, and in the Dojang we can all grow as we continue to work towards becoming better than the day before. I might not be the tallest tree, but I know that I can offer the things I have learned in Tae Kwon Do to anyone who is around me whether if I talk about Tae Kwon Do or not, the evidence is in my daily life.
I am thankful to have learned from my Tae Kwon Do instructors the value of continuing in something for a long period of time. I am always impressed not just by the skill and knowledge but by the fact that many have been practicing for longer than I have been alive. I hope to one day be as great as many of the people I see in the dojang, and I look forward to getting to know many of the people that are here today.
Tae Kwon Do people are my people. They are from different countries, backgrounds, and occupations. They are funny, smart, and foolish at times. They break boards with their feet, and smash concrete with their hands. With that in mind you would have to be a little bit crazy to practice Tae Kwon Do. So I guess I’m crazy and I’m glad to be in this crazy family of Tae Kwon Do.
I am thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow with some of the greatest people that I have met. Tae Kwon Do people are different. but more than all of those things they are my tae kwon do family.

 

Michael Pagan
Temporary Black Belt