By: Tommy Sneider <email@example.com>
How did you get interested in taekwondo?
I just kind of heard about it. Some of my family members were doing it, and I was doing karate in Kentucky where I lived. One of my family members started doing it, and I got interested in it and started doing it.
How many years ago did you start?
I started three years ago.
What was the most difficult thing for you at the beginning?
Remembering everything, like the techniques and stuff. The different kicks, blocks, punches and that kind of stuff.
What are the different belt levels?
White, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red, junior black and junior black star belt. Then it goes to black belt first degree, and there’s 10 degrees. It takes about 60 years to get all ten degrees, it’s just a hard process to get 10th degree.
Where do you practice?
Carmel Taekwondo at 14931 Greyhound Court.
You recently got your black belt along with your mom. What was that like?
It’s kind of interesting because we’re at the same level, but I started going further, so I can help her out now since I started competing.
Did you two start practicing together, or how did she get interested in it?
She started doing a taekwondo fitness program, and I heard about it and was interested, so I started doing it, too, like the kicking and stuff.
How hard was the whole process of getting this far?
It’s a lot of tough work, depending on what you want to do, like I’m competing. It depends on what you want to work on. Like me competing, I work more on endurance and the punches and kicks.
How has taking taekwondo helped you in your life?
It’s helped my self-discipline and how I focus so I can remember more stuff now because I have to remember a lot of stuff for it like the forms, poomsae, which is like self defense form. It’s almost like a certain routine, and you have to remember the order and that stuff. I have to remember eight of them for black belt.
Describe some of the exercises or ways to practice when not at the dojo.
For, like, things to do, we do a lot of stretching to kick higher. For sparring, we do strength and endurance so that we can kick and last longer.
What have you learned from taking taekwondo?
Probably self-discipline. I have to be disciplined to be focused during the class and practice on my own so I won’t forget it during the test. This way, I can go further in it.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the class?
Kicking, I like kicking and using power to do things. It’s kind of a challenge for me to see how fast or high I can kick.
What goal have you set for yourself?
I want to become at least a master, which is a fourth degree black belt. But I want to be a second degree black belt before I graduate from high school.
What can you do after you get a black belt since it’s the highest belt?
Starting from black belt we have to learn sword techniques and nunchucks, and the poomsaes get harder. There’s also advanced kicking and punching and that kind of stuff.
How can others get interested in taekwondo?
They can just go online and find information on it and go to pretty much any taekwondo school and just start learning.