Q: What inspired you to start studying martial arts?
I started at Yong Studios when I was 8 years old. A couple of my good friends were already doing Tae Kwon Do and I wanted to see what it was all about. Most of these friends have since left Yong Studios but I have found that leaving Yong Studios is not an easy thing to do; it has become so much a part of who I am today.
Q: How has the study of martial arts changed your life?
I was a shy, not very confident kid. When I was young I had some learning disabilities. I had to take tests in a different room and I could not read or do math at the same pace as my friends. I was constantly comparing myself to these kids and did not understand why I was given different conditions under which to do my work. Going to Yong Studios in third grade changed my life because in Tae Kwon Do I was put under the same conditions as everyone else and I saw that I could still succeed just like the next kid. Tae Kwon Do gave me confidence that I was able to apply to all parts of my life.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching martial arts?
Seeing students become motivated and excited about what they are learning is what I enjoy most about teaching Tae Kwon Do. When a student is practicing something that they have been struggling with and they finally overcome whatever obstacle was in their way, I get to experience their accomplishment with them.
Q: What keeps you here?
The instructors, my friends at Yong Studios, and the hard work that Tae Kwon Do requires of me is what keeps me here. They all support me and have helped shape me into a person that I am proud to be today. I’m confident in my abilities to succeed in school and in life because I have seen how my hard work has paid off. I teach Tae Kwon Do because I want other kids to feel this same way. I want the students to not only know how to kick and punch, but to also experience how hard work pays off in the long run.