2nd dan | november 2020
Good afternoon Master Bryanna, Master Benecia, Master Brian, Master Joyce, family and friends. A warm welcome to my second dan black belt grading, marking another important milestone in my taekwondo adventure today.
Taekwondo is so much more than just “kicking people’s heads because it’s fun to”, as my friends put it; the truth is that it is hard to describe Taekwondo in just one sentence. It’s a sport, it’s an art, it’s a life lesson, it’s a performance, it’s a skill, it’s a defence- there are just so many things that make taekwondo what it really is. Well for me, taekwondo has always left me with a smile at the end of the day, knowing that I have learnt something new and interesting each lesson.
Of course, as they all say, reaching black belt does not mean you have reached the end. Reaching black belt is embarking on a new journey, and it is true. I have been fortunate enough to be presented with a range of different opportunities to participate in as a black belt.
A bit over two years ago, when I had just earned my first poom, I was thrilled to set about on my black belt expedition, however my leadership skills were quite, well, questionable. Sure, I was relatively confident, but this was not entirely enough if I wanted to help guide my fellow club members. As a black belt, I have been invited to participate the Beyond Black Belt Leadership Program, where here I was able to learn to become a better leader and help those around me. I enjoy helping my teammates during training, whether it be teaching new patterns, self-defence or other random cool things that come by. And without a doubt, we must not forget to mention the cream puffs.
I have also had the pleasure in assisting in competitions, events and grading; and time really does fly by because sure enough, after watching each student in the club grow and thrive in their own journeys, it is now my turn to be grading once again!
This year sure has been a strange one; who would have thought that the journey would take an unprecedented turn and that we would have to begin online classes? True, maybe the amount of space for training at home was a little bit tight and it seemed difficult when the masters could not be with us face-to-face during classes to help us like we are used to, but the perseverance and determination that I had developed along the way of my taekwondo journey helped me to keep going all the way. Although it has been slightly more challenging learning online than face-to-face, we were all able to push through till the end and out of the storm, nevertheless.
I would like to say an incredibly big thank-you to all the masters; Master Bryanna, Master Benecia, Master Brian and Master Joyce. Each of them have immensely helped me become the best I can be, whether that be shaping my poomsae techniques to perfection, motivating me in class to always keep going, organising and planning the many exciting events and competitions, always being there to teach us both offline and online (no matter the situation), continuously making training very enjoyable, helping me become a better sparring fighter, and so much more- in fact, if I continued to list everything that I am grateful for from each of the masters, let’s just say that we might be here all day!
In addition, I would like to give my thanks to all my friends at taekwondo for also making training fun (go Wu fighters!). Thank-you to my parents for always showing your endless support and driving me to training even when in a rush. And lastly, thank-you to Charli and Matthew for always being there with me, as well as for putting up with me when I practise my kicks and throwing self-defence on you.
Looking back on this precious adventure, I can definitely say that I have grown into a physically and mentally stronger person, and I look forward to proceeding the next part of my journey and earning my second dan here this afternoon. Thank-you for your time.