I have been training in taekwondo for about two and a half years and am excited to announce that tomorrow I will be undergoing my exam to obtain my black belt! The path to become a black belt in any martial art involves much dedication, determination and discipline. It also requires a high level of fitness, physical strength and skill.
I have graded up to my black belt in the shortest time possible within my club (not that I am bragging or anything) and I attribute this to my past experience. Ballet dancing was a large part of my physical life for thirteen years. Ballet taught me valuable skills involving body awareness, balance and flow. Body awareness is an intuitive understanding of your anatomy and how your joints and body moves as a whole. This is extremely important for kicks in taekwondo, especially jumping moves which people often have significant difficulty with. From being driven to learn complex routines during ballet I have also developed the ability to absorb movement sequences with ease hence I am able to easily remember my patterns (known as poomse) for my taekwondo gradings.
Other sports I have participated in include athletics which I participated in for about three years, and soccer which I was part of for two seasons. I found that my ballet experience helped even with these sports and the skills they required despite occasional friendly teasing about my ballerina-like style. I was nick-named Twinkle Toes by a couple of my team mates at soccer.
Taekwondo teaches valuable skills. I have learnt self-defence skills and my self-confidence has also improved. I am proud of my accomplishments in this area. As an added bonus it has helped broaden my knowledge of what was required for particular scenes within my stories. My novel, Sky Stone, and my current work-in-progress, Guardian Core, both include a significant amount of fighting. Most of this is sword fighting but some unarmed combat is also included and I found my knowledge of taekwondo helped me write realistic fight scenes.
Thanks for reading. Wish me luck for tomorrow!
Scarlett Van Dijk
Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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