END OF INNOCENCE

Changing from white to yellow belt in Taekwondo in South Korea.

I achieved yellow belt status in Taekwondo last night. In order to swop white for yellow, I had to perform a test in front of the entire class (which includes at least a dozen of my elementary students). The exam involved lots of kicking, punching and yelling. I was humbled by the experience, and am thrilled to be on this journey.

Colored belts in Taekwondo represent a student’s progress toward black belt. Each belt corresponds to a certain level of skill, or particular set of skills. Depending on where you train and/or with whom, you may learn different techniques than someone with the same colored belt.

A white belt symbolizes innocence. It’s the first step on the Taekwondo journey. Yellow stands for the color of the rising sun. Seeds in the ground start to germinate and basic Taekwondo skills begin to grow. I’ve definitely sensed an improvement since beginning over a month ago. Kicks are getting easier. I’m gaining more power. My flexibility has stretched.

My Taekwondo journey perfectly parallels my life in Korea. I’ve dug a little and planted seeds within various activities, pursuits and relationships. This first step has taken a lot of patience and motivation. Some seeds will die. That’s okay. Others need more time and effort. That’s okay too. It’s up to me to choose which to nurture and how.

Achieving my yellow belt in Taekwondo means more than perfectly demonstrating a simple “form” for my Master. It signifies the growth I’ve experienced since arriving in Korea exactly three months ago. I’ve been absolutely humbled by this entire experience, and am so excited for the rest of the journey.

In addition, yellow goes much better with my uniform. White was so last week. Here's to the end of innocence. Time to kick some...

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2 comments :

  1. Wonderful! Congratulations. I'm proud of you - about all of it.

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    1. Thank you, Joy! Even though I've since quit Taekwondo (made it to blue belt at least), I'll never forget the experience, or what I learned. I hope to enroll in an adult class once I eventually move to Seoul. :)

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