One of my co-workers and friend invited me to his dojang just to see if I’d like it. And so yesterday I tried out Tae Kweon Do for the very first time. What is Tae Kweon Do??? It is the Korean national martial art. It literally means ‘the way of kicking with hands and feet’.
It looks a bit like THIS:
The K Tigers are known to be the best artistic tae kweon do formation that exists right now.
or even this:
But for me it was more like this:
The one thing I was surprised with was the amount of cardio involved. We started off with some stretching but then we had jumping jacks, a lot of exercises to develop speed and then more jumping followed with abs and push-ups. God I suck at push-ups. My arms are so weak. I will definitely work on that. The other thing I noticed was that my left leg is much stiffer and weaker that my right one. I feel like a kid who hasn’t finished developing his motor skills. hehe My 교사님 (instructor), who is very good by the way (he’s Korean and has been part of South Korea National Team for a couple of years), was actually surprised that I had the good technique for knee elevations and got the back kick technique right on my first try. He said that I wasn’t normal, that I’m supposed to fail those at the beginning! haha He asked me if I had tried before but honestly, it was my first time ever.
What is a back kick?
The only martial art I tried was Judo. I did that for about a year when I was around 10 so I don’t think it really counts, plus, the technique has absolutely nothing to do with Tae Kweon Do’s. The very first year, in Judo, you mainly practice falling properly and grabbing your opponent properly. So boring. I wanted to stop but my mother didn’t want me to. You know this feeling when week after week you have to do this thing that you absolutely hate. The worst thing is that I was pretty good at it so my instructor also wanted me to go on but rolling and falling on the floor every 3 seconds really wasn’t my thing so I went to my first and last competition, won my 3 combats, got my yellow belt and stopped there. I think I would have loved Tae Kweon Do much better as a kid but Judo is a lot more popular in France (Cécile Novak, Marie-Claire Restoux, Djamel Bouras, David Douillet, Teddy Riner) and I have absolutely no clue why. There is a real tradition of Judo. The best Tae Kweon Do champ we had was Pascal Gentil and he never won a gold medal in world competitions.
It’s funny how I had completely forgot about all the ritual around martial arts but the bowing to the flags (here, Canada, Korea and Quebec) and other details were very much familiar. An hour after the training, the upper side of my thighs started to burn. Twenty four hours later, my lower back, obliques and calves are painful but overall, the aftermath is not so bad. So will I go on? Probably yes but not now. My schedule is a little too busy and I need to focus on some of the projects I have on my hands but I’m more likely to start training some time in 2014. It really was a lot of fun.