Written March 1996 by Terence Micharoni
When I started tae kwon do for the first time at age 20, back on Monday, June 7, 1993, I was a person with little self-control and confidence. I only went to parties if I knew most of the crowd, never went to clubs, felt inferior among friends, and was pushed around most of my school life.
My, how times have changed. Now I feel that not only will I never again let myself be pushed around, but that there’s no need to defend myself, since no one bothers me anymore (I guess this is due to the whole “confident appearance that I have now). I frequently visit parties/clubs, and I’m no longer afraid of meeting new people. Today, I thrive on it. I go up and talk to people I don’t know without being embarrassed in the lease, since I have nothing to lose at all (if they turn out to be jerks, so be it).
Martial arts has also put my body in a lot better shape than I was in June of 1993. Back then I got out of breath very easily, and couldn’t continue. Today I can run 40 laps around the dojang without any problems at all. I also have powerful kicks that I never dreamed would be possible back then. Practice sure does make perfect.
I was taught to set realistic goals for myself, and once I accomplish them, go on from there. When I started, my immediate goal was to stay until I was a black belt. If things go as I plan, I’ll reach that goal this Sunday. After that, my next goal will be second degree, third degree, with the ultimate goal of fourth degree. If I can ever beat that long-term goal, then all the better for me.
Another thing tae kwon do has done for me is make me a less selfish person. On Sunday (March 4), I went to about five churches to hand out campaign brochures for Pat Buchanan. It was snowing, I was tired, and didn’t get paid a dime. But I didn’t care. I did it because I wanted to do it, I knew that they needed help, and I will do it again this November for whoever gets the Republican nomination (probably Sen. Bob Dole).
In closing, martial arts has done me a great service, and I plan on staying as long as possible. I would recommend it to anyone. May God bless tae kwon do and the United States Of America!