We often get calls from women who want to train in the martial arts, but are very apprehensive because of the misconception that taekwondo is just for kids and men. Sadly, many of these women have had the experience of going to another school and being made to feel unwelcome and in some instances actually injured by students and instructors who are blatantly sexist. Their loss is our gain.
We snapped this photo after a recent adult class where the only students who made it to class on Saturday morning were the women. Most of these ladies are moms, some are high powered executives, and all of them are super tough! If you've ever thought about trying taekwondo, but tell yourself that you are too ________ (old, stiff, or whatever excuse comes to mind), we're here to tell you that you are wrong. A year from now, you will only regret that you didn't get started sooner. Check out our class schedule and book your first class today!!!
This past Saturday our school took part in a regional tournament in Santa Rosa. Even though there were hundreds of competitors and dozens of divisions, our students managed to place in almost every one of their rings. We are so proud of them and all their hard work.
In addition to the students pictured above, we'd like to congratulate Alex Guthrie (1st degree black belt), AJ (1st degree black belt) and Angelo Hibbert (State Champion for 2016 and a red belt) who placed 1st in both traditional sparring and combat weapons sparring, and Catia Claburn (3rd degree black belt) who placed 1st in sparring. As a funny side note, Catia has been training with us since she was 4 years old, and she has finally stopped apologizing to people when she kicks them in the head--she is the sweetest sparring champ ever!
The next tournament in our region is on November 15, and it too is in Santa Rosa. We hope to see many more of our students compete!
A few days ago, we saw a man taking pictures of our school. "I bet he's a Korean tourist" I remarked to Master Navarrete. We were not yet open for the day, and were curious as to what exactly was so interesting, so we went outside to ask him.
Although we had a bit of a language barrier, we found out that he was a taekwondo instructor visiting from Korea, and was SO excited to see a taekwondo studio. He asked if he could come and watch a class, to which we of course said yes, and sure enough, he came in just as our Tiny Tigers were lining up. We learned that his name is Master Jino Yu and he is a 4th degree black belt in taekwondo. He shared with us pictures from his school (he has 450 students!) and was an absolute sweetheart with the kids. He helped the little ones tie their belts correctly and then knelt down and shook every student's hand. Seeing a high ranking Korean Black Belt show so much modesty and displaying the virtues of respect and community that we as martial artists value, was wonderful for our students to experience.
We assumed that being here on vacation, he would watch for a few minutes and then go on his way, but much to our surprise, he stayed from 3pm until 8pm, watching every single class we taught and taking pictures and videos to show to students and friends back home. It was neat to meet a total stranger from the other side of the globe, purely by chance, and to have this instant connection because of taekwondo. We hope that Mr Yu enjoys the rest of his trip in the U.S. and that next time he comes stateside that he looks us up.
If you've had a similar experience either at a taekwondo event or just out on the street, we'd love to hear about it. Please share in the comments section below.