I tell all of my students that there are two kinds of people in this world: those that practice Tae Kwon-Do, and those who only wish they could.
I also tell them that everyone wants to learn a martial art, they are just the brave ones who stepped forward to do it. Brave being the key word here.
Naturally, beginning a martial art comes with a set of fears for anyone, child or adult. But, I have noticed that children and adults have different fears before taking their first step through our doors.
Adults tend to have four main questions that keep them from starting Tae Kwon-Do.
- Am I too old?
- Am I too out of shape?
- Am I going to get hurt?
- Am I going to look stupid?
SPOILER ALERT: The answer to all of these questions is no.
Am I Too Old?
My oldest student started when he was 64 years old, trained until he was 73, then moved to Florida. My current oldest student is 74. My instructor, Grand Master Park, is 78.
I, myself, am 63 years old. I feel like I’m 18, though, and I maintain a very active lifestyle. I can still teach five classes a day and train.
So, age is not a factor in the beginning. As a matter of fact, I tell my older students that my goal is to keep them young forever!
Am I too out of shape?
Do you wait to get healthy before you go to see a doctor? Or, do you go to the doctor because you’re not healthy?
The same logic applies to Tae Kwon-Do. You might be out of shape, but no one is too out of shape for Tae Kwon-Do. You don’t begin training like a black belt. Like most of life, you do what you can and you take on more as you grow.
Am I going to get hurt?
I’m not going to say no one has ever been hurt here, but we are very safety conscious at this dojang. Our goal is to teach you how to defend yourself and others, but it is never to beat you up.
I haven’t researched this statistic, but I’m convinced that 98% of the injuries you see here were caused outside of the dojang.
Am I going to look stupid?
The brief answer to this question is yes. But, not in the sense that many think. You’re going to learn a lot of new skills here. You’re going to move your body in ways that it never has. Everyone looks a little silly while they’re learning anything new, not just Tae Kwon-Do. But, I promise you, we all look silly together.
Children are hesitant to join Tae Kwon-Do for mostly different reasons. For them, it usually boils down to four things:
- They’re afraid of the unknown.
- They think they’re going to be beaten up as soon as they walk through the door.
- They are embarrassed that they have to learn how to defend themselves.
- They usually don’t have friends here in the beginning.
It is natural for a young student to be intimidated the first time they come in and see people throwing kicks and punches. But, we break that down pretty quickly. The first time a student walks through the door, they’re made to feel welcome by everyone.
A student’s first classes are also designed to be fun, exciting and, more importantly, successful. We want to make our students feel good about their ability. Doing so makes them want to come back.
And, as for friends? I always put it to my young students like this: your friends might not go here, but your friends will certainly grow here.
Kids have birthday parties at this dojang. We hold socials at this dojang. Simply put, people make friends at this dojang.
We work hard to shed people of all ages of their apprehension when they walk through our doors. After all, they are the ones who faced down their fears, and were brave enough to step forward. And you should see them now…
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!