My experiences through To Shin Do have taught me the valuable lessons of courage, integrity and good manners. It first began when I was in fifth grade at a school fair when my mom won a free month of training in the martial arts basket.
As she proceeded into her month of training she learned that To Shin Do wasn’t a showy martial art like many others she had hear of, and that my brother was currently enrolled in, and I had been involved in. She learned that they taught how to defend yourself in real life situations. She enjoyed her free month of training so much that she thought it would be a good experience for all of us to join and took my brother out of the other martial art and enrolled us all (my father, brother and myself) in To Shin Do. At first I wasn’t eager, but my mom convinced me.
This martial art was different than anything I had ever taken or experienced before. When I took Tae Kwon Do we were told we had to look good and synchronized together at the right time. I never knew that alignment and body weight were effective. I soon began to really enjoy the training.
Along my journey to black belt there were many times I could have walked out and not returned as I felt I didn’t always belong and that I couldn’t understand the material that we were required to learn. What I didn’t realize at the time was that “I” was creating that experience and it was because I was not willing to learn, and that I was being lazy about learning.
Looking back on my training I can see how far I have come and that this is a great accomplishment. I have learnt so much more than self-defense.