Reactions I Get to Being a Black Belt

So, if you couldn’t tell from the title, I’m a black belt. More specifically, I’m a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I started in first grade, took a hiatus in high school, and started up again by joining the Rutgers Tae Kwon Do team and their demonstration team. It’s definitely built up my strength, both physical and mental, from breaking cinder blocks to dealing with the frustration of mastering tricky kicks. Movies like The Karate Kid portray martial artists as total badass warriors, so naturally, when I, a short, Starbucks-drinking girl, reveal this fact about myself, people have some interesting reactions.

1. You can totally beat someone up!

Yeah, I know the right kicks to land depending on the way someone attacks me. Especially having sparred, I know how to defend myself. But a coached sparring match and an unexpected street fight are two totally different things. Believe me, I’d be just as scared to fight someone who messes with my squad as someone with absolutely no martial arts experience.

2. You’re so tough!

I’ve learned a lot through Tae Kwon Do, like demonstrating good sportsmanship and high spinning hook kicks. But even though I learned all that, I’m just like any other person, with fears, sensitivities, and even weaknesses. Being involved in Tae Kwon Do, for as long as I have been, has made me learn to overcome those things effectively, but has not necessarily eradicated them. So yeah, sometimes (a lot of times) I really need a night like this:


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