Updated: Nov 17
Embarking on my martial arts odyssey commenced officially at the tender age of 9. With each passing year, I ascended through the ranks, achieving the esteemed status of a black belt at 12 and attaining a second-degree black belt by 14. However, a pause ensued at 15 as I chose to step away for reasons I still wrestle with. Fast forward to the age of 22, where I found myself drawn back to the realm of Tang Soo Do. This time around, a fresh instructor and a new federation breathed new life into my journey. At 23, I proudly secured my third-degree black belt, and as a vibrant 25-year-old, I find myself firmly committed, with no intention of bidding farewell to this exhilarating pursuit.
With all this experience under my belt, figurative and literally, I still somehow manage to anxious shit myself at any and every competition. :)
Every time I'm gearing up to throw down in a competition, I've got this quirky little superstitious pre-dance ritual. It's not some grand, flashy performance—it's more like a secret handshake with myself. I close my eyes, suck in a breath like I'm inhaling courage, and then exhale like my life's one big party trick! 😄
So, a quick recap: last time I hit the competition floor, which just so happened to be the grand finale of the 2023 season, this curious onlooker—could've been a guest, a parent, a spectator, or maybe even a low-key stalker (who knows?)—decides to play detective and asked me a question. Kudos for the bold inquiry!
They asked me what all that was for. Why do I clench my eyelids shut and take in a dreadful amount of air?
Now, let me spill the tea on my not-so-secret secret. It's as straightforward as my pre-dance routine.
Reason Number 1: I do it to mentally zoom in on the impending spectacle. I mean, I'm gearing up to unleash a two-minute explosion of martial arts prowess, and I want it to be the stuff of legends, right? It's all about summoning the best version of me, and that journey kicks off in the battleground of the mind.
Reason Number 2: I’m scared I'm going to shit myself so I just need to take a moment to procrastinate the inevitable.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
In any sport, hobby, or extracurricular activity with a side of competitive zest, throwing yourself into the mix is like willingly stepping into the lion's den. It's not a walk in the park; it's more like a chaotic dance with chaos. What we do is hard. Like, seriously.
Even for the martial arts demigods among us—those seasoned, confident, mature, and superhero-level practitioners—there's a universal truth: what we do is no cakewalk. But hey, that's the secret sauce that makes it exhilarating. The thrill, the excitement, the stress— it's all part of the grand, unpredictable adventure.
But still... My Tang Soo Do pants are a pristine shade of white, and let me be crystal clear: I want them to stay that way! Because nothing ruins the aesthetic of a martial arts masterpiece like a smudge on the canvas.
So, here's to the art of looking fabulous while conquering the world—one roundhouse kick at a time. <3 xoxoxo 🥋✨
So yeah… I make a big old fuss over competition and after hearing my threats to shit myself out of fear it probably doesn't sound like a fun or pleasant activity. So why do it? Why go through all the stress of performing if it sounds like I dislike it so much?
I’ll tell you.
In the realm of tournaments, I've come to accept that fear and anxiety are just a part of my nature. But, within the depths of these unsettling emotions lies a profound significance—it speaks to the heart of my commitment. The unpleasant feelings, however distasteful, serve as a truth to the importance I hold to my craft and the manner in which I do it.
My pursuit is not rooted in the the chase of absolute supremacy (supremacy meaning to be the overall best in whatever) but rather, to be the best for myself. And hopefully, in return in doing so, I can encourage others to follow that philosophy, because I truly believe it to be a well-rounded and universal teaching.
So even though I’m teetering on the brink of passing out and vomiting all over myself- I do it because someone out there is watching me do my best. Some unsuspecting eyes are looking at me in hopes to muster the same level of courage to say “Fuck it, win-or-lose, I'm stepping in that ring.”
And that, my friend, is the scoop on why I dive into the madness. You see, I once was that curious, wide-eyed kid, peering from the sidelines, wondering if I could ever be as cool and kick butt doing something I'm head over heels for. Turns out, even I needed a friendly neighborhood role model to show me the ropes and sprinkle a bit of inspiration dust on my journey!
TLDR: You should do it, even if you are scared. That means there’s something wonderful to gain from it <3 (Expect crime. Not a crime. No. Bad.)
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