I first got involved with Cardiff North Taekwon-do when my son, Alfie, started training in January 2014 after a recommendation from a family friend that is also a student.
At this point my involvement was never going to be any more than support and spectate. Looking back, I now realise I was probably more tempted to join in than I cared to admit, just felt I was too old, unfit and pretty much past it.
As Alfie started progressing through the ranks he entered first a national and then a local competition. We somehow ended up with a running bet that when he won his first Gold medal I would start training in class (purely as an incentive for him). The inevitable happened and he did us proud winning first, a silver medal at the British open and then another Silver and his first Gold at the ITF Wales competition in the December.
Not being one to break a promise, suddenly there I was.. 37 years old, no interest in sport, a poor fitness level and at that point a heavy smoker lining up with the rest of class. All that was going through my head was “What the hell are you doing ?..”. Fast forward to now, and I struggle to find the words to describe what a positive difference Taekwon-do has made to my life.
Under the excellent instruction of Mr. Johns, and with the absolute unwavering support of my family and also everyone involved in the school from committee members to students and their families, friends, and relatives I have made steady progress and am now working towards my black belt grading. That in itself is something that I never in a million years thought myself capable of and that on its own would be a huge achievement, made even more so if I achieve it alongside my son.
Starting Taekwon-do has given me the incentive to give up smoking (since April 2015) and get myself into probably the best physical condition I’ve been in since my teenage years.
I enjoy the team-spirited training with such a diverse group of students but also the traditional discipline that is so important to the art and its heritage. It goes hand in hand with Mr. Johns own ethos of training and learning whilst promoting family values and supporting those that need it.