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gabyGaby

Lewisburg, PA February 2003
Hi brother!

I have got to tell you about the new venture I have started, you won't believe this, it's Tae Kwon Do. By now you are probably rolling on the floor laughing so hard and thinking "whaaaaat? You? TKD?, yea right! Like you are going to hurt someone". Well, that's what I thought at first too, but my instructor was sooo persistent that I finally accepted to give it a try. What the heck, I wanted to get some exercise.

To my surprise, this is not quite what I had in mind. It is not just pretend to be Bruce Lee (like we used to do when we were kids and had watched one of his movies on a Sunday afternoon, remember?). This, I found, has more meaning, and it's harder to accomplish too.

How do I describe it? Well, I think this has a little bit of art and sport; I can't quite get the right description yet. It's a mixture of
things; I'll try to explain...

There is the physical side of it; training can be really tough some days. They really kick your butt! Silly me, I thought this would be easier than aerobics!! Now I know better. You learn how do everything, even breathe the right way, it's not that we don't know how to breathe, but if you start to think about how breathing affects your performance, then it's easier to give and take a punch, to time things, and a lot more things.

Emotionally, it has helped me to practice concentration, which is not only good for the forms that you are doing, but also in my daily life. You know that I always have a hard time finishing what I start because I get bored so fast with things. It has been a great help now that I'm away from home, if I can't concentrate and see ahead, I would be lost.

There is also a social side to this art/sport. I was surprised to learn that there are tenats to follow as well as a student oath.

The five tenants are:
Courtesy
Integrity
Perseverance
Self control
Indomitable spirit

The student oath is:
I shall observe the tenants of Tae Kwon Do
I shall respect my instructors, seniors and fellow students
I shall never misuse Taw Kwon Do
I will be a champion of freedom and justice
I will build a more peaceful world

How great is this?! You know that for me respect is the most important thing a human being has. Don't you think this is a great way to describe respect for everyone? Not only the people you train with but everyone. Freedom? Integrity? Nothing like we used to see on the Bruce Lee movies hu?

Anyway, as you can see I am enjoying every bit of it. So be careful, because next time I see you I will be at least a green belt and I will be able to show you that Bruce Lee has something to learn from me! (Spanish maybe hahaha!). I am sure you will make fun of me if you see me do a form, but I also know that you will be proud of me as I am of being part of this group.

With love,
Your sister.
Gaby