As part of Kicks rank requirements for green belt, students are asked to compose a short essay (or other creative piece) about what the student oath and the tenets of Tae Kwon Do mean to them. This is an opportunity for students to reflect on the process of their training at this, often times, difficult period of progression. Green belt is a time when progress starts to slow and the real meaning of the tenet "perseverance" begins. As a famous frog once said, "It ain't easy bein' green."

The following essays are listed in alphabetical order. Some of these students have chosen to remain anonymous, others have since taken different paths and journeys, but all of their voices are important, for each makes Kicks' voice louder and stronger.

Abby -- "In Tae Kwon Do I plan to pursue many aspects. I will acquire fire."

Alyssa S. -- "The power I gain by training in Martial Arts affords me the opportunity to affect others, both “good” and “bad”. I shall always use my knowledge of training to break down perpetrators of injustice, and to assist those who may not know how (or be unable) to help themselves."

Beth -- "Perhaps I don’t live up to the oath every day, but it gives me something to work toward."

Chris -- "At times, I may experience disappointment, pain, tragedy in life and people who I trust and love may let me down.  These experiences are part of life – what distinguishes students of TKD is that they refuse to let these time crush their spirit."

Cristin  -- "It's nice to be someplace where a respect for learning is sort of built into the structure of class, and I like the environment that goes along with that."

Coralynn  -- "I do experience a sense of freedom from encultured/feminine physical constraint/restraint when I punch, block and kick. I do think that if more of us did this (and took off our high heels and danced, etc.) we'd experience more freedom"

Deena -- "It's about measuring up to what you expect of yourelf and not what others expect of you."

Elizabeth -- "I treasure and respect martial arts as a movement art and as a set of powerful physical techniques that have been studied and perfected throughout the centuries."

Esther-- "Stand strong and let your voice be heard."

Gaby -- "They really kick your butt! Silly me, I thought this would be easier than aerobics!! Now I know better."

Heather --  "It is a privilege for us to have the resources to study Tae Kwon Do in order to protect ourselves, to protect others, to get in shape, and to gain a higher level of awareness."

Jen  -- "As my body got stronger, I realized that TKD actually requires as much from my heart and mind as from my muscles."

Julie A. -- "I believe that through Tae Kwon Do, I continue to improve myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I become stronger each day and therefore am better able to help others to improve themselves and our world."

Julie K.   -- "I feel that my training has given me the courage to know what I believe, trust myself and stand ready when life throws a new curve."

Karla -- "For me, the word 'perseverance' is a challenge - a good and necessary challenge."

Kristen -- "We are taught to TAKE UP SPACE.  IT IS OURS!"

Lindsey-- "I’ll be a superhero.  It might sound strange, but I will be a superhero and protect everyone including myself from all danger."

Liz V. F. -- "Unfortuneatly [building a peaceful world] is not happening fast enough. I think tht if a truly peaceful world ere to be acheived everybody would follow all of these guidelines to tae-kwon-do."

Lorraine -- "As I progress in Tae Kwon Do, I am developing both physically and mentally into a stronger person."

Mary Ann --"And there is always something new to learn; the more I study the more I realize I need to learn.  I’m only beginning to realize how difficult mastering a front punch and front stance really is."

Melanie  -- "I have learned to prevent conflict through words and nonverbal behavior."

Molly -- "Now I revel...at my courage to take a stand Look out world!"

Rachel -- " ...the friendships we've made while practicing martial arts to help us make the world as beautiful and peaceful place as it can be."

Sabrina -- "...all of these tenets and vows resonate differently and have a more radical impact and potential for women. For instance, we are bred and trained to courtesy; but without integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, courtesy can easily become the hollow and timid conformity of the oppressed. Integrity is problematic for the contingent self, as I have already mentioned. Perseverance, for women, must occur against greater odds. Self-control has to learn to be self-affirming and enhancing rather than self-abnegating and self-defeating. And to embody indomitable spirit is to claim a birthright and dare to display it outwardly."

Tish -- "Stand true and strong, defend what you hold dear."

Anonymous 1--"It’s not at all about what other people think of me.  It’s about bringing out something good in me, however slowly I may progress." 


More coming soon...stay tuned!