Thinking of enrolling the kids in Taekwondo classes? If so, you could make it a family affair and join them! At J H Kim Taekwondo Institute, everyone from tots as young as three, to teens and adults can pick up this exciting martial art. We spoke with kids and parents about their experiences at the academy and what they love most about it.
Hear from a family
Natalia Chaykun, Russian; Oleg (15), Gleb (13), Zlata (8)
“We used to live near to the J H Kim Taekwondo branch at Turf City. We saw many kids in white uniforms with colourful belts and decided to do a trial lesson. Oleg and Gleb have been training since 2008, while Zlata started at the age of two and a half. Natalia joined two years back after making a bet that she would start Taekwondo if Gleb won the Koko Krunch Grand Finale competition in Malaysia! Since the beginning, our instructors have been very professional and open-hearted. We’ve also made friends there from different countries. JH Kim is a close community of friends – we have parties together and travel together to various international competitions.
Taekwondo has become our lifestyle. It has transitioned from being a form of exercise to being a passion for us, and we’re proud to be part of the sport and its community. Over 10 years of training with J H Kim, we’ve participated in many local and international competitions. For Gleb, his biggest highlight was being selected in the Singapore national team and attending the 2018 World Taekwondo Youth Camp in Korea. Zlata was also invited to join the Singapore team. And Oleg is the only one from our family who is part of the J H Kim Demonstration team. The biggest achievement for our family was participating in the PA-STF (People’s Association-Singapore Taekwondo Federation) championships and winning gold in the family-of-four Poomsae event.”
Hear from a teen
Lukas Kaas Andersen (16), Danish
“I walked passed J H Kim Taekwondo while looking around Turf City with my mum and a week later I went for a trial lesson. I’ve been attending the school for around 10 years. What I love most are the coaches and staff. They’re nice and supportive towards all students. I’ve known Mr Lai, Mr Syahril and Ms Lai for as long as I’ve been there, and they’ve helped me so much. I have also made loads of great friends.
Taekwondo is a really fun martial art. The competitive nature is extremely exciting and, even though it’s an individual sport, there’s still a lot of team spirit. All the different techniques and forms are really cool and there’s so much to learn so you can always move ahead. I’ve taken part in many competitions over the last six years, and I’ve won four national tournaments. I also won the First Wu Kwon tournament in Johor Bahru. The biggest highlight was when I won my first National tournament in 2013. I was 11, the youngest in my category and had four fights. It was only my second competition and I was initially really nervous, so it was very exciting when I won!”
Hear from a mother and son
Florence Smart, Singaporean; Sean (14)
“We heard about J H Kim Taekwondo from friends and have been attending for four (Florence) and nine (Sean) years.”
Sean: “The instructors are caring and patient and have imparted important values that have helped me develop as a person and student. My friends also help make the lessons more fun and interesting, and push me to do my best. I love the sense of discipline and the need for constant practice; being able to visibly see progress allows me to feel satisfied with my training and makes me want to train more. I’ve taken part in the National Kyorugi and inter-schools competitions, learning from my mistakes in my losses and improving. Winning my first competition was a huge highlight and I’ll strive to win more in the future.”
Florence: “I love the feeling of being part of a ‘family’ from all aspects of the school such as the instructors, front desk staff and fellow students. Taking up the sport at a mature age without martial arts background was daunting and frustrating at times, but the encouragement and patience from all parties helped to push me in the right direction and the lessons became very interesting. I love learning the different patterns and being able to “escape” into a reflective mood when I come for practice. A major highlight of my time at the school was passing my first grading with a double promotion and, of course, getting my black belt!”
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