Se Jong Tae Kwon Do to me is being strong both mentally and physically. Mentally, in the sense that I have to be prepared to face the hardships that await me both in class and out of class. Physically, so I’m in shape to work out and keep up with the rest of my class and also to constantly challenge myself.
It also takes a commitment both to myself and to my school. I have to be committed to come to every single class no matter how my day may have gone, to try my hardest even when I'm tired, and to continue striving even after I earn my black belt. It also means to throw every technique harder and faster than the first even when I'm tired. Se-Jong requires me to push on when I want to stop, to keep going when I want to quit, and go on when I want to stand still. It's about perseverance through all the tough times I have faced over the years.
At the beginning I was not sure I could get through it and that a Black Belt would never come. I remember it was especially difficult when l was the only one left of my family that still went. And, how through the years, I've seen many of my fellow classmates drop out. I wasn’t sure I was capable of facing all the tough times I would have to go through to get a Black Belt. But now that the time has come, I‘m ready to give it my all in the hopes of getting my Black Belt and proving to myself that I can persevere. I want to prove to myself that all these years of hard work, discipline, and endurance have been worth it, and not just because I may get my black belt, but because I have shown myself that I can pull through the rough times and survive.
For their first degree Black Belts, candidates are required to write a paper. There are no set rules for this; most candidates describe how Se-Jong has affected their lives, some responses have been as simple (and complex) as a painting or an object, or a poem.