Achieving Yellow Belt
Achieving yellow belt is a milestone that that is more than symbolic of having completed a three-month training period. This initiation period into the art of Taekwondo is a turning point in a student’s athletic and personal life.
Students learn basic kicks, punches, blocks and stances that will lay the foundation for fancier kicks and other more advanced techniques that will follow. However, students learn that these basic techniques can be vastly enhanced with the expression of an inner energy that in many cases was “trapped” inside of them. This inner energy, expressed through their “Ki-hup” sound, supports their physical energy as they start to improve their physical conditioning. This new expression of energy is transformative, with new students undergoing a surge in self-confidence and a thirst for taking on new challenges. For many, progress in goals including weight loss, greater speed and increased flexibility are already palpable by the time they earn their yellow belt.
Although they may have tried other sports or workout programs, most new students become aware for the first time of the importance of proper breathing and energy accumulation emphasized in Taekwondo. What at first seems an awkward pause for breath control becomes as natural and indispensable as a water break, but with far greater benefits. Students begin to discover a mindful resetting technique that over time provides them with greater energy than when they walked into the dojang, in stark contrast to the burnout often times experienced in other sport activities. Another major challenge new students face is being able to overcome nerves and the fear of public performance, which comes to a highpoint during the first promotion test. This fear is tackled head on with the help of techniques improving concentration and emotional stability. Students discover keys to inner focus, which is strongly emphasized with the introduction to daily meditation.
The promotion test to achieve yellow belt is a unique experience during which students face their fears with the joy and comfort of applause and cheers. By the end of their first promotion test, the new yellow belts realize that they are now a part of something larger than themselves: a loving and supporting Taekwondo family they can count on to grow and excel in their life journey.
Written by SUSA Chief Carlos Stern