Kaelyn Choi ’22: Taekwondo Master
By Melody Tang ’22
Ever since Kaelyn Choi ’22 was three years old, she has been learning and practicing the sport of Taekwondo. Getting her yellow belt when her father first brought her to the studio was the start of her Taekwondo career.
“It’s something I love to do. It’s a part of my Korean-American culture,” Choi said.
Her father had done Taekwondo as a child and wanted her to pursue it as well. Even when she started, she said she took it very seriously as a sport.
“It’s a part of me because I’ve been doing it for so long. I love doing it and it helps me be stronger physically and mentally,” Choi said.
Choi recently advanced to a third degree black belt. She said that it was her greatest achievement so far in her Taekwondo career.
“It was not easy. It took two years, but it was a fun experience because getting my third degree means that I get the chance to teach younger kids how to do forms and kicks,” Choi said.
She is currently working toward her fourth degree black belt, which she will try to get in the years coming. Choi currently practices at the at the White Tiger Martial Arts Studio once a week.
“Right now, I’m going to work on getting my fourth degree, and when I do, I can become a master in Taekwondo,” Choi said.
Choi said she had never been as strong as other students at her studio. She had to stop sparring and competing because it was becoming too aggressive. Choi could never break as many boards as another black belt.
She explained the strategy that helps her the most during practices.
“Definitely breathing exercises [help me most] because when I do them, they help me focus a lot more on my forms,” Choi said.
Taekwondo, according to Choi, helps her improve in all aspects of life.
“It helps with school because it is a form of martial arts that helps me focus a lot, so it helps if I need to take a test or something else really stressful,” Choi said.
Choi also enjoys dance as a performing art which taekwondo helped her in.
“Dance helps with Taekwondo because dance focuses a lot on technique which helps with my forms in Taekwondo,” Choi said.
Choi’s peers seemed surprised when they learned of her talent.
“I never thought Kaelyn would be a Taekwondo expert as she is one of the most calm and passive people I know,” Lena Bagley ’22 said.
Choi offered advice for others pursuing any extracurriculars.
“Even though it can be difficult, keep moving forward because it’s a really fun experience and never give up,” Choi said.