My Own Experience In Tukido
I got introduced to Tukido initially by a friend, this must have been around 2002, I was in Primary school at the time and must have been about 9. Her dad trained and offered to take us both along. I remember it very well and being really quite into it, seeing other members and their skills thinking ‘I want to be like that one day’. I remember having Bruce Lee/Jackie Chan DVD’s and watching them amazed at what they can do. I can’t remember exactly why I stopped going I was only 12 at the time, I’d trained for about 3 years and managed to achieve blue belt.
Looking back now I realise how good this was and wish so much I’d stuck at it, but being so young I don’t think I realised the importance at the time. Shortly after this, me my mum and my dad moved to Ireland to live ‘forever’. So even had I wanted to go back to the club I couldn’t have at this point. But I hated Ireland, being moved away from all my friends to a new school. Although the Irish were lovely it wasn’t home.
A year later to my delight we moved back to Scotland. Tukido has always stuck in my mind and there was a couple of times I went down to the leisure centre and watched the class from above thinking of joining again but I guess I must have been nervous. Nervous of starting a new club myself, or what if I wasn’t fit enough or didn’t like it the same?
I’d fell away from fitness after this until about 4 years ago and my friend asked me if I wanted to try this new fitness class ‘Vypa’. So we went along once a week. She quickly fell away and I quickly got very into it. This led me to try more classes and as they say I got ‘The fitness bug’ it got addictive and I was doing 2-3 classes a night. The more I realised I could do and the more I was able to achieve the more I wanted to push! Out of all the classes I realised the part I really enjoyed was any type of martial arts or punching/kicks that were involved. This again brought my mind back to Tukido. But it was different now, this was my time and I was ready to go back!
I wasn’t even sure if it was still running at the point but I searched online and eventually found Master Tonner’s number and gave him a call – to my surprise he remembered me and I arranged to try a class the following week. That first day I was pretty nervous but also excited and wondered if I’d recognise anyone. I recognised a few faces that seemed familiar and this put me at ease straight away. It took a bit of getting used to picking up all the sparring forms etc again but everyone was very welcoming and with the help of Master Tonner and a few fellow students I started making progress and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with Tukido again. It was weird because even though it had been 10 years it was like it all started coming back to me again, I felt like I was meant to be here. The buzz I started to get for Tukido was unreal and it gave me something to focus on, something new to aim for and put my time and energy into. I felt determened to try and pick it up quickly and learn all the sparring forms. I started taking some notes after classes and practicing at home. I felt I picked up the sparring forms pretty well after a few months.
My biggest challenge then became the boards. This was a major struggle for me to begin with. I must have kicked that black board hundreds of times but just couldn’t seem to break it, or if I had I couldn’t tell the difference between what I’d actually done to make it break. Master Tonner helped me massively with this (along with a few other students) and never gave up on me! I reckon it was his belief which made me think ‘I can do this’. I eventually found my technique and I did it! Not just a one off but again and again! I was buzzing, words can’t explain how delighted I was with this as it’s something I thought I wouldn’t be able to do! This hurdle showed me you can do anything if you put your mind to it and I started to believe in myself.
It wasn’t long after this I attended my first championships followed by my first grading since I came back. I was very nervous about both events, it had been years and I didn’t know what to expect. The championships went very well I even managed to get a bronze, silver and a gold medal. I couldn’t believe it I was over the moon, I’d never won anything like this before! Then just a few weeks later I achieved my red tags.
Both these events were a massive confidence boost for me. I guess I never had much self belief before and Tukido was starting to do this for me. I do feel now it’s actually had a massive impact on my life for the better! I’ve had a couple knocks (failing red belt/black tags) but I am determined to learn from this and keep going! Training has started to become a main focus in my life, it gives me a buzz, a skip in my step! Lets me test my limits and I can’t wait to train, learn more and improve as much as possible. Also hopefully show myself I can achieve black belt and more! I’m at a stage now I don’t want to be average I strive to try and perform to the best of my own ability.
As Master Teh says in his book – Clouds – ‘Is it a sport or is it an art?’. I watch other students I see where I want to be. I look at the photo of Master Teh in the back of his book doing a flying sidekick over his daughter whom is on a bike and the caption reads ‘If you want to kick as high as me you are looking for limitation’. This picture amazes me, Yes I want to kick as high as that! Yes I am looking for limitation and hopefully black belt will just be the start of a new beginning for me!