Taking up a new sport can be daunting at first but the benefits you can reap will make it all worthwhile. Sian Buckley took the plunge, and at the age of 36 decided to give Taekwondo a go and she hasn’t looked back since. Here she shares her story of getting involved with Kicks Taekwondo:
“I do Taekwondo - yes Taekwondo. I never thought that I would say that. I started training properly in January after a few Kicksister sessions, which is an initiative aimed at women only. My wife is an ex GB athlete for Taekwondo and fought internationally for GB for nine years. She was undefeated in GB for thirteen years and she has spent the last five years trying to get me to do it. My answer has always been "NO WAY". I am a lover – not a fighter!
My main challenges have been lack of confidence, being overweight, being older than most people who do Taekwondo (the majority of participants are under eighteen) and having an underactive thyroid, which has really affected my life over the last three years.
Taekwondo has made mind-blowing differences to my life. I have lost nearly three stone since January (not easy for somebody with an underactive thyroid). I am more flexible and fitter than I have ever been. I train six days a week depending on work as I do shifts. Some days I train five hours a day, which could involve two hours of cardio in the morning and three hours of Taekwondo at night. I am now a green belt, can kick to the head (I never thought I would be able to) and am competing in sparring competitions.
Taekwondo is a very controlled and disciplined sport and is nothing like what I originally thought. It involves anaerobic exercise, which can be as intense as you want it to be. It does not have to involve sparring and full contact but that is the part I enjoy most as it is more fitness intense and I have become quite competitive.
I have been lucky as my wife now teaches Taekwondo most nights. She has empowered me to achieve and progress even through times when I have been extremely frustrated - too slow, too overweight, too tired, self-conscious, not flexible enough, can't remember patterns (you need to learn these to grade).
This is a sport that you will reap rewards from, I'm getting faster and more flexible, I'm definitely thinner, my confidence has grown, I'm full of energy and I'm happy. This is also a very sociable sport and encourages a sense of team spirit.
My advice to anybody who wants to take part in Taekwondo is to look on The British Taekwondo Website for a club near you, contact them and ask them if they are running Kicksister classes, which are female only classes and will teach you the basics with other beginners.
Rachel teaches her classes to music and incorporates fitness into the sessions. Taekwondo can be done by anybody...YOU CAN DO IT! Kicking pads is a great way to vent any frustration and you can also learn self-defence. It also incorporates lots of stretching techniques some of which are similar to those in Pilates and Yoga.”
Do you want to give Taekwondo a go? Join Kicks Taekwondo on
- Monday at Eaves Green Community Centre, Chorley 18:30 - 19:30 all ages and abilities, 19:30 - 20:30 - Kicksister, females only.
- Tuesday at Clayton Brook Village Hall, Clayton Brook. 18:00 - 19:00 - all ages and abilities, 19:00 - 21:00 - Olympic style sports taekwondo
- Wednesday at Fairview Community Centre Adlington - 17:45 - 18:45 - all ages and abilities, 18:45 - 19:45 Olympic Style Sports Taekwondo
Or visit www.britishtaekwondo.org.uk to find a club near you. We look forward to working with Kicks Taekwondo in the future to provide more opportunities to get into taekwondo.