- Our Town
Taekwondo students demonstrate skill and discipline in performance test
To get her Yellow Belt, seven year-old Lucy Robichaud had to do a set of jumping jacks, fifty push-ups and break a board by performing an axe-kick.
She was one of 25 taekwondo students to participate in a promotion test at Bowen Island Taekwondo last weekend. Michelle Park, the main administrator of the program and also a teacher herself, says the test is more like a celebration, and there is no such thing as failure.
“During the test, the students demonstrate their knowledge of subjects, respect, effort and class,” says Park. Other criteria demonstrated during the test include kicking and punching, flexibility and balance, and level of focus.
“It takes a lot of courage to get up in front of an audience and demonstrate these skills,” says Park. “I am proud of all of our students, but Will and Charlie, our youngest students stand out because they were so apprehensive at first, but have really come a long way in the past few months. Also Michelle, one of the only adults in our program, I am especially proud of her as well.”
The Bowen Taekwondo program starts for kids around the age of five, and Park says they were hoping for more adult students than they have now. At Park and Master Scot Strachan’s studio in Squamish, they have a large number of adult students.
“We focus on safety and physical conditioning, and actually incorporate a lot of yoga in to our adult teaching,” says Park.
Lucy Robichaud’s parents, Charles Robichaud and Elizabeth Pechlaner say physical conditioning is a big reason for putting their kids into Taekwondo. Lucy’s older brother, 11 year-old Noah is a black belt.
“Once I remember Noah falling off a truck and I was terrified,” says Pechlaner. “But he landed on his feet.”’
Robichaud adds that he likes that the kids are taught to be respectful, disciplined and sit up straight.
“The Master sounds like a drill sargeant,” says Robichaud, “but he really engages the kids, and treats them with a lot of compassion.”