Tommy the Turkey’s Taekwondo Adventure
Tommy the Turkey was a shy and timid bird who lived on a farm with his family and friends. He always wanted to learn Taekwondo, but he was afraid of failing or making mistakes. He thought that Taekwondo was only for strong and brave animals, and that he was not good enough to try it.
One day, he saw a poster on the barn wall that said: “Taekwondo classes for beginners! Learn how to defend yourself and have fun! All ages and species welcome!” Tommy felt a spark of curiosity and excitement in his chest. He wondered if he could join the class and learn some cool moves. He decided to ask his best friend, Paulina the Pig, for advice.
“Hey, Paulina, do you think I should sign up for the Taekwondo classes?” Tommy asked nervously.
“Yes!” Paulina replied cheerfully. “Taekwondo is so much fun, and you might make some new friends. Besides, you’re always saying that you want to try something new and challenging. This is your chance!”
“But what if I fail or make a fool of myself?” Tommy worried. “What if the other animals laugh at me or bully me?”
With empathy Paulina reassured him; “Everyone starts from somewhere, and no one is perfect. You’ll learn from your failures and mistakes, and you’ll get better with practice. And I’m sure the other animals will be nice and supportive. They’re all beginners too, you know. And if anyone is mean to you, I’ll be there to back you up. You’re my friend, and I believe in you.”
“Really? You do?” Tommy asked.
“Of course I do,” Paulina said. “You’re a smart and kind turkey, and you have a lot of potential. Come on, let’s go sign up for the Taekwondo class.”
Tommy hesitated for a moment, but then he nodded and followed Paulina to the sign-up sheet. He wrote his name next to hers, and felt a surge of courage and hope. He was going to learn Taekwondo, and he was going to have fun.
The next day, Tommy and Paulina arrived at the class, which was held in a large field near the farm. They saw many other animals there, such as cows, horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, and even llamas. They all wore white Taekwondo uniforms and belts, and looked excited and happy. Tommy felt nervous and out of place, but Paulina smiled and encouraged him.
“Look, Tommy, there are so many animals here. They all want to learn Taekwondo, just like you. You’re not alone, you’re part of a team. And look, there’s our instructor. She’s a llama and looks friendly and cool.”
Tommy looked at the instructor, who was a brown llama. She wore a black karate belt and a whistle around her neck. She had a confident and cheerful expression on her face and greeted the students warmly.
“Hello, everyone, and welcome to Taekwondo class. My name is Luna, and I’m your instructor. I’m very happy to see you all here, and I hope you’re ready to have some fun and learn some Taekwondo. Taekwondo is a martial art that teaches you how to defend yourself and others, but also how to respect yourself and others. Taekwondo is not about fighting or hurting anyone, but about improving yourself and helping others. Taekwondo is not only a physical activity, but also a mental and spiritual one. Taekwondo is not only a sport, but also a way of life. Taekwondo is for everyone, no matter your age, size, shape, or species. Are you ready to begin?”
“Yes, ma’am!” the students shouted in unison.
“Very good. Then let’s start with a warm-up. Follow me, and do as I do.”
Luna the llama led the students in a series of exercises, such as jogging, jumping, stretching, and breathing. Tommy followed along as best as he could, but he felt clumsy and awkward. He tripped over his own feet, bumped into other animals, and got out of breath quickly. He felt embarrassed and frustrated, and wished he could disappear. He looked at Paulina, who seemed to be enjoying herself. She smiled at him and gave him a thumbs up. Tommy tried to smile back, but he felt like crying.
After the warm-up, Luna taught them some basic karate moves, such as punches, kicks, blocks, and stances. She demonstrated each move slowly and clearly, and then asked the students to repeat after her. She walked around the animals, correcting and praising them.
Tommy tried to follow Luna’s instructions, but he found it hard to remember and execute the moves. He felt stiff and clumsy, and his movements were slow and weak. He felt like he was doing everything wrong, and that he was wasting Luna’s time. He looked at Paulina, who seemed to be doing well. She followed Luna’s moves with ease and grace, and her movements were fast and strong. She looked confident and happy, and she cheered and clapped for Tommy. Tommy felt grateful for her support, but he also felt jealous and inferior.
After the moves, Luna taught the students some basic Taekwondo terms, such as ki-hap, which was a loud shout that expressed energy and spirit; dojang, which was the place where Taekwondo is practiced; and sabumnim, which was the title for the instructor. She also taught them some basic Taekwondo etiquette, such as bowing, which is a sign of respect and gratitude.
Tommy tried to learn the terms, but he found it hard to pronounce and remember them. He felt confused and overwhelmed, and his voice was low and timid. He felt like he was saying everything wrong, and that he was annoying Luna. He looked at Paulina who seemed to be having fun. She pronounced the terms with clarity and enthusiasm, and her voice was loud and cheerful. She looked curious and interested, and she asked and answered questions. Tommy felt proud of her, but he also felt incompetent.
After the terms, Luna announced that it was time for a break. She praised the students for their hard work and effort, and told them to rest and drink some water. She also told them to mingle and chat with each other, and to make some friends. She said that Taekwondo was not only about learning, but also about socializing and having fun.
Tommy followed Paulina to a nearby water fountain, where they drank some water. Tommy felt exhausted and he wanted to go home and give up. He felt like he had failed at everything, and that he was not cut out for Taekwondo. He felt like he had let down Paulina, Luna, and himself.
“Hey, Tommy, are you okay?”Luna the llama asked, noticing his sad and tired expression.
“No, I’m not okay,” Tommy admitted. “I’m terrible at everything, and I can’t do anything right. I’m a failure and I don’t deserve to be here. I should quit and never come back.”
“Tommy, you seem to be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to be perfect.” Luna said with empathy. “You’re not terrible, and you’re not a failure. You’re just a beginner, and you’re learning. You can’t expect to be good at something right away, and you don’t need to compare yourself to others. Be patient, be persistent, and believe in yourself and you will become a great martial artis some day. Failures and mistakes are not reasons to give up, but stepping stones toward success. Failures are proof that you are trying and without failures there is no success..”
“But how can I do that?” Tommy asked, feeling hopeless. “How can I be patient and persistent? How can I believe in myself?
Then Luna, sounding wise and sincere, said “Building confidence and a persistence is a journey. When you constantly tell yourself positive things and continue to practice skills untill you gain mastery, you become a more confident, brave, and resillient person. When you continue to try a weapon release untill you succeed or continue to practice board breaks untill you succeed, you become more resillient and confident.”
Tommy the Turkey continued to take Taekwondo classes with Luna the Llama as his instructor and gained more confidence with each lesson. He also made new friends and tested for his black belt three and a half years after starting with his friend Paulina the pig. All of his new friends cheered them both on, and he was so happy that he chose to be persistent even though he felt like giving up many times on his journey.