—ANNI ZHANG ‘21
Taekwondo is the new addition to the fall sports in St. Mark’s. It is a Korean martial art that emphasizes the techniques of head-high and spinning kicks. The group is led by Mr. Brady Loomer, who is very experienced in the field. More specifically, the students are learning Moodukkwan, a particular branch of Taekwondo that requires great agility and speed. Although Taekwondo is an Olympic sport, its main purpose is as an art of self-defense.
With Mr. Brady Loomer as the coach, the team has received a lot of positive feedback in just the two short weeks of training time. Sixth former Ji Woo Kang said that “I have never been exposed to Taekwondo before, even though I am Korean and the sport is a Korean sport. However, it is really fascinating to learn the techniques here in the US and in English.” Ji is not the only St. Marker who enjoys taekwondo. Cathy Zhou of the fifth form also stated that Mr. Loomer's passion for the sport is so inspiring that she could even sense his happiness every time the team finishes a routine. The group works on a daily basis to improve the accuracy and speed of high kicks while developing their skills in self-protection from the opponent’s strikes. Since Taekwondo emphasizes the importance of breathing and self-reflection, Mr. Brady often motivates the group by having them perform a routine in unison without vocalized guidance. This task not only drives the students to focus on their techniques but it also directs synchronized collaboration among the group.
Taekwondo is a very fulfilling sport with a handful of benefits. Since it is a physically demanding sport, people who do taekwondo become stronger, faster, and more agile. In addition to these external advantages, Taekwondo can better one’s self-esteem, discipline, ability to concentrate, and leadership skills due to the belief of the theory of power and breathing. With all of these advancements that Taekwondo offers, it should be a much more prevalent sport. Thank you, Mr. Loomer for bringing such a wonderful opportunity here to campus!