In 2011, Master Sardiñas earned her 5th degree black belt, and as a result of her combined experiences and degrees, she has been teaching the art of Taekwon-Do for over 10 years. The following are a few excerpts from the interview found in the publication, Mind, Body and Self Defense.
Q.) Why did you make a decision to teach this form of martial arts?
Master Sardiñas - I happened to fall into an excellent lineage of traditional TKD, with Grandmaster Kim, Suk Jun, student of General Choi and original member of the ITF demonstration team, as my teacher. He encouraged me to teach and provided me opportunities to do so, shortly after earning my 1st Dan (degree [black belt]).
It also made sense to me as a woman to continue to practice a style that is heavily focused on kicks, since that's where most women carry their physical strength and power.
Q.) How young or how old does a person need to be to practice this form of martial arts?
Master Sardiñas - Many martial arts schools promote TKD programs for children at younger and younger ages. I have seen children as young as 3, train with focus and experience the benefits of TKD practice under a qualified teacher. It is important to note that a qualified children's instructor will have knowledge of the mental, emotional and physical stages of development for each of the age groups he or she teaches.
On the other end of the spectrum, students who are older, in their early 60s, begin to be challenged by their own flexibility, balance and ability to keep the aerobic pace of a regular class, although students who began their practice at a younger age can avoid this. Again, an experienced teacher will be able to work with older students compassionately, taking into consideration their physical limitations.
There is a sweet spot, or the ideal age to begin training, and that is in the early to mid teens and 20s. But old and young alike, under the instruction of a qualified and experienced teacher, can benefit from practicing traditional TKD.
Q.) Is there anything you can add that would help a person make a decision about studying this form of martial arts?
Master Sardiñas - Anyone, old or young, male or female can practice traditional TKD. The most important thing in beginning your training is to find a school and an instructor you feel comfortable with. Another important point to mention is that a good practitioner or a black belt with many awards or medals is not necessarily a good teacher. It is best to schedule a trial lesson and visit a few schools before making your choice. Your martial art school will be an important part of your life for many years to come.
To learn more about Master Dawn-Marie Sardiñas and Gotham Martial Arts, please follow the link below:
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