Katelyn Mitchell | Staff Writer
When people think of martial arts, most automatically refer to the Karate Kid movie or perhaps the Disney XD show Kickin’ It! The elaborate flips, strong kicks and demolishing piles of bricks with the hit of a hand have fascinated people for years. For sophomore Elizabeth Kuebel, she is able to get first-hand experience.
“When people think of martial arts, they think of karate,” Kuebel said. “I actually do Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do originated from Korea. It’s heavily popular over there. My martial art focuses more on kicks than other moves. That’s the main separation between it and karate.”
Kuebel didn’t always participate in Tae Kwon Do.
“I started Tae Kwon Do about three years ago, specifically August of my eighth grade year,” Kuebel said. “Before I started, I was heavily into soccer. Toward the end of my season, I hurt my knee and had to stop playing. My brother and I wanted to remain active and find something different so we tried out Tae Kwon Do.”
As Kuebel stuck with the sport, she moved up in the class and was able to work up to higher ranks.
“Currently, I have a black belt. I’m at the dojo all week except for Mondays and train for two to three hours a day. It’s basically all I do after school,” Kuebel said.
For Kuebel, the learning experiences and new events mean more to her than the physical gains.
“I like doing the sport because I’m able to work with and learn from other people,” Kuebel said. “I have made a lot of friends who go to different schools. It is a great way to meet a bunch of new people and have new experiences that you may not get anywhere else.”
For Kuebel, her main goal right now is getting more proficient in her craft by having the support from both her friends and her instructors.
“I am currently working on getting higher ranking belts,” Kuebel said. “All of my friends and instructors motivate me to become better at the skill. I personally want to keep going so I can be like them and gain more experience.”
While Kuebel does not plan on making Tae Kwon Do her career, she still plans on sticking with the sport and increasing in her rank.
“I’m not sure if I would want to make this as a career, but I do know that I want to keep on doing this for a while,” Kuebel said. “The sport is a good discipline and a good learning experience. It teaches me a lot about responsibility, which I think is the best thing overall.”