TKD Update: Yellow Belt achievement unlocked

This is a SUPER late post, mainly because I’ve been really busy this summer with so many activities and events, but I’m happy to announce I earned my YELLOW BELT in Taekwondo. Last month, June 10th, I tested at Tae Ryong Taekwondo School Brentwood, where I’ve trained and taken the HIIT Fit TKD class for awhile. I’ve always admired the students who got up there to test in front of everyone — including a panel of TKD judges, mostly masters, in their intimidating black colored uniforms. One of the reasons why it took me so long to train for my belt is FEAR. Fear of getting in front of everyone (at this age), fear of messing up a move or form, fear of looking silly, fear of not breaking my board, fear of getting injured when I finally spar…and the list goes on. Master Quan is always pretty understanding of his students, especially of the adults, because our goals are and reasons for taking TKD are very different from the children who take class. What made me finally decide to train for belt advancement was not really “peer pressure,” as it was “peer encouragement”…and a “yeah you really should do it,” from Master Quan. Everyone I’ve gotten to know in class and at the studio is really awesome. I don’t say that just on the surface level, because it goes much deeper than that. We’re all there for our own reasons, yet we share the common goal and beliefs of friendship, community, and building strength in all aspects of our life. When I first started memorizing the Taekwondo Creed, it was just words. The more I repeated it to myself, the more they resonated with me and became a way to live my life.

To build true confidence, through knowledge in the mind, honesty in the heart, and strength in the body. To keep friendship with one another and to build a strong and happy community. Never fight to achieve selfish ends but to develop might for right.

This helped me in many aspects of my life, especially as a parent. Training gives me a place to concentrate and release frustration. The people at the studio are my support group and my second family. I receive encouragement, friendship, feedback from this community. Tae Ryong Taekwondo School Brentwood is a place where my daughter feels at home just as much as I do, and that’s something I could never achieve at a traditional gym. I’m thankful for Master Quan and the Tae Ryong Brentwood family.


I’d been training for awhile, so thankfully, I felt comfortable doing a lot of the blocks, hits, and kicks. The doing it right, in unison, with a straight face is the part I really needed to work on. That, and learning the form, which also must be done in unison. Concentration and training with a whole body, mind, and life purpose yields much better results than the way I’ve worked out in the past, which was merely aesthetic and ridden with guilt and self-criticism.


I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. The classes I take in the morning are a little more relaxed than the evening classes, so I had to prepare myself to do a lot of yelling (“Ki-hop”) and listening…all in a uniform I only wore a handful of times. What got me through it was thinking of it as a special class, but with some new classmates, and guest “instructors,” who were really the judges. Master Quan set up a special panel of all female Master judges for this testing. In addition, they all started their training as adults. They are an inspiration and provided really good feedback and words of wisdom and encouragement.

I don’t have photos of my testing (because I’m usually the one taking them), but if I can scrounge up any from the other spectators, I will share. I felt good about testing, and I passed and received my yellow belt! I had to do an axe kick for my board break, and broke it on the first try! I asked Master Quan if I can break another board during class sometime so I can record it. I will post it on Instagram when it happens 🙂


Suja sponsored belt testing by providing drinks for everyone! It helped me stay energized, and was extremely refreshing.

Suja offers three lines of hand crafted delicious Cold-Pressed, Organic & Non-GMO juices and smoothies, plus new Probiotic Waters and Drinking Vinegars. All are USDA certified Organic and Non-GMO Project verified. Suja has a juice for every lifestyle: Cold-Pressed, Organic offerings and one, three, and five day Fresh Start programs. #LoveSuja

Training continues…

I had a couple weeks of “vacation” from training, but I’ll be back next week and ready to sweat and train for my next belt!

Join me for class!

Tae Ryong Brentwood is a sponsor of

Mention “Westside Mommy” and your first class for free (including kids!)

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Master Nick Quan
11600 San Vicente Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 826-KICK (5425)