In September of 2015 I took a self defense class at the beach at the annual black belt club beach trip with my grandchildren who train at RT Berry School of TaeKwonDo. The instructor of that course, who is a Master in TaeKwonDo, told me I needed to be training. Now I was 63 years old at that time and nothing was further from my mind than training. Of course I knew everyone, and had friends there, but my role was observer and I had never thought of changing that. However she planted a seed in my brain. I was fairly convinced that I was too old to begin training, but that thought continued to wiggle around in my brain. So one day I worked up enough guts to talk with Master Berry about training. He did not hesitate! He encouraged me to begin and said I would be fine. So near the end of October of 2015 I stepped into the Do Jang for the first time as a participant instead of an observer. And I can say that it was the best decision that I have ever made for myself! I have never been pushed beyond my limits, but I have been encouraged to exceed them. The people that I “knew” have become family. Master Summers, who was the person who first encouraged me to train, told me that if I hang out with young people and do what they do that I will stay young! I believe her! I was very proud the day Master Berry tied on my white belt. I knew on that day that I would do something that might set an example for others my age who had decided to stay in the rocking chair. The day I joined the black belt club was another proud moment. That was a commitment made my me to Master Berry and to myself that I would do what it took to earn my black belt. I now wear a red belt and have only one more color belt to test for before I test for my black belt. To me, that is amazing! I cannot say enough about what this program has done for me personally. I feel the best that I’ve felt in many years. I believe I could hold my own if I ever had to fight,(wouldn’t that be a surprise for the bad guy!), plus my self confidence is at an all time high. I have obtained an entire extended family, and have watched my grandchildren who train, develop into amazing young people. There is a saying on the wall in the Do Jang that states: “A black belt is a white belt who doesn’t quit.” I make sure I read that every time I train! At the end of this year at age 67, I will realize this saying to be very true! And in my heart I know that my TaeKwonDo journey has just begun.

Steele Family