On Tuesday 22nd March 2022, Dojang X first opened its doors.
As the instructor reflecting on our milestone first year anniversary, it’s been an incredible journey…
The early days
The challenge for an energised new instructor is to keep persevering in the early days – or at least for me anyway 😅
For much of the early months, Dojang X had only one or two people turn up for class. For some sessions, we had an empty hall.
It took a few months to have our first official member. Then this slowly grew to a small group. (You know who you are!)
And so, the early days were more like personal 1-1 martial arts sessions.
Sure, I still strive to give each person individual and collective attention, but it’s something completely different if you’re the only person in the room with a martial arts instructor.
In my mind, I know that it takes a certain type of person to persevere in this type of situation. Many others can feel weird about it and would prefer to spend their time with something that is instantly packed and popular. I’m grateful for these students to look past that and feel that there was value in the teaching and support given.
My appreciation goes out to our First Gen of Dojang X members. Through consistently turning up to class, they show that they believed in our vision, our Soo Bahk Do martial art and Dojang X – a martial arts club that embraces creativity, quirks, and innovation. Now, they can be proud of being the OG team as new members join us.
A selection of memorable moments
DX first grading
Our first grading, which was in Surrey on 22nd July 2022 (another 22nd – what a coincidence!), was the first time that we had a road trip together – and it was a rushed one after the working day! It was nice to bond with each other during the drive…and the amount of Soo Bahk Do historical and general questions put my knowledge to the test! Also on that same day was the first time that I saw all my students in uniform. It was a proud moment and signalled a level of commitment to the study of martial arts.
To then watch these three students put in their best effort to represent themselves and our Dojang in a grading where the host club had over 40 members kept me smiling for many days after.
Nine-year-old surprises everyone when he counts in Korean
Three months into the club, I asked a nine-year-old student if he’d like to do the warm up with me. ‘Sure’ he confidently replied. As I began the warm up with jumping jacks, he was clearly counting in Korean too! Mentally, my jaw dropped.
For some reason, I stopped doing the warm up to observe quietly at the back. It was clear that he knew what to do and was confident to deliver.
It was incredible. To this day, this kid’s effort to learn Korean numbers in a short training period puts many adults to shame!
Off with his belt!
This one is so random and hilarious – and that’s what makes it memorable 😅
When doing jumping jacks as the warm up, a newly suited adult practitioner’s belt fell off in the process very early in. It was left there lying on the floor whilst everyone was rotating with their jumps. It was incredibly hard to keep a straight face and we had to all stop and have a laugh.
The year ahead
Looking towards the year ahead, our creative spirit is strong!
Besides striving to always deliver high quality martial arts tuition for our members, we’ve got many more creative ideas in store. This is a great time for members at Dojang X to get involved and shape our young club’s identity in Oxfordshire.