Chris: My return to Tae Kwon Do after 18 Years

You’d never guess it from my curvaceous “Dad-bod” and terrible fitness, but 18 years ago I was a fitness machine! I weighed 70kg, ironically that’s more than I weight now but only 6% body fat vs the 29% I carry around my waste like an 1980s “bum bag”.

My History with Tae Kwon Do

I was head fitness instructor for Fitness First’s flagship branch and would cycle to work, take several classes a day, then cycle home after a post-work session. Then after dinner I’d cycle the 5-mile round trip to Tae Kwon Do 4 times a week. This was topped up by weekend gym sessions, Kick-boxing lessons, occasional Aikido, Kung-fu and sessions at a different Tae Kwon Do organisation.

Tae Kwon Do was a big part of my life. My wife used to enjoy pointing out that I’d be randomly assuming a side-kick leg chambered position while talking with her while out sometimes, it was just so natural to me! I competed nationally and probably due to the amount of training I put in rather than any natural ability, I would come away with at least one gold medal in every competition. That is until my last competition where I picked up a nasty hamstring injury that put me out for over a month.

That month I spent a lot more time with my girlfriend (now Wife) and she filled a big part of that void. I did try to return to Tae Kwon Do once recovered, but it was tough and in that first lesson, the instructors chose to give the class “a cardio beasting” with several students (including me) going to the toilets with nausea. Not really what I needed to tempt me back to a return and I quit the school.

Fast forward to now

I live about an hour drive from where I grew up and so not many people that know me now, knew me as a teenager. I don’t think anyone would expect me to have a martial arts history or to have even visited a gym! 15 years of having a desk job and being work obsessed has left me very unfit, inflexible and slightly podgy. I’m far from “fat” but certainly have more around the waist than I’d like.

My 17 year old son has finally started showing interest in studying a martial art and as I’ve just started a health kick, we’ve agreed to go to Tae Kwon Do together.

In this new blog series I’ll update you on my progress, the increase in flexibility and eventually I hope to compete nationally again.

Chris Ryu "Chameleon"

Chris has been a developer for over 15 years. Known for his unique experience crosses over many fields.

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