In *Renee’s own words: My first introduction to taekwondo was around 2006 as a mother to a spirited 3 year old, I wanted to get back into shape and found a friendly environment to learn and train in at IronTiger Castle Hill.
The competitive sports that I had played before having a baby (touch football, tennis and athletics) just didn’t fit into my life, but Taekwondo started at 7pm which I could make most weeks. After training for two years and getting to blue belt, baby #2 and #3 came along.
I was wholly consumed by my babies, full time work and an unwell husband, so I took a 9 year break from TKD.
In December last year, I finally separated from my husband. We had been together for 22 years and married for 16 years.
I was careful around my husband for the last 6 years and fearful of him for the last 3 years. The first few times he attempted to hurt me, I had no idea of what was happening, I had no clue about how to protect myself.
I was lucky he decided to stop. I didn’t like the idea of depending on my luck for much longer as things began to escalate and the attacks became physical more often.
I found my way back to TKD in 2017 and found Master Di had added self defence, boxing and offered commando Krav Maga courses to the already tough sparring sessions I attended.
She answered my “innocent” questions like “what if someone is strangling you and has you pinned against a wall?”.
I learned to fall properly, roll properly and at all times keep myself safe. The attacks from my husband continued, but I didn’t allow myself to be pinned, I kicked him away (side kick, cut kick, hook kick).
I didn’t fall again, I now knew how to put myself in the best position to be safe. I didn’t get hurt again.
The fear didn’t leave me, but at least now I knew what to do.
(*Renee entered 2019 as a newly single mum, however a Pink Belt Scholarship has enabled her to continue with her Taekwondo training)
I’ve known Master Di for over 12 years now, so of course I expected to be trained well. What I didn’t expect was the family I would gain from TKD. What I didn’t expect was the confidence I would gain from being around such a great group of people.
The families I have met through training and as I now follow my children to tournaments is so incredibly supportive and caring, it’s an amazing community to be a part of.
For my now 16 year old son, who also bore the brunt of my husband’s violence, TKD has given him physical ability, flexibility, confidence, mental strength and poise. I know there are many women experiencing what I have lived through and aren’t fortunate enough to learn what I did in time to keep themselves safe.
I can only be thankful that I knew where to go. I will forever be grateful for learning the things I learned. I will never forget the service that TKD has done for me and for my three children.
(* name changed to protect identity)
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