MIT Sport Taekwondo: Fitness and Family

(heavy rock music) – I think it’s really
important when you’re in school to have things that you
do that aren’t school. – The MIT Sport Taekwondo
Club is really like a family. – I think I just enjoy being
involved in physical exercise and sports, because it’s a
way to keep my mind occupied with that rather than
just focusing on academics or other things going on in my life. (upbeat music) – I’m a junior at MIT
studying chemical engineering. – I’m a third year grad student
in mechanical engineering. – I’m a senior at MIT
studying computer science and electrical engineering. – I’m a junior majoring in chemistry. – I’m a junior here studying
aerospace engineering. – I got involved by taking the
sport Taekwondo P.E. class. At MIT we’re required to
take four P.E. classes before we graduate, so I
thought I would take Taekwondo just to try something new. And I found that I really loved it. I really love the energy,
the support of the club, and how passionate they
were about Taekwondo. – I started Taekwondo
in my Sophomore year, when I took the P.E. class. I thought it would be interesting
to learn a martial art. And the class ended up being so much fun, and the people in the club
were really supportive, so I really felt like I
could join this community. I was a little bit scared by
the prospect of fighting people who had been doing Taekwondo
for six years or more, but in reality it was people
who had kind of started at the same time as me, so
it was really interesting to go to competitions and
kind of measure myself on a more intense scale. – This club has a pretty
long history here, and because of that,
there’s a long sense of culture and family in the club. – And we’re all very close to each other, we’re all very supportive. We really focus on caring
for each other as well. We hold a lot of social
events, so sometimes we’ll go see a movie together, or we’ll go get dinner together. We also just do a lot of
Taekwondo related activities that aren’t practice, so for example, every year we hold an
event called Kick-a-thon. It’s just a fun time where
we raise money for the club and it’s a great way to
just bond with the club. – So the league that we
compete in is called the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference, or ECTC for short, and it’s basically a competition where five times a year all the schools along the East Coast
will gather and compete. And there’s two different
kinds of competitions. There’s sparing which is
where you fight one another to score points. And then there’s something called Poomsae which is basically performance,
almost like gymnastics. – I think that in a lot of ways, being involved in Taekwondo
helps with being more effective in grad school,
because I’m able to take a break from thinking about
whatever sort of research problem I’m involved
with at any given day. – Taekowndo even though it
takes up a lot of my time it allows me to get away
from my work for a while and then when I come back I
feel motivated to work harder and to be more efficient with my time. It gives my life balance and I think it’s been
really healthy for me, especially since I’ve
struggled with mental health for a lot of my life. And I’ve never been so healthy as I have been when I’m in the club. And I’m usually not a
very competitive person, but ever since coming to the club, I feel more driven than ever to succeed. (upbeat music) (sparring noises) – If you’re interested
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6 thoughts on “MIT Sport Taekwondo: Fitness and Family

  1. It's inspiring to watch the girl who grappled with mental health talk about how the club empowered her to be more competitive than ever!

  2. Someone has a crush on the NYU case study (the girl at the end who serves as the bumper outro). Couldn't be more obvious, camera man / producer dude. Did you win her over?

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