A British Taekwondo member story.

It’s brilliant hearing stories from our members and the reasons why they do Taekwondo. In this feature we find out more about Eden Byrne of Cheol Taekwondo Academy in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Name: Eden Byrne

Club Name: Cheol Taekwondo Academy

Instructor: Damian Duffy

Dan/Kup Grade: 1st Dan

Cheol Taekwondo Academy
Eden Byrne 1

When did you first try Taekwondo?

My friends’ dad signed us up as he knew one of the instructors through work. He took us down to the Saturday morning kids class and we arrived slightly late. I heard loads of people kiaping and was super scared to go in the door. I’m really glad I did though as I was made to feel so welcome. I’ve been doing Taekwondo for ten years this year!

What did you enjoy most about the first few sessions?

The welcoming atmosphere immediately from the first day. It was also nice that in every class there was something new to learn and try. I also really loved watching the higher grades doing their patterns and kicks and hoped that one day that would be me.

How often do you train?

I have a few health conditions so not as much as I used to, but I come to train when I can.

What makes you keep training?

I just really love the whole atmosphere.

I’ve made friends for life, and I also love now being able to take on a more active role within the club as an assistant coach. It’s always great to see the new generation coming through the club and hopefully I can be a role model for them.

Eden Byrne - practicing for competition

Have you competed in any events?

Yes, I practice a combination of the martial art, Poomsae and Kyorugi, but when I compete it’s mostly in poomsae events.

I’ve competed in around 20 competitions over the last ten years. Some of my favourites include the Scottish National Poomsae Championships and I might be biased in saying this, but the Northern Ireland International Poomsae Championships is always excellent as well.

I also really enjoyed going to my first international competition in Lisbon, Portugal a few years ago and learnt a lot from the experience.

Medals have been won over the years, but honestly it’s the memories and the experiences that I remember the most.

If someone is reading this and hasn’t stepped onto a Taekwondo mat what would you say to help them to give it a go?

I’d say that there is something for everyone in Taekwondo. Whether you want to compete professionally or just train at the club recreationally, or whether or not you want to specialise in Kyorugi or Poomsae or both, there’s something for everyone.

Taekwondo is really inclusive and even if you feel different you will feel welcome in the Taekwondo community. I was such a quiet person who lacked a lot of confidence when I started, but it has really helped me with my confidence. The values I’ve learned through Taekwondo have really helped shape me as a person now into my adult life.

What is the best thing about Taekwondo?

That is probably one of the hardest questions I’ve had to answer!

I think the relationships you make are such a big part of the experience. Everyone’s like a big family and are so encouraging and supportive of each other both inside and outside the club.

Also the fact there’s always something new to learn. There is always the opportunity to progress and improve, and that is really motivating and helps to keep people engaged!

There’s something for everyone! Taekwondo also helps build and develop skills and values for life such as perseverance, time management and respect.

What are your hopes for the future in your Taekwondo journey?

I recently completed my assistant coach qualification so am hoping to build on this in the next few years and gain experience to take a more active coaching role within the club. I’m also now a Poomsae judge and excited to take this role further and gain more judging experience.

We wish Eden and everyone at Cheol Taekwondo Academy the very best, and thank Eden for sharing her Taekwondo story with us.

Photos: submitted.

You can find out more about Cheol Taekwondo Academy on the club’s website, Facebook Page and Twitter.

Cheol Taekwondo Academy

If you would like to share your Taekwondo story please contact Richard Gottfried, Marketing, Digital & Media Manager via marketing@britishtaekwondo.org.