Whether you dream of being the next Bruce Lee or want to take out your archnemesis, most of us have come across martial arts in one form or another. Here I spoke to Isabelle Lenton, an up-and-coming Taekwondo master about her training and expertise.

Starting age 7, Isabelle joined her local team, Ali's Dojang in Whetstone, with aspirations of making new friends and acquiring a different skill. 

‘I thought it would be fun to beat people up’, Isabelle recalled fondly.

Martial arts, although portrayed popularly in media originating from China, initially started in south India with the practice of Kalaripayattu, translating directly into ‘art of the battlefield’. However, Taekwondo was founded in South Korea, and its practice today across the world is still consistent with its origins, using Korean for specific names and moves.

Taekwondo, as with most martial arts, is accompanied by a strong philosophy of respect, discipline, and perseverance. This strong sense of morality is seen throughout the practice, down to the uniform, or Dobok. The Dobok is white to symbolise the important message that everyone is equal in their practice. 

The sport for Isabelle provides a sense of community, providing a family in her team but also bringing people across the country together in their shared passion and appreciation for the art in the National UK Championship that occurred a few weeks ago at the Copper Box Arena in East London. There Isabelle got to meet a few Taekwondo GB legends and watch her teammates display their prowess and strength.

Furthermore, Isabelle partakes in regular competitions between Dojangs, which she referred to excitedly as ‘fighting days’.  And in true Taekwondo’s mentality of modesty, she politely flexed, ‘I got a gold medal’ in a fight last week.

Thus, if you’re looking to relinquish some pent-up anger over one too many parking tickets or just want to strike fear into your deskmate, Josh, Taekwondo just could be the martial art for you.