Justine Hatcher

Justine Hatcher’s Testimonial

If someone told me in 2009 that I would be much leaner, fitter and confident in 3 years time I would have laughed. Then I attended a sports fair at my college and Sabunim Bicknell was there with his smile and trusty shield. I never thought of myself as an angry person, so I never considered joining any type of martial art. However after joining Choi made me realise that it wasn’t about being an angry person needing release, it was so much more.

After some consideration, I joined Choi Kwang Do with a friend. When I went to first grading, I was so nervous. But with the support of Sabumnim Prescott she helped me get through. The sense of elation when I graded felt wonderful.

When my friend slowly faded out of Choi, I did too, until I remembered how much Choi had to offer and gradually weaned myself back in.

Choi Kwang Do has not only been the pinnacle of health benefits for me, but also the pique that my confidence needed. For a long time, I have felt like I have always faded into the background and into the humdrum of the crowd of misfits. At times I still do, until I remember this:

One year ago I gathered enough confidence to ask Mr Bicknell if I could become an assistant instructor – he seemed reluctant at first, but I was willing to prove my worth and give it my all. When asked “why do you want to become an assistant instructor?” I answered “not only do I want to help myself, I want to help others achieve their very best”. The responsibility in Choi I now hold is one of the best feelings in the world. I have never looked back.

Being a student with a part time job life can be stressful a majority of the time, but when I arrive at my Choi class a huge weight is lifted. I don’t think that it’s just the endorphins from the exercise either!! It’s the welcoming spirit and the happy faces of men, women and children who look to me for guidance to achieve their full potential. Being a part of that atmosphere and feeling like I can make a difference never fails to give me a big cheesy grin!

After a few months, I finally realised my potential not only in Choi but in life. I have never been happier. Not only do I feel as if I am part of a wide family, but have also made some wonderful friends. When asked what I do for a hobby, I answer Choi Kwang Do with a smile and pride – after I explain that Choi is not only a hobby for me, but it’s a huge part of my life. Well it is the best and only martial art for life after all! 😉