Carson and Josie Wigglesworth – Featured Athletes
The featured athlete this month isn’t one, but two athletes – Carson, aged 8, and Josie, aged 11. Carson and Josie are the stepkids of one of our incredible RMTs, Candice. Carson has participated in Taekwondo for almost two years, while Josie has been practicing for the last year and a half.
Initially, Carson’s parents were looking to enroll him in an activity to boost his confidence, self-discipline, and focus. They landed on Taekwondo, which Carson began when he was only 6 and a half years old. Soon after, Josie started showing interest in the martial arts as well, so her parents signed her up too.
Today, Josie and Carson are both currently in their blue belt. Josie is getting ready for her belt testing for a blue belt red stripe. And Carson recently obtained a blue belt from his green belt blue stripe.
And for those that don’t know, Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. Over 2000 years old, it’s considered one of the oldest forms of martial arts. The name refers to Tae as the foot, Kwon as the hand, and Do as the art.
Participants in Taekwondo undergo various practices and testing to be able to move up in belt levels. Belt levels include white belt, orange belt, yellow belt, green belt, blue belt, and more, depending on the category of Taekwondo one is referring to. It takes positivity, determination, discipline, and focus to continue to level up in the sport.
Currently, Carson and Josie are both getting ready for belt testings. Carson says he is most nervous about his poomsae, which is a series of moves that have to be done in order. But at the same time, he is most excited about his board breaking.
As for Josie, she is most nervous about the board breaking, but excited for the testing duration to be over and done – at least for this round!
According to Carson and Josie’s stepmother, Candice, belt testing occurs every 1-4 months. Although right now, both kids participate in belt testing every 4 months. As a beginner, they would’ve been allowed to test every month, assuming they had all the requirements in order. Yet, Carson and Josie are no longer beginners in their chosen sport.
Candice continues to describe the belt testing and what is required to undergo it, “During the time before belt testing, they receive pieces of coloured tape on their belts. Each colour represents something different. Once they have received all of them, they have the go-ahead to attend testing. They require 4 pieces of tape before testing, the colours are 2 orange which means they have broken the board twice with each side (left and right), 1 red which means they can do their poomsae well, but perfect with only a few mistakes, and finally, 1 black tape which means they can do their poomsae perfectly with no mistakes.”
Candice adds, “During belt testing, all students who are testing are brought together in front of their instructors, Grand Master, and parents/family. When their belt group is called, 2 by 2 they go up in front of everyone and demonstrate their skills learned in that belt. That usually consists of a poomse (series of moves), a board break (a wooden board which they must break) and once they’re at a certain level, sparring as well. Both Josie and Carson began sparring this past fall.” Participants are then graded by a master instructor and Grand Master.
And while belt testing may not be their favourite part, Carson and Josie are quick to answer what is their most-liked part about Taekwondo.
Carson enjoys learning new things and getting the chance to make new friends, and Josie’s favourite part is also getting to meet all of her friends. It’s more than just a competition – it’s also a way to socialize and help them develop skills that they can use and continue to grow for the rest of their lives.
Carson boasts that he is most proud of all the belts he has obtained over the course of his time in Taekwondo. He has 6 belts in total. Josie is proud of how far, in general, she’s come in the sport.
When asked who their heroes were, Josie and Carson’s answers varied. Carson cited Ant-Man as his hero because he “can go bigger and smaller and he has a lot of gadgets” – all good things. Josie stated that her friends were her own heroes because they have helped her get to where she is now.
Taekwondo has further challenged both of them in different ways. Carson found his biggest challenge was his first belt testing. He overcame it through tons of practice until he finally got it right. For 8 years old, Carson is determined to persevere, not letting the first hurdle hold him back.
Josie claims that her biggest challenge in Taekwondo has been the board breaking. She says, “You don’t know if you’re going to break it on the first try or not,” which inevitably poses a nerve-wracking situation. But Josie remains ever positive, always hoping for the best.
So, what does the future of Taekwondo hold for Josie and Carson?
Carson wants to eventually become an instructor, helping new students and answering their questions.
Josie is excited about getting her black belt. She’s only 4 belts away from her junior black belt and 10 from her advanced black belt. She attends her belt testing in only a few weeks time.
And like most kids, Carson and Josie get to enjoy the summer off for their vacation. From all of us at Athlete’s Choice, we wish them both the best of luck in their upcoming belt testings, as well as a fun-filled summer!