While the predictable answer could have been ‘I want to be a millionaire’ or ‘I want to be rich and famous’, Kirsty Davis remembers exactly what she wrote during a school assignment back in elementary school.
“I remember I always put down that I wanted to get my masters (in taekwondo), that was a really big deal to me,” Davis recalled.
The 19-year-old, who first took up taekwondo a decade ago, is now a fourth Dan (level) black belt after successfully completing her test two weeks ago.
The test consisted of making a hapkido, or self-defence presentation; a board-breaking demonstration, where she broke six boards — representing multiple attackers — in rapid succession with a series or punches, kicks and elbows; and then a power break, where she broke four concrete blocks with her foot.
As a fourth Dan, Davis is now considered a master instructor at Pacific Coast Taewkondo, where she has trained for the last nine years. Davis has been an instructor, teaching the kids and juniors’ programs since she earned her first level of black belt.
And Davis is in pretty rare company.
Senior Master Daniel Witt, a seventh Dan black belt, has run Pacific Coast Taekwondo for 23 years, and he estimates there have been 4,000 students walk through the studio. Of those, about 100 have made black belt and nine have progressed to the masters level (fourth Dan or higher).
Davis is the first female and Witt figures there are no more than two dozen women across Canada who have reached this rank.
Her introduction to the sport came by chance.
The first factor, as specified by her mother, was finding an indoor activity, as the newly-emigrated family from South Africa was not yet accustomed to the British Columbia weather.
After trying dance — she described her performance as “horrible” for her lack of rhythm — Davis tried taekwondo and instantly found what she was looking for.
“I think the biggest thing is the friendships and the connections you have here,” she explained. “Some people might not think of it as a team sport, but it really is. You have to work together and support each other.”
She loves the feeling or practising and pounding the bag.
“I am not necessarily the most flexible person and I can’t fly through the air and break 20 boards,” she said.
“I am just stubborn. I work really hard, I want it, so I am always there.”
Davis was originally at a different school, but after they closed, she came to Pacific Coast Taekwondo.
She enjoys the atmosphere the school provides.
“My instructor here gives us so much opportunity to grow,” she said.
Davis teaches classes a couple of times of week, instructing kids and juniors.
“I love helping others, teaching, managing the classes, the whole group, it is a challenge,” she said.
“In order to be a good instructor, the most important thing is to enjoy helping people,” Witt said. “And she has that down pat.”
Witt also said that whenever he is in a bind, he knows he can call on Davis, who never hesitates to help out.
Kirsty Davis has attended Pacific Coast Taekwondo for the past nine years.
Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Pacific Coast Taekwondo is holding a fundraiser/open house on Saturday (June 18) from noon to 3 p.m.
All proceeds from the car wash and hot dog sale will go towards helping one of the school’s instructors whose family home was robbed last month.
The school is at 803-20381 62 Ave.