I am Olivia McMaster. I was born in 2001 in Busan, South Korea. I am half American and half Korean. My first language is Korean, but grew up learning both English and Korean. My family moved to Florida in March, 2015 due to many reasons. It was hard to adjust at first, but I really do enjoy my life here. Other than Taekwondo, I love to sing and act. I was the lead singer of a Korean traditional orchestra for a year while in Busan. In Florida, I was a chorus member at Bonita Springs Charter School for 8th grade, and I’m currently in the theater program at Estero High School having been in several productions.
I first started Taekwondo in 2008 when I was 7. My first Taekwondo School that I went to was in Busan, Korea. This school was basically a “belt making factory”. I was promoted to a brown belt in just over a year. My second school in Busan was stricter than my first. However, it still wasn’t challenging. I studied there for about 4 to 5 years and got my 3rd dan black belt in 2013. However, after I got my black belt, I stopped Taekwondo because I was going to middle school. In Korea, majority of the students discontinue their extracurricular activities when they go to middle school, because students need to focus on studying.
When I moved to Florida, the amount of time that I needed to study decreased dramatically. I didn’t know what to do with my left over time. But my teacher gave me a SOTATKD flyer, and I decided that this is what I want to do. At first, classes were really hard because I hadn’t done much exercise for a year, and it felt weird learning everything again. However, I never even considered quitting. I loved it so much that I convinced my brother to do Taekwondo again. There are days that I feel doubt about my abilities, but I use that feeling as a motivation to practice and improve.
I want to thank Master Hyde, Ms. Sheila, and the other black belts for helping me adjust and being a great support in Taekwondo and life.