Alex Wright; Student, Tai Kwan Do Master

Student profile of one of CMU's finest.

Being a Teenage Ninja Turtle may have been the initial reason junior Alex Wright wanted to join Tai Kwon Do, but being a part of marital arts taught him skills that will last him a lifetime.

“It’s a lot of self control and you have to know what you are doing,” 20-year-old Wright said. “I wanted to do Tai Kwon Do since I was seven. It was always something in the back of my mind.”

Becoming a black belt in Tai Kwon Do takes precision, time, and patience. Wright possesses all three of these qualities after four years of pure dedication.

One of the biggest reasons Wright enjoyed Tai Kwon Do was for the physical aspect, but he also found his self-esteem had grown through character building.

“There are five values in Tai Kwon Do: courtesy, integrity, self-control, indomitable spirit and perseverance,” he said.

Aside from being a version of Chuck Norris, Wright stays happily busy; being a part of his fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi, he studies business and is a part of the Triathlon club. He does look forward to being able to participate in Tai Kwon Do in the future.

“I would probably do Tai Kwon Do not to go up in ranking, but just to do something to keep up because it is something that I enjoy. I don’t necessarily care about the rankings and promotions at this point,” Wright said.

As for using real life Tai Kwon Do skills, Wright looks down and sadly replies “no.”

Shattering boards with a simple kick is a no brainer though; it also happens to be one of Wright’s favorite things to do.

“We did board breaking every two months,” Wright said, “It felt awesome.”

“One of my favorite is called a speed break. Someone dangles the board, you can either punch it or kick it, and the theory behind it is that you hit it so hard and so fast that the energy gets dispersed from your hand or foot into the board. It has nowhere to go and it just explodes.”

The meaning of Tai Kwon Do is quite interesting when put all together.

“Tai means to destroy the foot, Kwon is to punch with your hand and Do means way of life,” Wright said. “So literally, it means way of the hand and foot in Korean.”

 Wright’s once dream to be a black belt in Tai Kwon Do turned into a four-year accomplishment. With determination and dedication anyone can be that martial arts fighting Teenage Ninja Turtle.

GCM photos by Aliscia Leo