Weiss sisters take home taekwondo medals
Published 5:20 pm, Thursday, August 18, 2011
Someone may want to think twice before messing with Emily and Julia Weiss.
The Weston siblings recently won three medals at the Taekwondo Junior Olympics and National Championships in San Jose, Calif.
The sisters, who represented World Champion Taekwondo in Westport, are trained by Master Donghyun Jang and Master Hyeonseok Ko.
Emily Weiss, 18, a third-dan black belt, won a gold medal in board-breaking at the national championships and a bronze medal in forms at the Junior Olympics in the 18-32-year-old age group.
"I trained so much with our masters all year and we especially trained a lot during the last month," Emily said. "They especially pushed us with forms and we improved a lot."
To prepare for the competition, the sisters, who are home-schooled, spent long hours in the studio almost every day for a month.
Julia Weiss, 15, a second-dan black belt, won a silver medal in board breaking in the Junior Olympics in the 14-17-year-old age group.
"It feels great because all of my hard work paid off," Julia said. "We trained for so long and so hard.
"My masters helped me with training and they spent a lot of time with us and tried to make us good."
Taekwondo has played a major role in their lives for a long time. Emily was introduced to the sport at age 5 when she lived in Louisiana.
"My mom said I had a lot of energy and she wanted to sign me up to help me channel it," Emily recalled.
Once Emily began performing in taekwondo, her self-awareness increased tenfold and she became adept in handling all types of situations.
"There are so many aspects of taekwondo," Emily said. "You learn about life in how to control yourself. It helped me learn discipline and respect. You have to respect yourself and family. It teaches us not to give up, which is important."
Julia also began taekwondo at 5 and she chose the sport because she liked doing the same things Emily did.
"My sister started when she was 5, so I wanted to start it because it looked like fun," Julia said.
"I saw Emily do it and I wanted to do it. When I tried it, I loved it."
Similar to her older sister, Julia became deft in many areas because of taekwondo.
"It taught me to respect everyone, it taught me self-respect and to never give up," Julia said. "It taught me a lot of stuff I would not have learned outside of taekwondo."
One thing they both learned is how to protect themselves against other people. So far, neither have been put in a self-defense situation.
"Hopefully, I will never be but if I am, taekwondo will help a lot," Julia said.
Emily said, "I was never in a situation but if I get into one, I'm confident I'll be able to defend myself if I need to."
The sisters love working with each other and they help one another a lot.
"It's good because I have someone to practice with and it's important to both of us," Emily said. "It's important we're on the same page and we can talk about it."
Julia said, "I actually love competing with Emily because she understands what goes on and she can help me. We can talk about the competition and I learn a lot from Emily. Whenever I need help, she helps me and is a role model to me."
Although they miss out in being at school, the sisters are okay with it and feel it helps them master other types of learning.
"Being home-schooled worked out well for me because I was able to focus on taekwondo and do art work, which I really love," Emily said.
With Emily almost graduated from high school, she will be going to college either in January or September 2012. Things may change as a result, but only a little.
"It will be sad but we'll still do taekwondo together," Julia said.