He grew up playing soccer. Then last year, Pedro L. decided to try a new sport – Taekwondo. In just over a year, the 2023 Christel House Indianapolis graduate has been crowned a national champion.
Taekwondo, an Olympic sport since 2000, is a Korean martial art involving punching and kicking, with an emphasis on head-height kicks, spinning jumps, and fast kicking techniques. Pedro decided to try it after watching his younger brother, a Christel House fourth grader, taking Taekwondo classes. Pedro’s teacher was impressed with his skills and encouraged him to try competitions. “I started going to all the tournaments and I liked it,” says Pedro. “I won medals!” His soccer experience helps. “In soccer, you have to kick hard,” he explains, “same as in Taekwondo.” In a tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, Pedro beat competitors from around the country. After five rounds, he won the national competition and qualified for the next level. If he wins gold, he could be invited to join the national team. As good as he is in Taekwondo, Pedro is also an excellent student. With strong grades at Christel House Indianapolis, he earned a full-ride scholarship to Ivy Tech Community College and plans to study architecture. His advice to Christel House students: “Keep working hard and get good grades.” His advice for those interested in Taekwondo: “If you like it,” he says smiling, “just do it!”