Interview with Phorshas (@phorshas)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Since I was only 4½ years old when I started, I asked my mom why she enrolled me in Taekwondo. “Our next-door neighbor gave you a gift certificate for a 2-week trial at United Martial Arts Centers (UMAC). When you were little, you were quite shy, and we thought it might help build your confidence. You also had a ton of energy, and we thought it would be a great outlet! You liked the classes, so we decided to sign you up for the program. It wasn’t always smooth sailing because sometimes you didn’t want to go, but once you got to the school, you always enjoyed it.” Here I am, 12 years later… I am a 4th Degree Black Belt and Instructor.
Can you share the most exciting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
I coach my daughter Brielle, and several of her teammates from Branford World Champion Taekwondo recently competed at the USA Taekwondo National Championship in Detroit, Michigan. The school saw multiple athletes earn medals at the meet, including Brielle, who came away with a gold medal by taking first place in board breaking, won a gold medal in Olympic Sparring for taking first place, and won a silver medal with her second-place finish in the form in the Red Belt Youth Female 10-11 category. The competition marked Brielle’s third national appearance on the World Champion Taekwondo stage. My daughter is a time National Champion, and I look forward to coaching her at the Jr Olympics.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not “burn out”?
I am a big proponent of inspiring others through actions, examples, inspirational thoughts, quotes, etc. Taekwondo gives me the perfect opportunity to achieve these aspirations. As the old saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” or my favorite variation of this infamous quote, “It takes a big heart to teach little minds.” We have many inspirational posters, quotes, photos, drawings from the children, a play area, and a reference library.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
As I have continued my taekwondo study, I have drawn closer to my brother‘s children, especially my fifteen-year-old niece Rachel, my taekwondo superior, mentor, and coach. I have gained confidence and fitness from my efforts. Taekwondo has helped me achieve comfort with my body and balance in my life. In noticing my personal growth, I began to professionally desire the same proportion and contentment. By applying taekwondo principles to my life, personally and professionally, I am a valuable asset to the school district. I am a more productive and efficient teacher, committee member, and advocate for students and healthier human beings.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Taekwondo is a sport that goes beyond the physical exercise. I think the purpose of taekwondo is not only to keep ourselves physically fit and healthy; it is to learn the basics of self-defense. Currently, schools alone cannot thoroughly teach respect, self-esteem, and the physical health aspects of our children. This is where taekwondo stands between the gap and enables our children to learn and apply these essential traits in our everyday lives. The pride that I have in the effects of taekwondo is what drives me to do what I do every day.

I would like to encourage you and your children to enjoy the sport of taekwondo as you work hard to learn it. Life’s wisdom can be learned with great joy through the art of taekwondo. Having self esteem and good health is the foundation in achieving happiness in one’s life. Through the dripping of precious sweat, we are able to find health as we realize that anything can be achieved if we apply dedication to ourselves. Rather than starting taekwondo by asking yourself, “Can I do it?” it is better to say to yourself with a positive attitude, “Let’s try!” Starting taekwondo in this kind of mentality will bring you great success in learning the martial art. You will not only benefit in mastering the sport, but the attitude you display will bring you success in all areas of your life.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“I’ve learned that there’s no such country where everybody is bad and no such country where everybody is good. Every country has good people and bad people. If people from all walks of life come to practice martial arts seriously with us, together we can learn to face ourselves strictly. “We can learn how we all have shortcomings, ugliness, stupidity, blindness and hypocrisy. So, through good, hard, honest practice, we try to face these things and overcome them. To recognize and face our shortcomings is to become stronger human beings. If we try this way, this is the first step to making peace on earth. For us, there’s no borderline on nationality, race or religion. Here we all come together to practice martial arts in unity.”
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Follow me on Instagram @phorshas
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
My dream in this sport is to train my daughter be an Olympic gold medalist and represent our country well.