Noh, Eun Sil, (18), a vegetarian high school girl, won the Taekwondo Junior Championship in the middleweight category, held in Gongju, Korea, June 3, Golden Year 3 (2006). The reason her victory got attention was she maintained a complete vegetarian diet, even though she plays an intense sport.
Noh, who is a junior at Uncheon high school, started Taekwondo during her first year in primary school. She learned Taekwondo after her parents left her under the charge of instructors at a Taekwondo Institute in the neighborhood because they were very busy running a restaurant. Noh liked Taekwondo; she adapted to it fast and soon started to show her remarkable ability. She became a skilled player with the encouragement of the director of the Taekwondo Institute.
However, Noh was seriously injured during training when she was a senior in her junior high school. Her waist and pelvis were twisted during a match, and she underwent medical treatment for over one and a half years, but did not get better. Finally, Noh gave up medical treatments and visited a chiropractic office, which was run by an initiate.
The initiate strongly suggested continuous treatment and a complete vegetarian diet along with her treatment. Because of her young age, Noh could not learn the Quan Yin meditation, but she decided to be a vegetarian after reading the sample booklet. Also, when she had a hard time, she recited Master’s name and redoubled her effort for a comeback.
Of course she met opposition. During camp training, her team players called her a crazy girl. But they didn’t say anything about her keeping a vegetarian diet for over 6 months. Noh ate a partial vegetarian diet until the end of 2005, but she became a complete vegetarian in 2006. Her friends said that she would not live without meat and could not play Taekwondo; but Noh held firm her view.
When she thinks something is right, she takes action and has done so since her childhood. Once, Noh’s mother added meat broth to the soup when Noh felt tired, but Noh realized it was not vegetarian soup when she smelled it. Noh’s brother used to complain that he could not have meat because of his sister; but now he doesn’t mention meat at home any more. Also, Noh’s mother has better skin now after eating vegetarian foods.
Noh asked the kitchen team to cook without meat and eggs when she was in camp training, and brought her own vegetarian lunch box to school instead of eating the school lunch. After seeing Noh’s continuous efforts, Noh’s mother decided that she could not oppose Noh and she put forth more effort to cook vegetarian. Noh lost the 6 kg (13+ pounds) that she gained while she was on break. Then she began to recover her ability.
The nationwide Taekwondo match is held three times a year in Korea and 1,000 players join the competition. The Selection Tournament for National Delegates is held only once a year and 70 to 100 players play on each weight category. Girls usually give up being players once they are injured for careful concentration is greatly needed.
The Final Tournament of Junior Championship was held in Gongju on June 3, this year. Noh went up to final game in middleweight category. She used to sweep all the games in the light and middleweight categories before she was injured. However, after a long break, this game was like the first game for her.
Noh kept Master’s picture close to her chest and prayed before she played the game. She won the championship. That was the result of her concentration. Now she qualified to play in the world game as a national delegate.