If you see her walking down the street, you’ll never guess that our June Black Belt of the Month, Ena Ysabella Arroyo, is tough, fearless and devastating as a kyorugi competitor (and to a taekwondo layperson… that means “sparring“). And as masterful as she is with her hands and feet when competing, you’ll find out that her fingers can also gracefully create symphonies!

1. How old are you now and at what age did you start taekwondo?    I started taekwondo when I was 5 years old and I am now 15.

2. Who is your TKD role model and why?  My TKD role models are my teammates in the Fight Team because they inspire me to work harder to achieve my goals.”


3. Outside of taekwondo, who are your heroes and why do you admire them?  Outside of taekwondo, my heroes are my parents. I admire them for how much they care for me and how hard they work to pay for all of my activities.

4. What is your favorite TKD move or form, and what’s great about it? —  My favorite kick is the jumping turning 45 because it is fast and powerful.

5. Tell us about a peak moment in taekwondo, one that you are especially proud of and will never forget.  Moments that I am especially proud of were the times I received my 1st and 2nd Dan black belts. I will never forget the hard work I put in preparing for the tests.”

6. What advice would you give a white belt student who wants to be a black belt someday?   “The advice I would give to a white belt who wants to be a black belt someday is to never give up and practice their techniques a lot.”

7. Other than being good in taekwondo, do you have other accomplishments you want to share with us?   “An achievement I am proud of is running and finishing the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon when I was 13 years old.”

8. Which school subjects do you like best and why those particular subjects?   “My favorite school subject is math because it’s practical and you can use it in everyday life.”9. After you’ve done all your homework and chores, what hobbies do you spend your time on?    “I usually spend my time listening to music, drawing, or playing the piano.”10. If you were a fictional character who or what would you be and why that character?  —  If I was a fictional character I would be Bugs Bunny because of how carefree he is.”

11. Please finish this sentence: Most people don’t know…“That I am friendly to talk to and I joke around a lot, even though I may seem quiet at first.”12. If your friends and family were to use 5 adjectives to describe you, what would they say?   “They would probably say: Kind, Hard Working, Determined, Smart, Respectful.”13. Being a Black Belt, you already have virtues others admire, but would there be some other virtue that you would like to acquire, and why?    “A virtue I would like to acquire would be gratitude because I want to be more thankful for all the opportunities I am given.”

14. If you were told that you can only eat one kind of food for the whole week, what would you choose?  —  “I would choose Chinese cuisine because my favorite food is Dim Sum and Hot Pot.”

15. Most of your contemporaries listen to a particular artist or music. Do you have your own favorites and why do you like them? — “I enjoy listening to alternative R&B artists like Childish Gambino.”

16. You must have a favorite movie too… tell us about it. — “My favorite movie is Kingsman: The Secret Service. I think the spy concept and all of the action in it is cool.”

17. Have you already thought about what you would want to be when you grow up? Our readers would also want to know why. — “When I grow up I want to be a type of engineer because I like math and science the most.”18. What words of wisdom can you share with other kids your age? — Try new things because later in life you may look back at your childhood and regret that you didn’t pursue those interests.”

Those are truly words of wisdom that you shared, Ena!

Lastly, tell us about your most important wish at this moment. Maybe someone who’s reading this can make your wish come true… “My most important wish at this moment is to train hard enough to prepare, to succeed at the 2018 USAT Nationals.”And we know just the right person who can help Ena make that wish come true … as it happens, Master Vargas will be holding a 3-week Training Camp for those preparing for the Nationals.

Needless to say, our Black Belt of the Month is truly one ‘Determined, Dedicated and Disciplined’ young person who knows what she wants to achieve in life. And following her own advice, we know that she will keep on pursuing new interests so as not to look back and regret not having tried them.

We wish Ena all the best at the 2018 USAT Nationals, and all the best beyond that too! We wonder if that SOFIA picture is an indication of what kind of engineer Ena will be 8 or so years from now…Time will tell.

Check us out again next month when we feature another amazing Black Belt. Until then, swing by our dojang and watch Ena and the rest of the Quest Fight Team train for the Nationals! We’d love to see you here.

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