High School Student Finds Confidence, Success with Tae Kwon Do

While kids are growing up, finding a way to express themselves is an important part of growth and development. Some find their niches through academics, the arts  or athletics. In the case of  Ethan Robinson, he managed to gain insight into himself through a host of endeavors, including tae kwon do.  

Martial arts has been a family tradition on Robinson’s dad’s side for years—with his father and uncles studying different forms of martial arts. Robinson, a senior at Osseo Senior High, picked up the sport when he was only 6 years old because, like some kids his age, he needed something to help bring him out of his shell. “I was just so inside myself that I didn’t talk to anyone,” he says. “They were worried that I couldn’t talk, but it just turns out that I was so introverted, so they wanted me to find ways to express myself.”

Using tae kwon do helped Robinson express emotions he normally kept to himself.  As time passed, he realized tae kwon do had become more than just a way foster expression and build confidence; it had become a passion for him.  That passion has translated into honorable success. His hard work earned him the opportunity to participate in two world championships, where he ranked in the top 32 in 2014 and the top 8 in 2015. He also had the honor of being the U.S. Team National Captain for the U.S. Men’s side  (silver medal at U.S. Nationals 2017), won the President Cup Championship in 2016 and participated in the Pan Am Championships in 2017.

Finding confidence within himself allowed Robinson to pursue other passions, including art and music. “The reason why I love art is because I’m an introverted person,” he explains. “But I can express myself freely through this stuff.” Robinson has been drawing since he was 10 years old and started because of his love for anime shows. He hopes to create his own program one day.
 
Robinson gushes about his love for music that started at an early age. “I’ve always been a fan of music since I was very little,” he says. “But I started to take it seriously about four months ago.” He writes, performs and produces all of his own music with help from close family members. Robinson categorizes his music as rap or hip hop, but doesn’t want to be confined by that and is open to adding some R&B, soul and rock vibes to his tracks.

Outside of his main passions, Robinson still finds time to indulge in sports like track and cross country, and he also enjoys reading. He wants to pursue college in the future, where he’d like to study art, film and music. As for his tae kwon do, Robinson wants to continue to improve in hopes of making it to the Olympics one day.

Robinson acknowledges that his workload may be a bit much at times, but he manages to find ways to make it all work. “I just started self talking or writing to myself,” Robinson says. “And, after a while, I just found a lot of good. Even in the depths of bad moments, I found good inside of it.”

With all of the success that Robinson has obtained in such a short period of time, he wants to make it clear that he hasn't done it alone. “I honestly have to thank my parents,” he says. “I’m thankful for my parents … I’m thankful for my family that’s still around me.”