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Be Different!

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“The Taekwondo Academy Is My Danger Room” – Jerome’s Story


Remember why you liked comics in the first place?

Our Comics Empower Project continues!

This time, Jerome tells his story:

The Radioactive Spider-Bite:

Growing up taking martial arts, I always found some way to relate to comics. Sure, the fighting and powers were cool when I was in grade school, but as I grew older I had a greater fascination with the origin stories.

I loved reading how normal people discovered their strength. Their physical strength in battle as well as their mental strength when they faced a seemingly impossible situation. Every hero had a reason why they were special and they all fought with a purpose.

Danger Room to the Front Lines:

When I was competing I found that it was my way of becoming a superhero. I was scared and nervous a lot of the time like a “gifted youngster”, but I had to pull it together because my team counted on me and/or I didn’t want to get kicked in the face.

Seeing people enjoy watching my fights was pretty cool too.

My school friends didn’t understand my schedule, my double life. As much as it separated me from the other kids and no matter how much I wanted to be “normal” sometimes, I knew that taekwondo was my calling and that I wouldn’t be the best version of me unless I trained my butt off like the X-Men or the Ninja Turtles. Heroes have to struggle, right?

The Splinter Life:

Now as a coach and instructor, I frequently reference the life of comic book heroes to my students when they have to deal with struggles. It worked so well that I decided on developing a graphic novel series that shows proper training methods as well as addressing issues that comes with being a martial artist (teamwork, dedication, bullying etc). My life, my path has been inspired and developed through the union of sequential arts and martial arts. I trust that I’m not the only one.

Thank you for reading!

Jerome Cabanatan
Web: (comic) or (taekwondo)
Twitter: @jroamcab

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Category: Comics Empower