I was almost raped and after much research I would like to pursue self-defense classes. However, I have a sports injury which is not too bad but can act up sometimes. I am a little overweight and would like to get back into shape so I can begin taking classes. Also my goal is to eventually become a black belt. Approximately how long do you think it would take for me to achieve that goal given I would be taking classes once or twice a week?
First, I’m sorry about your attack. The odds against it happening again are very slim but it is always good to be prepared.
As for self-defense, Taekwondo will help but, in itself, it is not necessarily the best for self-defense situations. Taekwondo is primarily concerned with sparring, which is controlled mutual combat; there are rules and referees and the goal is to win the match without harming the opponent. Sparring is similar to fighting, since fighting is also is mutual combat, but fighting may or may not have rules and referees, and the goal of fighting is to cause harm to the opponent until he or she quits fighting or is unable to continue fighting. In both sparring and fighting, you have a choice: you can stay or leave. However, in a self-defense situation you cannot leave, there are no rules or referees, and the goal is defend yourself against serious injury or death and to make the attacker stop attacking. In a self-defense situation, you do not face an opponent and then move around and spar or fight. In a self-defense situation, you must react unexpectedly, instantly, and with powerful and effective techniques. Some martial art styles concentrate on self-defense. Taekwondo has some self-defense techniques but that is not its main concern, however, some Taekwondo instructors teach specific self-defense techniques.
As for weight loss, any popular diet will give you fairly quick results, but for the long term, you already know the answer. It is simple, eat healthy foods in the proper proportions, and perform some type of moderate exercise daily.
Doing any type of physical exercise daily will help get you fit. There are hundreds of exercise plans and methods. Finding one that you will do everyday is the problem. It takes experimentation to find the one that is right for you. I always recommend the YMCA/YWCA. It is inexpensive and has all the equipment and programs in one location. When you have knee problems, running in place, jumping, and kicking, while standing in waist deep water in the pool is always good. You get all the benefits of the exercise while the water offers resistance and cushions the joints.
How long it takes to get black belt depends on the organization and school/instructor. Some require as little as two years, while others require many more. Some black belt tests are done in groups and only last 30 minutes or less, while other tests are performed individually and may take hours or days to complete.
The more difficult a black belt is to achieve, the more it will mean to you when you earn it, and for the rest of your life
Start small and gradually do more as your confidence and fitness improve. If you try too much at the start, you will get discouraged and quit. For most people, weight control, fitness, and good health are a lifetime struggle; it is never easy and it never ends.