This post was written by Instructor Tristan McLean
What are the benefits of Taekwondo?
We all choose Taekwondo for any number reasons: self-defense, fun, fitness, and/or discipline, etc. These are great reasons to start one’s journey into the wonderful martial art of Taekwondo. To understand the benefits of Taekwondo we must first look at the six tenets of Taekwondo: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit, and personal victory.
Courtesy is learned through the respect our masters and instructors teach our students. You see it through the bowing, and respectful greetings of “Hello sir!,” “Yes sir,” “Thank you sir,” and “Good-bye sir”. You will also see it when we teach children to respect their parents.
Integrity is learned through our teaching how to be honest. Honest to parents, guardians, and teachers, etc. We teach our students to tell the truth and be honest and respectful to authority figures.
Perseverance is learned through long term progress of skills learned and patience in learning them and practicing them. This is useful not only in Taekwondo, but also in public school learning and life. It takes perseverance to continue your training throughout the various belts, skills and techniques that one learns. It’s hard, takes patience and each skill builds upon the other. Students will have achieved learning the valuable life skill: Perseverance.
Self-Control is learned through the mental and physical discipline of controlling one’s mind, body and emotions. Through the stances, punches, and memorizing of skills one will learn how to control the interaction of mind and body. One way we do this is through meditation at the beginning and end of class. Through the self-control techniques we teach, focus and patience will be learned. Proper specific techniques in how to push, kick, how your arms, legs and stance are ways through which we teach self-control.
Indomitable spirit is learned in the moment when there is great physical or mental discomfort to finish a task. A student wants to give up, so we teach how to finish the task and succeed. Throughout life we experience pain and discomfort. It is important to learn how to overcome and not submit to life’s challenges. One way that we teach this is through the physical discomfort of doing horse-riding stance. It is very difficult to hold that position for one minute or more, but through indomitable spirit one can overcome the temporary pain in the legs to push through the discomfort. We coach our students through ways to overcome the discomfort to succeed in doing it the requested amount of time. A real life example is studying for an important test and pushing through the struggle to review what needs to be known.
Personal Victory is where each student has a goal to achieve. These goals are for Taekwondo in particular and life in general. We each can benefit from making a goal to strive for, achieve and be successful. Some ways that we teach this is through the belt ranking system. Making a goal for oneself provides the motivation to succeed and achieve Personal Victory.
As you can see Taekwondo provides some very useful benefits that can be useful for everyone.