I’m celebrating my 68th birthday this week. As I look back, I find myself thinking about the different interests that influenced how I live my life today. Practicing Taekwondo helped me both physically and spiritually. I earned a Black Belt when I was 50 years old. Anyone would feel proud to accomplish a goal like that. It’s not easy, especially when you’re a grown-up (if you know what I mean). I have to say that martial arts training changed my life.
One of the first things to happen is you’ll become physically stronger by learning Taekwondo.
It takes a few years to get to the Black Belt level in Taekwondo. The workout itself put me in a better place physically. Flexibility, balance, and strength sometimes take a hit when you’re on the other side of fifty. However, all that stretching, spinning and kicking contributed to a more youthful appearance and carriage.
Self-defense Training for Everyone
Another plus is the fact that self-defense is such a big part of martial arts training. The continuous repetition of the actions cements them into your muscle-memory. This means, in case you need to defend yourself, your response will be automatic. You won’t have to think about it.
Use it or lose it. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Then, there’s the matter of learning new forms. Martial arts training requires you to learn forms (or sometimes called katas). Forms are choreographed routines that get increasingly more difficult as you progress up the belt rank. They let you practice offense and defense actions. Basically, it’s a simulated fight. Memorizing a series of very specific moves requires you to engage your mind and body.
Not only that, but we all had to know the Korean words that describe the forms and elements. Here, we count 1-10 and say, “Gamsahabnida” which means “thank you“.
If you’ve set the goal of attaining a Black Belt, you have no choice but participate at a winning level. Your body and mind will celebrate your achievement with sharpness and precision.
Friendship and teamwork are a big part of martial arts training.
Even though Taekwondo and the other martial arts are solitary endeavors, working together and respecting each other as a team is stressed.
Here are the 5 Tenets of Taekwondo:
In Taekwondo, when we’re addressing a senior or higher rank, we use “Yes, Sir“, “Yes, Ma’am” to show politeness, good manners, civility, and respect. In other words, courtesy.
Having integrity means living your life with honor. You do good because it’s the right thing to do, And, you don’t miss a chance to behave with integrity – even if nobody sees you.
Someone who perseveres uses diligence, hard work, and determination to accomplish his or her goals. Regardless of the degree of difficulty, perseverance means you keep moving forward. In order to be successful in your martial arts training, a will to conquer will help you lead the way.
People who make self-control a part of their lives act with discipline and strength of character. They don’t allow their emotions to dictate their actions. The truth is, using self-control is a commitment you make to your spirit.
Words like steadfast, unyielding, invincible, and unbeatable are used to define indomitable. Heart, character, and soul describe spirit. What you have here is a will that won’t be dominated and a mind that can’t be changed. Feels kinda good, doesn’t it?
A final thought…
Just in case you’re interested in ballroom dancing, please spend a moment with this Dance Safari post, “What Sport Makes You a Better Dancer?“. Care to guess?
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