The Benefits of Taekwon-Do
To those that have never trained in a martial art previously, Taekwon-Do can often be viewed as just kicking and punching, but that is a common misconception. There is so much more to this Martial Art than what you might first expect.
Benefits can vary from person to person, age group to age group. However, there is one thing that every student and parent will agree on and that is amazing benefits that they or their children have experienced whilst training in Taekwon-Do. Not just on their body, but their mind and spirit. Benefits that will last a lifetime and which are transferable into nearly every aspect of their everyday lives; benefits that you too, can experience.
Fitness & Flexibility
A lot of people are finding themselves turned off by going to their local gym. The reasons for this are that with most modern budget gyms, you pay your monthly membership fee, get shown round the equipment and then get left to your own devises. It’s down to you to write your own programme, if you know how to and it is down to you, to motivate yourself. These are two of the most common reasons why people start and then stop going to their gym. That is also two of the main reasons why more and more people are turning to Taekwon-Do classes. The moment you step into the training hall (Dojang), you will have a fully trained instructor that will always be on hand to discuss your training needs and requirements. Nurture you, motivate you, inspire and support you in your training and journey in Taekwon-Do. Fitness & Flexibility is a crucial element in all Taekwon-Do classes. Warm ups, stretches and the movements of Taekwon-Do itself can often challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. With each training session you will be using all major muscle groups within your body, giving you a full body workout each and every class you attend. Studies have shown that a student that weighs 72kg will burn on average 730 calories per hour doing Taekwon-Do, that’s over double the number of calories you will burn by going to the gym.
As your training in Taekwon-Do progresses you will start to see your confidence grow. Each step you take as you work your way through the belt ranking system, will give you measurable goals to follow that are realistic to attain. The sense of accomplishment and empowerment you will feel by mastering a new technique or graduating to a new belt will follow you into other aspects of your life. Allowing you to grow, giving you the confidence to set life goals and giving you the self-belief to achieve more. Those that study Taekwon-Do are also often less likely to become the target of bullies. In the vast majority of cases, the target of a bully sends out body language signals that suggests they are easy to intimidate or weak. The simple act of being more confident can reduce the level of attention the target gets from bullies. Learning Taekwon-Do infuses the student with that sense of confidence because they realize it is possible for them to defend themselves, if the need arises.
Stress relief is an extremely powerful benefit of Taekwon-Do. Long and short term stress can have a number of detrimental effects including: Heart disease or attack, stroke, lowered immunity, weight gain, mood swings, short temper, trouble sleeping, anxiety, lack of focus, poor memory, feeling lethargic, depression, the list goes on... Taekwon-Do is now known to have several stress reducing effects including increased blood flow to the brain, aids in the production of serotonin, releases endorphins to elevate mood, removal of chemical waste that your body produces that clutter up your body and mind. These same natural wastes can also be linked to body fat storage/loss. When practicing Taekwon-Do, you generally develop a greater focus and calmness of mind while training. These increases in discipline are generally correlated with decreases in stress.
Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s emotions, impulses, desires and behaviours. It is about being able to resist the desire for instant gratification, but instead teaches us the long-term satisfaction and fulfilment from achieving higher and more meaningful goals. You accomplish more and are therefore more productive. You are able to maintain a higher tolerance for frustration, challenges and negative emotions, allowing you to obtain better health, better finances and good work ethics. You are able to reach your most difficult goals more efficiently. The more disciplined you become, the easier life gets. It is no secret that people who make a commitment achieve more, simply because they do not quit. This is what both you and your children will learn through the practice of Taekwon-Do.
Taekwon-Do is all about respect. Punching, kicking and blocking are all secondary to the respect that is shown from the moment you walk into a dojang. You will learn to bow to your instructors. You will also learn to treat other students as you wish to be treated. In today’s culture respect for authority, adults or those in senior positions are not always shown. That is why the importance of respect is covered regularly and students will be instructed to practice respect for self, parents, teachers and peers at every opportunity.
Balance & Coordination
Balance & Coordination is not really something that you would say was a common reason why people chose to start training in Taekwon-Do, but you would actually be surprised. More and more people are turning to Taekwon-Do for this exact reason. The majority of people favour one side of their body when it comes to writing, throwing a ball or turning around for example. In Taekwon-Do students are taught to use both sides of their body in exactly the same way which improves balance and coordination. When performing kicks, you need to have good balance. Repetitive practice of kicks and punches at a target creates muscle memory and helps focus your hand and eye coordination. Students who struggle with coordination skills often see massive benefits in this area often within weeks of starting training.
Taekwon-Do teaches us to recognise and avoid danger whenever possible. It combines both physical and mental self-defence. What to do in the case of an attack, as well as the skills necessary to be proactive in recognising and avoiding these situations in the first place. You will also learn to apply the laws and strategies learnt in class to our relationships, our finances, health and so on… This is the true meaning of mental self-defence.
Taekwon-Do teaches many of life’s lessons that are lacking today and which are not being helped by today’s education system. Children are taught that they can have everything, that everyone is a winner. Children are being awarded with participation medals for coming in last, which as we know devalues the medal and reward for those that have worked hard. Children are being wrapped in a bubble, which does not expose them to the reality of the real world. They are then thrust into the real world where they find out that they cannot have everything, they have to work hard to succeed and that everyone is not a winner. Many local authorities have also been reducing physical education within schools, which is aiding in childhood obesity. With all these factors it is clear to see why depression and suicide rates are on the rise within teenagers and young adults. This is where the role of Taekwon-Do steps in. You will learn how to enjoy the success of winning, but also how to lose. You will learn how to channel the disappointment of losing, to understand and evaluate what went wrong, learn from your mistakes and turn negative energy to positive energy, to be able to focus and succeed when the opportunity presents itself again. You will learn to make the correct decisions with your health and learn that a health mind leads to a healthy body; giving you the ability to make positive choices in other aspects of your life.