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The Significance of Taekwondo

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Photo Cred: Pexels
Photo Cred: CuteWallpaper

The Korean Taekwondo martial arts strongly emphasize kicking techniques, particularly exceptionally high and quick kicks. Various hand strikes, blocks, and open-handed strikes are also displayed. It has become known for its fluid and dynamic motions, which combine to make it a competitive sport and a successful form of self-defense. Around the world, taekwondo is widely practiced and valued for the principles it instills in its practitioners and for its physical conditioning and mental fortitude. Engaging in Taekwondo offers students a multitude of benefits, both physical and mental. This dynamic martial art demands strength, agility, and precision. Students must cultivate balance, coordination, and flexibility to execute intricate movements and strikes effectively. Additionally, Taekwondo fosters discipline and self-control, instilling a sense of respect for both oneself and others. It encourages perseverance, as mastering complex forms and techniques requires consistent practice and dedication. Students develop resilience and confidence as they progress through belts, attaining a physical representation of their accomplishments. Beyond physical prowess, Taekwondo cultivates mental focus, enhancing concentration and decision-making skills. It also instills a sense of responsibility, emphasizing the importance of using this powerful art form for self-defense rather than aggression. Overall, students who engage in Taekwondo gain physical strength, self-defense skills, and cultivate valuable life skills that extend far beyond the confines of the dojo. 

Photo Cred: SHINTKD website

Ethan Lim, a student here at ACP born in California, started Taekwondo at Master Shin’s World Class Taekwondo when he was seven. Currently, he is the team captain for the demonstration team that competed and serves as a teacher for the school. On October 7th, Ethan and his team attended a Taekwondo tournament in Kansas City, Kansas. His team got 1st in the demonstration category of the tournament, and Ethan got 2nd in the form category. I had the chance to interview him in regard to the tournament. Winning in the two categories, demonstration and form, Ethan felt “amazing – we worked so hard on our sets since the start of summer break, and this felt like the fruit of our labor. As the team captain, I was really proud of how much effort everyone put in and their commitment to come to a different state and compete. We also enjoyed meeting masters from Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Florida. I also got to compete against people on the USA national Taekwondo team, which was an honor.”

What brought him to do Taekwondo was when he “first moved to Arizona, my parents made me do one sport and one instrument. After trying many different sports like soccer, football, and tennis, I eventually found Taekwondo, and I’ve loved doing it ever since.” I asked him what motivates him in Taekwondo, and he stated,  “The thing that motivates me the most is the drive to be better. There will always be some technique I don’t know how to do or something I need to work on, so trying to get better at something I know I used to be bad at motivates me to improve. The people I teach also motivate me as their expectations are a lot higher than what I can do, so I always aim to make them say ‘Wow!’ every time we have a demonstration.” When it comes to training for Taekwondo, Ethan trains  “five times a week. My regular classes are on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I teach on Tuesday and Wednesday. I train specifically for the demo team on Saturday.” Taekwondo expects a lot of training to make each moment and technique as perfect as possible. According to Ethan,  the difference between Taekwondo and other martial arts is that “Taekwondo is a martial art that focuses much more on strong kicks and sequences of moves called poomsae. This means Taekwondo is not heavily suited as a combat martial art for fighting, but Taekwondo is much better at teaching the disciplines of martial arts. Because there is less focus on combat, the sport has developed into demonstration teams where high-level techniques and group moves represent skill; demonstration teams are unique to Taekwondo in that way.” 

Photo Cred: Playstruction

Taekwondo can physically and mentally provide an outlet for students like Ethan Lim outside of school. Through strength, discipline, and a tenacious spirit within Taekwondo, Taekwondo creates strong individuals and morally upright leaders. The grit of values taught in Taekwondo is instilled in their learning for a lifetime. We look forward to seeing what Ethan’s future in Taekwondo has for him.

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