You decided that you want to learn TaeKwonDo and improve your self defense skills as well as your flexibility and your overall health.
You imagine how wonderful it would be to put in the time and effort and and eventually get your black belt in TaeKwonDo. Then back in reality, you sit down and spend some time on research only to discover the time and effort it will take to get your black belt.
Its almost enough to make your head spin!
Okay, okay, so which school should you choose? Personally, for a beginner in TaeKwonDo, I wouldn’t recommend a big commercial at all. Instead, I’d suggest signing up at a smaller more family run school.
Are you on the fence? Not sure if TaeKwondo is for you? Here are 9 great reasons to try TaeKwonDo and see how fantastic it can be.
My TaeKwonDo Experience
Let me just say that TaeKwonDo is not only an amazing Martial Art but an amazing sport as well. But when I first joined a school I did not give any thought to the reasons why I wanted to be there. My parents simply asked me if I wanted to start taking TaeKwonDo classes and soon thereafter I was in my first class.
On my second go around, I was a bit more thoughtful on my rationale and reasoning for going back to TaeKwonDo. For me, its a sport and a martial art that teaches you both physical and mental fortitude and helps you grow in ways that when you first start you never could have imagined.
Simply put, TaeKwonDo is incredible and so here I am going to give you my top 9 reasons why it is and why you and/or your family should start today!
1. Respect Is Taught from the First Lesson
One of the founding principles of Tae Kwon Do training is learned to respect those with greater knowledge and experience. And in the Tae Kwon Do schools that I have either attended or watched, they all usually have a very formal environment.
Whereby before you enter and before leaving the practice area you are required to show not only respect to the flag but also to your teacher. Its a place where both the students are expected to maintain discipline to not only the instructors but to their fellow students.
These types of “formalities” show respect for both the space and the lesson that they will learn that day. You can see the affects this has when they inevitably become frustrated in learning a new form or kick and instead of having an attitude the remain respectful to both their instructor and peers.
2. An Amazing Form of Physical Exercise
We are hearing more and more today that people are becoming more and more unfit as our jobs or habits promote a more sedentary lifestyle. In TaeKwonDo, the workouts are high aerobic and will have you use every muscle group in your body.
After a while your stamina, muscle tone, flexibility balance and strength will get better and better. In addition to this as you become more fit and flexible you feel good about yourself and your appearance and this improves self-esteem and gives you a deep feeling of inner peace and joy.
3. Self Defense skills
Ok.. this is an obvious one but one I needed to mention it. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age you need to be careful as you never know, whether on street, in school or even at work what situation you might find yourself in at any given time.
Having the knowledge that you can defend yourself or your family should the need arise is something that, given the right set of circumstances, you cannot put a price tag on.
Bottom line: With TaeKwonDo you learn potentially life-saving self-defense skills at the same time you are getting in shape.
4. Flexibility and Range of Motion
From a training perspective I cannot stress enough the importance of flexibility in the training of Taekwondo and for that reason, among others, I added it to my list of seven. Flexibility and range of motion in martial arts in general allows the student to move more easily and therefore be more coordinated and relaxed.
In addition to this, some of the more subtle “perks” of being this way is that you will naturally have better body posture and symmetry. For example, people with rounded shoulders are often thought of having lack of flexibility in the pectoral muscles and weakness in the upper back muscles .
Many times the difference between mediocrity in TaeKwonDo and excellence is flexibility. That is why is so important in the practice of Martial Arts.
5. Friendship and sportsmanship
Although this particular reason is more geared towards children, adults can often learn much about the sportsmanship aspect. For children, especially those beginning their teenage years getting along with other in a social setting can, at times, be a challenge and being respectful to others is an important part of growing up.
In TaeKwonDo kids are able to interact not only with their instructor and fellow students both young and old some of whom they may not get along with all the time. During TaeKwonDo training those very same students who they may not see eye to eye with will be the same ones who will help them up when they get knocked down or kicked in a vulnerable spot which helps to both encourage and develop mutual respect.
6. Self Control
Self-control, like any other positive attribute, cannot be developed in a day or two. Nor can it be developed solely by training in TaeKwonDo. You need to work at it just as hard as you work on a form or a kick. For me, the definition of Self-control is maintaining your emotions and remaining calm during stressful and difficult situations.
It’ s also a form of discipline and without discipline its difficult to win at anything. In order to have self control over yourself and your actions, you also need to be motivated!
You want to feel the need for control from within! Learning Taekwondo will help you with this and once you have it you will certainly see the change not only in yourself but in the community around you as well.
7. More Self Confidence
This reason should probably be the first one instead of the last as its probably one of the most important aspects that one will learn when taking Tae Kwon Do.
I have seen it countless times, where a kid or an adult for that matter starts taking TaeKwonDo and they have their head down, try to stay out of everybody’s way and absolutely dread being called on or critiqued by the instructor and then some time later (it differs from person to person) you see that same student with their head held high, shoulders are back and just looking very confident in their form and technique.
And this extends beyond the class as they now become comfortable in all situations whether there is potential danger or just knowing that they can go beyond their comfort zone and be able to accomplish anything they set their mind to.
8. Learn to Breathe Correctly
This one may seem like an odd reason to list but its probably one of the most important. In TaeKwonDo one of the first things you learn that you have to do is let out a yell called a “Kihap“. Its a shout that both students and instructors use when performing various techniques.
Breathing is used to increase your power and to intimidate your opponents as proper breathing connects all bodily functions. Through breathing correctly into your lower abdomen you can control your mood and state of mind.
In TaeKwonDo, every single movement that you execute should be combined with an expulsion of air through the nose. It not only teaches one to properly tense the body at the moment of impact, it also teaches one to stay relaxed in between such moments.
It helps to focus both body and mind and learning this type of control will not only improve your TaeKwonDo skills but your life skills as well.
9. TaeKwonDo is Fun
I saved this one for last as its kind of like the dessert after dinner. What can I say? TaeKwonDo is just fun! It is fun and exciting at the same time to learn to do things that most people cannot do.
The kicks and punches and footwork you learn in TaeKwonDo will give you a skill-set most people will never have in life and in the end, isn’t doing something for fun is the best reason of all? I look forward and enjoy every class I go to and I know you will too!
Final Thoughts on Learning TaeKwonDo
So there you have it. My top reasons for learning Tae Kwon Do. Could I have listed more? Sure I could have but my goal her was just to give you a starters course of sorts to the powerful and motivating factors that encouraged my and I hope you and your family to try this fantastic sport and art. So what are you waiting for?
Get rid of the excuses of why you cannot join a TaeKwonDo school and keep in mind all these benefits (and more) and just get up and do it! I’ll see you on the floor.