In TaeKwon-Do training it is not just kicks and self-defence. Discipline, stress release and personal improvement are just as important as physical prowess in the Korean self-defence art of TaeKwon-Do.
The Philosophical Goals of TaeKwon-Do
People are more familiar with the physical and athletic aspects of TaeKwon-Do than with its philosophical dimension. The patterns, the sparring, the self-defence and the competitions are activities that any observer can readily see, while the philosophical aspect is often less known or obvious. However, the way TaeKwon-Do is taught allows the student to learn the philosophy that is behind this art. That is why it is important to continue to promote the philosophical aspect of TaeKwon-Do, because this philosophy represents, in a way, the internal force of its students and the underlying principles of TaeKwon-Do.
It seems particularly useful, at a time when the public is more and more aware of TaeKwon-Do, to underline the major aspects out of which this martial art grew.
The ultimate goal of TaeKwon-Do is to promote the building of a better society. To meet this important objective, it is necessary for TaeKwon-DO to develop citizens who, through high moral values, contribute to the building of this type of society.
The practice of TaeKwon-Do with a qualified Master or Instructor promotes the development of these criteria illustrated in the anecdote.
Indeed, the exercises allow one to become healthier by improving the basic element of physical fitness including cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, proper nutrition and weight control. It also helps to develop balance, agility, co-ordination, reaction time, stamina, and speed and creates ideas and establishes techniques to be used spontaneously and intuitively for self-defence. That is to say, the distribution of oxygen throughout the body, the percentage of fat in the body and the capacity to release stress.
TaeKwon-Do is structured according to a hierarchy. The levels and the belts are a way to recognize competence, experience and authority. The students train intensively and regularly to accede a new level or belt.
Finally, TaeKwon-Do stimulates the development of one’s personality by making one practice the art while respecting the principles which make up the tenets: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit. Moreover, the student oath makes the student aware of higher goals and encourages him or her to apply the tenets.
Personal development of the student encourages him or her to behave in a correct way, behaviour that one acquires by developing and re-evaluating constantly one’s character according to the moral values mentioned.
TaeKwon-Do has progressively gained more and more support and respect from the media, the educational system and from the public in general. It is essential that all people having anything to do with the art of TaeKwon-Do make every effort to promote those philosophical values in order to meet the great social objective, which meant so much to the Founder of TaeKwon-Do, General CHOI HONG HI.