First of all, let’s remember that Taekwondo is a path that you choose to take, a path that will help your get in better physical and mental shape. You will learn to treat and use your body in ways you never thought possible, you will become more aware and if you do it for competition, you will learn to persevere and achieve any goal you set your sights on.
Also, taekwondo helps you develop a level of the spirit that will result in a better way of life, a happy one, with stability and peace. And this is one of the best things about practicing this martial art. It goes beyond teaching how to kick and punch and defend yourself.
No, this goes further. The purpose of taekwondo as presented in ancient times is to train the spirit and help oneself to get rid of that which is unhelpful like the ego or the “discriminating mind” as called by the ancients.
WHAT’S THE PHILOSOPHY THEN?
First and foremost taekwondo looks mainly to create harmony in the mind, harmony means balance, and that’s the idea, to help you have a balance in your mind. And believe it or not, this is what you learn, for instance, if your opponent launches at you, you move aside with agility and allow for him to pass while at the same time you have the opportunity to counter attack. Thus negative energy from your opponent becomes soft as it won’t hurt you creating the first instance of balance and your soft instance becomes hard as you counter attack becoming hard and once again balance returns.
In Taekwondo the objective is to bring the student to a state of mind known as “present time” which is quite important as it teaches the student how to behave and conduct no matter what the setting is (a sparring ring, an Olympic competition, a social event) and be aware of one’s actions and the consequences of each of them as well as how they will affect the environment that surrounds oneself.
This is a very powerful philosophy that the student learns to master as it grows and advances in the ways and techniques of Taekwondo. One has to be mindful that the techniques learned in this martial arts discipline can be quite dangerous and that is why learning involves the mind and not just the body.
Training the mind means to be aware that using this technique is not your first resource but instead needs to be your last. It means being aware of when and how to use them if you really need to use them.
This is part of the balance you need and looks to achieve during your training. Furthermore, the balance you will learn to achieve will help you control yourself and be calm in any and all situations of your life, and with this accomplished exactly what we mentioned before, using what you know as your last resource and with that, keeping the balance of your life.