31 Aug 2019
Tenets of Tae Kwon Do:
• Indomitable Spirit
This month we will explore the third of six Tenets of Tae Kwon Do and how it applies to martial arts and life in general: Perseverance.
According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, the definition of Perseverance is as follows:
It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. ~ Vince Lombardi
There will be times in life when things get difficult – whether it is in school, in your martial arts practice, or at work if you are an adult. Things don’t always go your way or run smoothly. Sometimes you will have obstacles. A person who is steadfast in their mission – to continue to hold your head high and keep doing your best no matter what – that is a person who is demonstrating perseverance.
Tae Kwon Do teaches students perseverance. As instructors, we guide our students along paths we have taken ourselves. We can teach them so they don’t make the same mistakes we made, or to show them how to do things the way we have learned along the way. In board breaking students must utilize their newly learned techniques against a board (or boards) to prove that they are performing their techniques correctly and to boost the confidence of the student. But what happens when the board doesn’t break? Sometimes when we teach a new curriculum, a student feels overwhelmed like they just cannot retain the new form or one-step sparring, combination set, or perform a new kick. There will be times during competition when an opponent comes out victorious over our student. In all of these scenarios, we support our student and reassure them that we believe in them and that we are proud of them for trying – but you will never see or hear us tell a student they can give up. As a life lesson, we must teach our students to keep trying until they succeed.
In board breaking, the look of pride and accomplishment when that board cracks is immeasurable. When a student gets passed an obstacle that was holding them back from learning and performing new curriculum or kick, the “aha” moment is gratifying to student and teacher alike. And when our student’s hand is held up in victory over a particularly challenging opponent, the feeling is one that can never be forgotten. Don’t get me wrong. Our students don’t always win. But we stress to our students two things: 1) they are a winner in our eyes because they tried; and 2) we look at it as a learning tool, one we can dissect and figure out where the student can improve the next time.
I believe that when a student learns perseverance in their martial arts training, it is a quality they can take with them throughout life. The students learn what they are made of. They learn they can get up and dust themselves off and try again.
Being an instructor in a martial arts school gives me many opportunities to lift my students, to hold a high bar for them to meet or exceed, and to always encourage them to get up and try again.
At our studio, Ajay’s Karate, we are a traditional martial arts school teaching the very best in technique along with values that our students will carry with them throughout their lifetime.
Call us today to see for yourself, what we do at Ajay’s Karate! (916) 686-3478.
By Lydia Ajay, 4th Degree Black Belt and Co-Owner of Ajay’s Karate, Elk Grove, California.