31 Jul 2019

Tenets of Tae Kwon Do:
• Courtesy
• Integrity
• Perseverance
• Self-Control
• Indomitable Spirit
• Victory

This month we will explore the second of six Tenets of Tae Kwon Do and how it applies to martial arts and life in general: Integrity.

According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, the definition of Integrity is as follows:

1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility
2: an unimpaired condition: soundness
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching.” ~ C.S. Lewis

This is my favorite quote as a teacher. In my many years of teaching, one thing I have learned is that we teach life skills along with whatever the main subject is. In our case, it is Tae Kwon Do, but we don’t teach just punching and kicking.

In martial arts, an example of integrity could be practicing your curriculum on your own, either in the studio between classes, or at home.  It means winning a competition fair and square, without cheating.

In life, integrity means being honest or truthful and having honor. If we do something wrong, the best thing to do is to own up to it, rather than lie about it. The outcome will be a lot less severe in most cases if you are just honest and say you made a mistake.

Having honor means you hold yourself to a high standard. No matter what other people around you are doing, no matter what people may say about you, you do the right things in life. Let’s say somebody walking ahead of you drops a wallet. The honorable thing to do would be to catch up to them and hand it to them, letting them know they dropped it. Or, if your parent baked cookies for a potluck at work you do the right thing and don’t take a cookie without permission. He or she may have baked just the right number so that every employee gets one.

There are many scenarios I can give you about integrity. But one that sticks out in my mind is a story a student’s parent told me. Kids at school were saying mean things about a teacher on social media. A lot of students joined in dishonoring her. But our student did not join in. Instead, she told the teacher what was going on and the teacher was very grateful for her honesty and integrity.

Students are molded from examples given by parents and family members, and from the teaching of their instructors in the martial arts. It is important for the students to learn these lessons while they are young, having the seed planted to be great citizens in this world where values can sometimes get fuzzy or flimsy.

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.


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