10 Dec 2019
This month we will explore the sixth of six Tenets of Tae Kwon Do and how it applies to martial arts and life in general: Victory.
According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, the definition of victory is as follows:
1 : the overcoming of an enemy or antagonist
2 : achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties
For the first definition, we can substitute opponent, bully, or attacker for a more realistic perspective. I am comfortable with the second definition.
Let’s look at the second definition first.
How does “mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties” apply to the study and training of Tae Kwon Do? Well, like any sport, or activity, there is a learning curve. The student comes in as a blank slate – in this instance as a white belt. Most of the time a beginning student knows one thing: they want to learn martial arts (for whatever reason: confidence, bully prevention, fitness, self-defense, …) but they may only know what they have seen in movies, television, YouTube, or maybe they know someone who trains. The beginning student learns techniques and what those techniques are called. A beginning student must “master” these simple things to progress to the next level. But to the beginning student, these “simple things” may not seem so simple.
There is a mind/body connection in any physical activity such as martial arts, dance, gymnastics, playing an instrument, as examples. An instructor may teach a technique, and demonstrate it for the student. And in the student’s mind, they may think “that’s easy”. Then they try to physically duplicate the technique and discover their body and their mind do not agree on the simplicity of the technique. Not to worry, it happens all the time! The student must successfully master their body to perform the technique. But the great thing is, they get it! Eventually, they can remember or perform what was taught and the feeling of victory the student feels with this mastery is tangible even to the instructor! I revel in the success of my students, the children, the teens, and the adults, as I watch them master their belt-level training. It’s a great feeling for everyone involved!
What about when it is time to break boards? There is a mind/body connection here as well. Students see a board and sometimes they get inside their heads. Even with the proper instruction, and everybody cheering for them, a student may experience self-doubt. But with proper guidance from the instructors, a student will break their boards and it is a victory! The look of pride and happiness on a student’s face after that board cracks are so special! Grand Master Ajay and I are so proud of the students when they break their boards because we know they have mastered the mental and physical aspects of this endeavor.
Now back to the first definition. Victory over an antagonist, enemy, opponent, bully, or attacker.
An antagonist could be the belt-level curriculum, it could be a board break, but it could also be an opponent at a tournament. In tournament competition, a student must have a mind/body connection here too! (I’m beginning to see a pattern here!) A student must enter a competition with the mindset that they will win. After a lot of practice and preparation, they will likely win. But they must believe in themselves before they ever step onto the mat. We experience a lot of victory at tournaments. Many times, our students win two medals, sometimes two gold medals! And a great deal of the time, Ajay’s students will win first, second and third in their division. Now that is an all-around victory!
Against an enemy, antagonist, attacker, or bully, the mind/body connection must be at it’s sharpest. You must remain calm, but you must be able to think and act fast. You must believe in yourself that you can defend yourself and get away safely. That is the real victory!
In conclusion, we have discovered that in all cases, to be victorious, you must believe in yourself, you must have a mind/body connection to accomplish this goal. Do you think this kind of training, belief system, and mindset can help you outside of the studio? You bet it can. You must understand that to experience victory in anything (physical activities, school, work, and relationships) work hard, give yourself time to master your endeavor and create harmony and unity in your mind and body.
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.