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Benefits of Taekwon-Do
Taekwon-Do = Strength
Taekwon-Do really equates to developing strength to withstand the rigors of the world:
Strength to stand up against bullies (of any type).
Strength to make the right decisions, even when it is the most difficult path.
Strength Against Bullies:
“Bully” is a generic term for people who attempt to impose their will on others, without regard for anyone's needs or wants but their own. This is not an official definition, but one that I will use to define what a bully is for myself and for this paper.
Bullies come in many common forms: The schoolyard bully that most of us faced at some point in our lives; the pushy salesman, that pressures consumers into buying things they don't need, or into overpaying for merchandise; the manipulative spouse or significant other; the offensive co-worker or supervisor; the inconsiderate neighbor; the government official abusing power.
We face these bullies daily in some form or another. While I certainly don't advocate physically using Taekwon-Do to respond in any of these situations unless it is a physical confrontation in which death or grave bodily harm to oneself or others is likely, refusing to yield to a bully is part of developing strength and maintaining one's integrity.
Bullies only thrive when good people do nothing and bullies in all forms choose weak targets.
Through hard Taekwon-Do training over the course of several years a student can confidently project the confident, fearless image necessary to cease to become a target for bullies.
Choosing to make the most compassionate, ethical decision is not always the easiest thing to do. Mental and emotional strength gathered through years of hard training can make this possible. Living one's life by the Tenets of Taekwon-Do gives the student a simple outline to follow in making decisions.
While few things in the world are cut and dried issues, a strong person can choose to make ethical decisions in their lives. Sometimes this entails having the strength and courage to acknowledge that perfection is impossible in any human, admitting to an error, and then having the strength to take responsibility.
As a strength and conditioning coach – who provides strength and conditioning training through a variety of different means – in my professional judgment, I can without a doubt say that if someone were to adopt Taekwon-Do as a lifetime exercise program many health and wellness problems could be avoided.
Of course, ALL of these benefits rely on the student putting 100% effort into their training and obeying sensible nutritional guidelines. No exercise program can overcome poor nutritional habits.
Taekwon-Do provides unparalleled cardiovascular conditioning.
Taekwon-Do strengthens every muscle group in a balanced way.
Taekwon-Do enhances proprioception (the ability to orient oneself in space), which contributes to better balance and coordination.
Taekwon-Do enhances bone density, though repeated impact.
Taekwon-Do enhances joint range-of-motion and joint flexibilty.
Physical defensive capabilities may never be directly tested, but the confidence that is gained through the knowledge that a student can defend him or herself any place -anytime - is vital.
Criminals are predators and choose their prey just as wolves choose sick or weak elk. They choose targets-of-opportunity. If you look like food, you will be eaten.
The hard-training student of Taekwon-Do does not look like easy prey. A confident stride, unwavering eye contact, keen observation skills and strength and grace in movement are not trademarks of easy victims.
Of course, the ability to physically defend oneself should not be understated. To gain these benefits, students must train hard, with the mindset they are actually defending against an attacker at all time. This mindset can be cultivated by the skilled instructor.
It must be realized that no method of training can prepare a student for every scenario, but it is my belief that hard Taekwon-Do training will allow the trainee to fight courageously if the situation arises. There are no guarantees in real physical combat, and no level of training can overcome some situations. Still, losing or dying is not the worst outcome. Passively allowing someone to make you a victim and/or live in fear is.