TAE KWON DO is a “Martial Art”. “Martial” means military and refers to the self-defense fighting skills and physical training aspects of this system.
Referring to something as an “Art” simply means that it is a way of doing something. When someone practices an art and becomes highly proficient we then refer to that person as a great or excellent artist; and if his achievements are exceptional, we call that person a master. But the oriental martial arts go beyond this simple definition, for when the sincere and devoted student begins to gain understanding of the true nature and purpose of his or her art, it becomes a way, a way of living, a way of being.
TAE KWON DO training will not just be devoted to the physical improvement of the body but will include lessons in the philosophy
What are some of the other goals or objective?
- TAE KWON DO seeks to develop certain virtues or habits of good conduct.
Self-discipline, patience, courage, perseverance, trust, modesty, non-violence and self confidence. These virtues enable the martial artist to have a “Whole Heart” or “Indomitable Spirit”, giving him the capacity to do difficult things and to control anger or fear, to live better with others etc.
- The martial artist seeks to develop and live by a code of good conduct and high principles. This code includes honesty, loyalty, unselfishness and honor.
- The martial artist seeks to develop and maintain an attitude or respect for one self, others and country. This begins with self respect, but it also involves respect and devotion to parents, honor and respect for your country. The spirit of these goals is stated concisely in the following pledge or declaration known as The TAE KWON DO Spirit.
THE TAE KWON DO SPIRT
- Be loyal to country
- Be obedient to your parents
- Be loveable to your spouse
- Be honorable to your friends
- Never retreat in battle
- The martial artist seeks certain physical goals. These include power, strength, endurance speed agility, balance or equilibrium, poise, breath control, flexibility and concentration. These are gained through rigorous training in the self-defense and fighting techniques.
With dedication and hard work these physical abilities come and with them the ability to defend yourself, your family, and your country. But it is very important to note that these abilities should not be misused. The fighting techniques of the martial arts are meant for defense of self, loved ones, and those who cannot defend themselves. It is not intended to be used to harm others unnecessarily to bully others, or to wrongfully gain power over others.
- The martial artist seeks to develop and maintain “Ki”. “Ki” can be translated as spirit, strength of mind, or internal energy. It is a mysterious and amazing part of your life force.
Through the harmony of body mind and spirit, it allows us to be strong in both physical and spiritual ways. Those who can maintain and apply this great energy have great capabilities of self-defense and the ability to perform amazing feats of courage and self-control.
Thus you can see that the Martial Arts are a way of life, one that requires both philosophy and physical training. A person who has only the philosophy may be weak and find that he cannot easily live accordingly to his philosophy. A person who knows only the techniques lacks understanding and a sense of direction. Thus, like the Um-Yang, the harmonious blending of the two opposite but complementary halves Male/Female, light/dark, hot/cold, etc. forms a powerful, natural whole.