How many reasons for taking Taekwondo are there? A lot! Here are a few of them:
Self-Defense: Many students take Taekwondo to learn self-defense. Taekwondo emphasizes kicking. The leg has about a 33% longer reach than the arm, and the average person has twice the muscle mass in the lower body than in the arm itself. This makes Taekwondo a very practical way to stay safe. Even a white belt with basic fundamental kicks such as front kick (ap chaggi) and side kick (yup chaggi) can strike an attacker quickly and then get out of the situation. (We discuss self-defense in more detail here.)
Confidence: Confidence is belief in oneself and one’s abilities. Through Taekwondo, you may find yourself developing more confidence, both in and outside the dojang. Learning how to execute a round house kick properly, breaking a board with power, or stepping into a ring with an opponent or sparring partner can help feel that you have the confidence to handle your other responsibilities.
Discipline: "Discipline is not punishment," one of my instructors said. "It is learning to control the mind and body to make possible what seems impossible." The repeated practices and the development of concentration skills help train you to meet physical and mental challenges. Some children and teens find that the increased discipline leads to better grades in school; some adults find they do better at their work.
Competition: Taekwondo has been practiced as a sport for centuries. Tournaments by the ancient Hwa Rang Do may have been ways to test each other’s skills without a real-life war situation. Today’s competitions also test skills and fitness – whether it be small local tournaments where students begin to compete, or national and international competitions where the elite athletes test one another. Read more on competition here.
Fitness: Good health is always a goal. Working off extra pounds, increasing flexibility, improving balance and coordination - these should be seen in all students, regardless of level. Returning students (like me) who have been in and out of Taekwondo throughout our lives can certainly testify as to how Taekwondo can improve one’s overall fitness level.
What’s your reason for taking Taekwondo?