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The Role Tae Kwon-Do Plays in young learners

Mr Peter Liao


I began learning Taekwon-Do at the age of five. Not only have I learned a new sport but it has offered tremendous confidence every time l am faced with new challenges in life, whether it is in a classroom or meeting new people. There is no doubt that through Taekwon-Do other young learners have had the same experience that is so beneficial.

Before I go any further I will attempt to define Taekwon-Do. Taekwon-Do Korean art of unarmed combat that is based on the earlier form of Korean self-defence known as Tae Kyon. Literally, Tae stands for foot, mainly jumping, flying. kicking, attacking with the foot. Kwon denotes fist chiefly punch, strike? thrust with the hand. Do means art or way and built by same correct way in the past. The name Taekwon-Do was officially adopted for this martial art in 19565 after that name had been submitted by the South Korean general Choi Hong Hi, the principal founder of Taekwon-Do.

Taekwon Do is characterised by the extensive use of high standing and jump kicks as well as punches and is practised for sport self-defence, and spiritual development. Speed also plays an important role in Taekwon-Do and thus should be taught together with techniques. Training is carried out by learning individual techniques of kicking, punching and blocking, which are practised in combined series of techniques in traditional sets known as Hyung. (Proficiency in the lower grades.) Students also practice basic sparring combinations (id-bo tueryon, "one-step sparring".); these are short, set sequences of attack and counter practised between partners, after which the students may practice free sparring as opponents. In sparring, blows are stopped just short of contact to demonstrate control and skills. Taekwon-Do is practised as a sport by awarding points to correctly executed techniques during free sparring or by judging the quality of performed Hyung.

General Choi's efforts to establish and encourage the development of Taekwon-Do also led to the funding of the International Taekwon-Do Federation.

Through self control and the tenets of Taekwon-Do, one must have to control oneself first, therefore inspiring control and not violence. The principal of Taekwon-Do is to try to eliminate the fighting by discouraging the stronger over the weak. Power has to be based on morality justice trust and humanity and then one can stand on the side of justice at all times. As always Taekwon-Do emphasises moral culture. With moral culture we can stand on the side of justice with power. Without power one is futile.

Taekwon-Do is more than unarmed combat. It is use of the body to gain the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive mental and physical training. Basically no other martial art ifs equal in power or technique. In Taekwon-Do discipline, technique and mental training are the major factors for building a strong sense of fortitude, humility and resolve. One must see beyond the content with the fighting aspect of martial art and train just as hard in mental conditioning because the mental conditioning part of Taekwon-Do is like a motor within a car, without it the car will not go or be complete no matter how strong or impressive the shell of the car is because the car simply will not move. Mental training "The tenets of Taekwon-Do" (Taekwon-Do Jungshin) separates from a true practitioner from a sensationalist.

We are constantly concerned with health, after all it is the most important treasure of the human being, especially in that of a young persons This aspect of Taekwon-Do been claimed to be the main attraction for learners young and aged alike. Through years of research and teaching Taekwon-Do movements have been refined so that it is easily taught and quickly absorbed, while maintain the scientific basis that is theoretically sound and practical. Therefore it is no wonder that it is not difficult to teach, and equally importantly easy to execute. This plays an important role in the learning of a young mind.

Taekwon-Do places emphasis to eliminate borders, whether it is the difference of race, religion or nationality. The main motive of General Choi is to teach this martial art while reducing the barriers that exists in the society, it is beneficial to be aware of this at a young age.

And men should unite together as one regardless of our differences, we should therefore put our diversions behind us and built "a more peaceful world." General Choi stated that "we shall unite all men regardless of religion, race or ideological boundaries, we shall dedicate ourselves to build an ideal world which justice, polarity and humility prevail. Principally, that was my main motivation for creating this Art."

It is these reasons that Taekwon-Do is called art of self-defence. It implies also a way of thinking and a way of life and in particular the concept of a self imposed discipline.

Children's instructor needs to be more animated, to have the ability to motivate and entertain children. After all the bases of Taekwon-Do is very important, and we have to obtain our belt colours in a pyramid-system. The instructor should therefore need to structure activities to suit the concentration span and development stages of young children. Another consideration is the importance of consistent, positive reinforcement. Children need to be placed in an environment I which they are not only achieve success, but are acknowledged for their achievements. And Kids' tournaments are a great way of encouraging our young student of Taekwon-Do. Taekwon-Do maintains its emphasis of the program placed on intrinsic motivation, that is, making activities enjoyable and fun as well as rewarding.

Taekwon-Do not only helps us in self defences but is has also taught many young students to development of concentration skills, the development of a positive attitude towards themselves, and their ability to learn. The benefit that younger students of Taekwon-Do gain is immeasurable, skills that not only allows self-defence but also most other areas of life. So many learners have often said "I wish I have had started Taekwon-Do earlier", so why not encourage them now?

References

General Choi Hong Hi, 1995 (4th Edition), Taekwon-Do, the Korean art of self Defence. International Taekwon-Do Federation
Richard Mitchell, 1989 (2nd Edition), The History of Taekwon-Do Patterns. International Taekwon-Do Federation.
Michael Daher, May 1992. Father of Taekwon-Do, Blitz Magazine, Australian Publication.
Macropaedia Volume 22, 1991 ( 1 5th Edition), Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc.

Acknowledgements

Mr. Peter Graham, President of ITFNZ, Head instructor of Meadowbank Club. Mr. Andrew Niven, Head instructor of Mt. Albert Club.




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