When you put in the effort towards a long-term goal, you learn life lessons that apply to areas of your life that are unrelated to that pursuit. You are forced to grow some discipline and persistence in order to realize your goals. These qualities will change you and your outlook on life for the better.
A good example of this experience is what you learn during Taekwondo training.
Taekwondo trains you to be an achiever inside and outside of the training hall.
When you make a commitment to learn Taekwondo, you adjust your mindset. You might not realise it at the time but you’re making a decision to be consistent and to show up, even when you don’t feel like it. You start to build up the mental strength you will need to push through the hard days: The ones when you just can’t seem to get it right no matter how much you practice.
Traditional Taekwondo training is very much about the character of the individual doing it. It teaches many lessons, and that makes sense when you see it as a training ground for daily life.
1) Showing up is half the battle
Consistency is the difference between refining a skill to perfection and ‘dabbling’ in it. This applies to Taekwondo as well. If you plan two lessons a week in the branch and one practise session at home, show up for both sessions and set a day and time for your home practise. It is the only way to build up the momentum you need to learn, practise and become proficient enough to continually improve.
When you skip training sessions and your home practise, you lose momentum, which reverses what you have already gained. It causes your rate of progress to slow, so you lose motivation.
The art of sticking to a routine also carries over to life outside the training hall. Being successful at anything, from school exams to building a career or running a business requires you to put in the work, consistently. It is the hard, repetitious effort that creates the type of success that so many people admire.
2) Talent is great, but it’s hard work that leads to success
Natural talent seems like a bonus and it can be. But if unworked it is useless. It needs to be trained and polished before it makes a positive difference.
So, it is understandable that a naturally talented person will lag behind a person with less talent and more discipline. The outcome is that showing up for training, consistently regardless of if you feel like it or not, is a far better formula for success than relying on untapped talent.
The rule applies across the board. Even the most talented musician needs hours of practice in order to nail a performance.
3) Master the basics to master the art
This applies to every skill that you can perfect. When you take up Taekwondo, the first few lessons will teach you the basic kicks that are the building blocks of Taekwondo. Once you have a good grasp of these, your instructor will slowly ease you into simple combinations. You will progress and learn to execute more complex moves, but you will always go back to the fundamentals.
Even the best martial arts practitioners spend time perfecting the most basic of techniques. They practice them to improve precision and they practice them to improve speed. They also practice these basics to build power.
So, take this useful training tip and use it in other areas of your life. Get back to basics, not because you are a newbie but because you want to be good. Nothing adds an edge to your skills like infusing them with more speed, more power, and pinpoint precision.
4) Be light on your feet
Both figuratively and literally, because in sparring and life, you do not want to be caught flatfooted. Whether you take up dancing, running, or Taekwondo, your instructor will always remind you to move lightly, shift you weight using the balls of your feet.
You will also learn to think on your feet. Sparring with a training partner who interacts with you is different from practicing on a punching bag. As you spar, you must anticipate your opponent’s move. You also need to make a split-second decision on whether to block or move your partner’s techniques. In that split second you are trying to find a way to counter your opponent’s attack, if possible.
You can use the same principle in the real world. For starters, use the quick mind that you (will surely) develop from Taekwondo training to solve unexpected challenges. Learn how to read a situation and anticipate what’s coming at you and deal with it in a way that minimizes your exposure.
5) Fear is a natural response that you can use to your advantage
Taekwondo teaches you to control your emotions. This one is for everyone that is attracted to Taekwondo but is put off by the idea they may be hurt during partner training.
When you begin your instructor will ease you into sparring gradually. You start off with practising on pads and shields and learn how to move forwards, backwards and sideways. By the time you begin sparring you’ll feel confident that you can move around and avoid your opponent.
Life’s challenges are pretty much the same. You prepare for a given challenge and worry whether you’ll come out on the ‘’winning’’ side. But on the big day, you use the fear to propel you. Whether it is a case of nerves before a grading or the uncertainty that comes with sitting an exam, fear can be the fuel you need to exceed your own expectations.
The best part is that the nerves go away once your ‘battle’ gets underway.
Gain the skills you need to navigate life successfully. The sacrifice, commitment, and training that you need to become a good Taekwondo practitioner are versatile assets. They help you to live a fuller and more successful life outside of the training hall. Take up Taekwondo and watch yourself transform.