What makes a good Taekwondo student?
You may think a good student is someone who can do fantastic jumping, flying and spinning kicks or has very fast techniques; or maybe someone who can smash through boards and stacks of tiles. Some students can do those things terrifically well and they may be excellent students too, but being able to carry out advanced techniques well does not necessarily make them a good student.
A good student may be completely average when it comes to technique and breaking, but they follow the rules of martial arts.
One of the first and great pioneers of taekwondo Grand Master Han Cha Kyo once said during an interview “Many people practice Tae Kwon; very few practice Tae Kwon Do.”
Tae means foot , or to smash with the foot; Kwon means fist , or to smash with the fist. So in the context of martial art training Tae Kwon mean to fight with the fists and feet.
Do means; art or way; so together it means ‘the art of the fist and foot’. What Grandmaster Han was saying was; many people practice using their fists and feet, but few practice the art.
What good students learn is the art of taekwondo. These things are summed up in the tenets of taekwondo. Tenets are rules to live by and the tenets of Taekwondo are … Courtesy – Integrity –Perseverance – Self-control and Indomitable spirit.
- Be courteous both inside the dojang and outside in everyday life. Be respectful to your instructors and other students.
- Practice integrity when you train by not allowing yourself to perform at less than your best.
- When a technique seems difficult and you feel like giving up – DON’T! Do not give up, keep going until you ‘get it’, that’s perseverance.
- Self-control is you learning to control you. Learn to control your body, your mind and your emotions.
- Next; whatever goal you have set for yourself, provided it is achievable and worthwhile and right for you, reach it. Don’t let anything stop you .When obstacles come your way find a path round it, over it, under it or straight through it to reach that goal. That is Indomitable spirit.
- Finally, a good student is prepared to learn anywhere, anytime, not only in the training hall twice a week.
Practicing the ‘Art’, not just the moves, makes you a stronger person and a true martial artist.