Taekwondo and Mental Effect (by Gen. Choi):
Taekwondo is an art that implies a way of thinking and life, and particularly instilling moral civilization and generating the power for justice. Taekwondo is known as one of the best means of developing and enhancing the emotion perceptual and psychological characteristics that enable the younger generation regardless of age, social status or sex, to effectively learn and participate in the social and play demands of his or her peers.
Every movement of Taekwondo is scientifically designed with specific purpose and a skilful instructor may therefore develop in the student a belief that success is possible for anyone. Constant repetition teaches patience and the resolve to overcome any difficulty. The tremendous power generated from one’s training develops the self-confidence to meet any opponent, at any place, and in any situation. Sparring teaches humility, courage, alertness, and accuracy, adaptabity as well as self-control.
Patterns teach flexibility, grace, balance, and coordination while fundamental exercises develop precision and teaches the method, and stimulate imagination and purpose. Eventually, this training permeates every conscious subconscious action of the student. Perhaps in some way, Taekwondo and the guiding hand of a qualified instructor may serve as an aid to the misguided, insecure and physically weak because the student who comes to love the art quickly realizes that to excel, the body must be kept at its optimum peak of condition and will, consequently hesitate to jeopardize his or her training in any way. Thus Taekwondo offers a strict self-imposed discipline along with the spirit cooperation and mutual respect.
Together with discipline there are many who need and search for acceptance and leadership and are anxious to associate with a group or strong leader. If a student trains conscientiously, he or she will easily be accepted by his peers and superiors.
If the instructors and ranking belts are articulate, well groomed, polite, confident, intelligent and understanding, this leadership will provide, perhaps the best possible influences on the student. Prejudice is taught at an early age, but there is little time for petty prejudices while sharing the camaraderie and Spartan training atmosphere of Taekwondo.
Through severe training classes, one learns to communicate with the obvious result that racial barriers are stripped away. The harmonious exchange of Taekwondo between races certainly helps to eradicate the unfortunate lack of understanding that often exists between people.
The philosophy of Taekwondo is based on the ethical, moral standards by which men can live together in harmony, and its art patterns are inspired by the ideals and exploits of great men from Korean history. Korean famous military and civil leaders who in nearly five thousand years of Korean history have never invaded their neighbor yet who fought bravely and made great self-sacrifices to defend their homeland against invading enemies. Also included are the names of patriots who willingly gave up their lives to regain Korea’s freedom and independence from the Japanese occupation.