Improvement of Mind and Body: The most obvious benefit of Taekwon-do is physical well-being. With consistent practice, Taekwon-do strengthens our heart, lungs, and muscles. It increases coordination, flexibility, balance, and posture. It builds stamina and improves our reflexes. But practicing Taekwon-do on a regular basis also hones mental skills such as concentration, memory, and translating verbal directions into physical movements. It enhances less quantifiable skills like setting short- and long-term goals and seeing them through. And it greatly relieves both mental and physical stress.
Ethical Self-Conduct: As a species, humans intuitively look for the easiest path to our goals. Too often, this means taking shortcuts or, worse, cheating. In Taekwon-do practice, cheating means cheating yourself. You can attend the minimum number of classes to move up in rank; you can wait to kick hard until the teacher is watching you; you can stop training once you receive your Black Belt. But the value of your rank is measured by the sweat you put into it, both earning and maintaining it. Our teacher, Grandmaster Kim, likes to say that he starts every day as a White Belt and has to earn his Black Belt all over again; at 70, he can still put us all to shame with his ability and work ethic. Just as important is how we treat other people, in and out of the dojang. Ethical self-conduct incorporates the golden rule—treat others as you wish to be treated, and kindness begets kindness.
Unity Among Members: Our students range in age from 5 to 75 and come from all over Cleveland and its suburbs. People are drawn to Taekwon-do for many different reasons, so the backgrounds and life journeys of our students are vast and varied. There may be people you knew before you joined the dojang, and we hope you have found new friends. But the dojang is a very strong connecting tissue; students support each other and help each other, whether they interact outside the dojang or not. Sometimes Master Marr and I initiate the help, like collecting outgrown uniforms for a nonprofit group in Brazil or connecting a high school student to one of our adult professionals for a senior project. But more often it happens naturally—between students--like congratulating someone on a new belt, helping with a pattern, or simply extending a kind word when someone’s had a hard day.