by James Work
Joining Mountain Academy of Martial Arts and attending Taekwondo classes yields many benefits for the students. Some of these benefits include a Taekwondo family which can be beneficial in some student’s lives, and getting exercise. Taekwondo classes also help relieve stress; performing techniques either solo, or with a fellow student or instructor is a great, safe way to let out stress and anger. In Taekwondo classes, students also learn self-defense skills that could prove necessary and even vital in some situations, whether it is for the safety of the individual, or others around them. Taekwondo helps students achieve amazing things; getting a black belt is no easy feat, and students do (or at least should) feel very proud of themselves when this is accomplished. These benefits are what make Taekwondo a positive presence and influence in students’ lives.
A Taekwondo family can be a life changing part of a student’s life, giving them a safe place to come have fun, while learning important skills. Students can make friends that will, quite literally, take a beating for them. Students are also immersed in an environment where people care about them and will take the time to teach them something over and over if the need is present. An environment like this is not found in many other places, sometimes not even schools. A Taekwondo family is one of many benefits of participating in Taekwondo.
Taekwondo is also a huge source of exercise. Exercise is a very important part of people’s lives and yet, many people neglect their bodies of this basic necessity. Class starts out with physical training or conditioning, followed by stretches. This is great for the human body, though it is needed in much larger quantities than at the beginning of class. That is where the rest of the class comes in. For the entirety of the class, students are constantly moving. This comes in many forms, such as basics, which includes blocking, kicking, and jumping. There is also step sparring, self defense technicals, or, a favorite among many, sparring, which is the most fun thing to do in the class, and an amazing source of exercise. Class is usually concluded with more running, or the game “Ninjas and Samurais” which is all running. Exercise is a much needed aspect in people’s lives, and Taekwondo provides that exercise for the day.
Stress can be let out in positive or negative ways, and Taekwondo provides a positive way to let it out. Instead of taking aggression out on other people, Taekwondo provides a place where students can take out their anger in multiple ways. Basics and forms are where a student “fights” an imaginary foe, in a sense, and doing this is a safe way for students to let out all their stress on an enemy that is non-existent, making it highly unlikely that anyone will be hurt. In other exercises, such as self defense technicals and step sparring, two students are paired together, and while this makes it more likely for someone to get hurt, it is a controlled environment to relieve stress. The holy grail of stress relieving exercises, sparring, is when students pad up and fight each other. This can also lead to injuries, but as long as proper technique is used, good attack control is used, and all rules are followed, it is a safe and controlled way to relieve stress. Stress is unhealthy, and Taekwondo provides a safe, fun way to get rid of all that unhealthy stress.
Perhaps one of the largest emphasized points in Taekwondo is self defense. It is drilled in students’ heads from the very first day that Taekwondo is self defense, and is only to be used when attacked. This is a vital skill, as people may find themselves in a situation where proper self defense techniques are needed. The safety of the student and/or others around them may depend on solid self defense. Taekwondo would be a very important skill in this situation, and would help the victim end the fight as soon as possible. Taekwondo also introduces another form of attack that people may find themselves encountering: weapons. In Taekwondo, students are taught how to defend against blunt weapons such as sticks, clubs, or bats. Students are also taught how to defend against bladed weapons, and handguns at point blank. All these self defense skills would be crucial in certain situations.
Taekwondo gives students the opportunity and encouragement to achieve far greater than they thought. Ranking up requires tremendous amounts of patience and work, let alone attaining black belt. Many students either don’t have the patience, or don’t want to put in the work (or a combination of both), and as a result, they drop out. For students to go through the ranks and finally attain the prestigious black belt, is a feeling like no other, a feeling of tremendous pride.
Taekwondo yields many benefits for students. Taekwondo families can be a life changing part of students’ lives. Taekwondo turns the dreaded “E” word into a fun activity. Classes help students let all their stress out in a safe, positive manner. Self defense is an important part of existing in today’s world, and Taekwondo provides just that. The achievement and pride when you stand among the elites is matched by only a few. Taekwondo is an amazing part of anyone’s life, and is very beneficial when people commit to it.