A Sport Outside of School
By Gabrielle Fernandez
2017 Para Taekwondo Worlds ⒸWorld Taekwondo
School sports mostly consist of basketball, football, volleyball, track, and others depending on what school you attend. The majority of sports involve working with a team, and while socializing with others and working in a team environment can create skills for the future, there are a lot of individuals who prefer to work alone. The perfect sports for individuals who want to immerse themselves in exercise are martial arts, and more specifically, TaeKwonDo.
TaeKwonDo is a Korean martial art that not only trains your body, but your mind as well. Being over 5,000 years old, TaeKwonDo has always been centered around self-defense, though it has grown to be much more than that. The physical side of this martial art teaches the individual to act quickly on their feet in cases of self-defense which ranges from blocking attacks, attacking, and even protecting yourself from things such as knives. TaeKwonDo reinforces that violence is only needed in dire situations and should be used wisely without ignorance.
Another big part of TaeKwonDo are learning forms and combinations that are used to memorize self-defense techniques. Many martial arts have belts that signify an individual’s level and completing forms and combinations are a major part of graduating to a higher belt.
Combinations are taught during class and are expected to be memorized before belt testing occurs, although it isn’t too difficult to remember the different forms and combinations once they are taught. It is not essential either to graduate because the main part of TaeKwonDo is to learn self-defense and to train your body.
While the physical side of this martial art is important, the spiritual side is equally so. TaeKwonDo has grown to work on your mind as well and teaches meditation, self-respect, and confidence. TaeKwonDo also has immersion in Korean culture, with students often learning a bit of Korean from their time in the sport.
Overall, TaeKwonDo and martial arts, in general, are fantastic sports to engage in whether you enjoy team sports or not and are so much more than the common view of just kicking and punching. TaeKwonDo has so much to offer to individuals who want to enter the program and can teach certain skills that can last for life. Instead of doing a normal extracurricular sport after school, why don’t you try doing martial arts instead?