When it comes to Tae Kwon Do and other martial arts, there can be misconceptions and a sense of mystery. The definition of Tae Kwon Do – literally defined as the way of the hand and the foot – generally centers around the physical nature of the activity. It has its background based in self-defense oriented movements centered around kicks, punches and belts. But in reality, it is so much more than just a combat activity. The philosophies that have developed around Tae Kwon Do and martial arts can vary from school to school, so for our purposes we are speaking about our World Class Tae Kwon Do program.
At World Class Tae Kwon Do, our end goal is an empowered, happy and confident student. This principle firmly sits at the very center of our training program, and is one of the main reasons many of our students stay with us for life. Our classes are based on Tae Kwon Do’s solid philosophy of achieving consistent personal growth – thereby arming the student with the right tools to be able to reach their true potential.
There are few other sports that focus simultaneously on physical and mental well-being and development the way Tae Kwon Do does. In our classes, they go hand-in-hand. It would be inconceivable for us to teach one without the other. This means that the plethora of physical, intellectual and mental skills developed through Tae Kwon Do training is second to none. And because of this, we can attest that each student first stepping through our doors leaves a different person at the end of the class – happier, more empowered and confident.
When it comes to building and developing confidence within a student, it can be different for each individual depending on age and circumstance, but in general it is done through the physical improvements, social community and support, and through the mental and emotional increase in capacity to handle challenges and obstacles.
As far as the physical development of a student goes, there may be different interests in individuals but the training itself helps all students progress towards their goals. For example, a 4 year old doesn’t care as much about the way he or she aesthetically looks compared to a 45 year old adult or 15 year old teenager might. Through consistent training students of all ages become fitter in the sense of better coordination, strength and power, flexibility and endurance. While the fitness skills develop, the aesthetic side of things happens as a byproduct. Along with being and feeling better about your physical abilities you are also gaining practical self-defense skills. This has a neat psychological effect – when you start to feel good, because you look good and have self-protective abilities, statistics show you are at a smaller percentage to be picked as a victim in a self-defense confrontation.
To go along with the confidence that is developed through the physical improvements, the mental and emotional strength gained is so important in becoming the best version of yourself. It’s not just about being better and doing more, but learning to push yourself farther and face and overcome challenges. You can handle stress in a healthier way. It’s not about getting rid of stress but able to use it to strengthen and advance yourself in your life. This is true for adults, children and especially teenagers.
The other mindset that is developed through classes is that no matter the result of a pursuit, you understand that doing your best in the form of hard work and focus is actually what matters. Even though we might be disappointed in the moment of not breaking a board our first try, it’s more important that we don’t give up.
The final piece to our confidence building that happens in our school is the social piece. As much as technology is advancing and bringing people to stay in contact with others better, face-to-face interaction with others needs to happen to be healthy. In our classes our youngest student learn how to look at someone in the eye and shake hands properly. Our training drills almost always involve learning to be a good partner and how to treat others even if they are older, younger, more or less experienced. What happens when you physically train side-by-side with others is a friendship and understanding of each other that transcend our regular classes. For me personally, all of my closest friends are my training partners that I grew up with. To see our students have a support system that they are being rooted for by others in their personal lives is something that is becoming more rare.
The glue for students taking the journey to becoming more confident, is our instructors. They products of World Class Tae Kwon Do and know the benefits they have personally received. One of the skillsets that is constantly developed in our instructors is how to put the appropriate amount of challenge to push students in a way that isn’t overwhelming and, most importantly, beneficial. We might start with smaller obstacles and with consistent rewards and accolades of progress, before we know it, we can handle so much more. Our instructors are the tour guides, cheerleaders and motivators for us to truly be confident in ourselves on so many levels.
About the Author
If you are motivated by what you have read here and want to try one of our Tae Kwon Do classes, getting started is easy! Master Justin Scarsella has been teaching with his team of talented instructors in Birmingham since 2004, and World Class Tae Kwon Do Schools have been operating across the country since 1983! Their top-rated instruction methods, along with the time and care dedicated to each student’s needs and abilities, have seen him receive glowing reviews throughout his career. He now has two locations in the Hoover and Birmingham areas, and his classes cater to all ages, aged 4 and up – even families can take part together! You can try your first three classes FREE – which includes a FREE uniform!