Why Practise Taekwondo ?
A lot of Taekwondo students go through their martial art journey with no real understanding of what they are trying to achieve.
Students start out on their TKD path for many different reasons… health, fitness, self confidence, discipline, flexibility, to join a group, to learn something new. It doesn’t matter how you start it’s what you do with the knowledge you learn along the way that counts.
From an Instructors point of view being an instructor is exactly the same as being a parent. I think of white belts like babies, regardless of age. They know nothing about the martial arts, apart from what you tell them and they need nurturing and looking after, the same way you would a baby. Kup grades are like primary children, they do some things right and some things wrong and you are there to guide them on their way to young adulthood, which is black belt. When your students reach this point they have shown that they are mature enough, not only physically but mentally as well, to carry the responsibility that comes with black belt. They now have a responsibility not only to themselves but to the rest of the kup grades, similar to that of an older sibling to help them the same way as the higher grades and their instructor in particular has helped them.
The route to 2nd and 3rd Dan should be compared to that of your youngsters leaving the nest, finding their own feet and setting up their own homes. EG opening a club or assisting their Instructor as often as they can and giving something back to the club. New blackbelts should have fresh methods and ideas and loads of energy to move the club forward.
Reaching 4th Dan black belt, MASTER GRADE (for some associations) is the second most crucial point in a martial artists career, black belt being the first, as this is where the once white belt has to stand on his/her own two feet and lead the way for others. Without these masters Taekwondo would have died a long time ago and without you passing on your knowledge Taekwondo will die. Your job as a master is to produce other good knowledgeable masters who will continue the ongoing cycle of Taekwondo.
As a black belt you have a responsibility to help others and to pass on your knowledge and help your Instructor the best way you can before branching out on your own.
Like children who can’t stay at home forever, it’s unnatural for black belts to stand still and not branch out by themselves. Always train with your instructor, always, but never stay still in the martial art, you will die.
If you are an Instructor it is your job to get your students to think like this and produce good black belts and masters who will pass on their correct martial arts knowledge. If you are a student of the martial arts, this should be your long term ambition. Good luck.
TRAIN, TEACH and GIVE BACK. This is the martial art way.