Friday, July 21, 2017

The Traveling Student

By Nina Madayag, 1st dan
5 members of black belt families traveling in Sweden and Norway

The very first Aim and Goal of Moo Sul Kwan Martial Arts is to encourage appreciation of one’s own culture and that of others.  At the Colorado Taekwondo Institute (CTI), there are numerous opportunities to travel abroad.  In fact, since the CTI was founded on October 1, 1983, there have been eight World Tours. Here is a list of the places the black belt team has traveled to:

  • Russia- 1983
  • South Korea- 2001
  • Ireland- 2004
  • Mexico- 2006
  • New Zealand- 2007
  • Germany & Austria- 2011
  • South Korea II & Jeju Island- 2014

and this year . . . Sweden/Norway - June, 2017

One way that CTI students can get to know other cultures is by traveling with the team on a Black Belt World Tour.  It is such an exciting experience and what’s amazing is that you can get to see the world and get to learn about other cultures.  The best way to learn about other cultures and how to represent our culture well is to follow the five basic tenets of taekwondo while traveling.  These five tenets are:

  • Courtesy
  • Integrity
  • Perseverance
  • Self-control
  • Indomitable spirit

When traveling in a large group, you always have to remember to be courteous - this means to your group and to others.  Courtesy is the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others.

Sometimes with international travel, there can be obstacles in your way that may be stressful.  For example, you could lose your luggage or realize you forgot something that is significant to the trip.  Although, just because these acts occurred, does not mean to be disrespectful to fellow students and instructors.  Many members of the team may experience events that will get in there way throughout the entire trip, but part of getting through these obstacles is having courtesy. When meeting people from another country, you should have integrity.  This means to be honest and trustworthy.  Integrity is the quality of being and having strong moral principles. 

Being part of a CTI Black Belt World Tour is fulfilling a very big duty.  Part of this duty is having ethics and sticking with the group and doing the right things.  As a traveling student with MSK, honesty is one of the most significant qualities to have.  As Zig Ziglar once said, "With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.”

Self-control is the ability to control oneself, especially during difficult situations.  Self-control does not mean to act crazy or goofy especially when you are representing MSK and the United States. But it also means not getting in a bad mood even if you are tired or not up for the workout.  You have to have self-control and put your best effort into the task.  At the end of every class, we repeat the saying “Ho-shin”, which means, self-control before self-defense. We do not just repeat this saying for us not use it in life.  We mean it every single time we say it, so we can use it at MSK Taekwondo, school, home, and work.

Traveling abroad can be tiring, but you have to use perseverance. Perseverance is working harder when you have already worked your hardest. Perseverance is never giving up no matter the circumstances. During a tough workout or a long promotion test, perseverance can and will help you get through it. Julie Andrews once said, "Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” This quote means, although you might fail the majority of times, you should never quit until you succeed.

Showing your fellow students and instructors you have indomitable spirit can really make a trip wonderful!  That is because by having this quality, you can help others keep up their energy when they are lacking it.  When a group is not feeling the energy to do more, indomitable spirit can help.  Indomitable spirit is being courageous in tough or tiring situations.  Using this quality throughout a trip will help both the students and instructors.

So, by following the five tenets of Taekwondo, you can make any trip memorable.  It is a magnificent experience and privilege to travel abroad with the CTI.  To make it a fantastic trip, follow all the guidelines and you will be ready for the next CTI Black Belt World Tour!

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