By Logan Gill, red belt
At the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, Taekwondo is closely tied to academic achievement. Research has shown that students who engage in extracurricular activities tend to do better in school. Why does being a part of outside-of-school activities, such as Taekwondo, help kids with academics? For one, athletic activities like martial arts boost brain health and efficiency. Furthermore, enjoyment of extra activities helps the student's self-confidence, which directly translates to more confidence in both academics and social areas at school. Taekwondo also increases memory through understanding and memorization of martial arts skills, which are practiced and developed as the Taekwondo student progresses.
Taekwondo is a team sport. In it, students can both individually excel and flourish as part of a group. Taekwondo tournaments offer a chance for friendly competition, and the tournaments can offer both team and individual competition. Additionally, teamwork increases your ability to communicate and work collaboratively, both inside school and outside of it. The ability to cooperate with others is useful and sought after in all areas of life.
Involvement in activities like Taekwondo increases time management skills. Kids who regularly attend activities such as Taekwondo learn how to manage their time in terms of what is most important to them and what needs to be done, so they are better prepared for school, especially as it grows more challenging. In fact, the time management skills that come from attending extracurricular activities are essential for both school and academics outside of it.
At the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, the focus is not just on martial arts skills. While advanced Taekwondo skills and patterns are being taught, students also practice self-control and respect, among other physical and mental qualities. When Taekwondo students practice their skills, they learn the importance of practice and continual usage for the advancement of other skills as well. Taekwondo students simultaneously excel mentally and physically.
One of the most important mental qualities of a person in today's world is grit and determination. Upper-belt students at CTI have had to have a strong work ethic to get where they are now. Reaching black belt and beyond takes extreme determination and perseverance, no matter the student's initial skill level— and the satisfaction is worth it. However, reaching black belt is only the beginning. All students of Taekwondo are constantly striving for the next level, no matter how advanced they are. This constant reach for excellence is one of the best things a Taekwondo student, no matter what age, can do for themselves.
For me, Taekwondo has provided all this and more. I am a good student at school and I am sure I have benefited from being part of the CTI Taekwondo community. The constant hard work it takes has been extremely rewarding. Any student in Taekwondo definitely benefits from it- physically, mentally, in school, out of school, and in life.