Friday, June 15, 2018

Teens and Taekwondo

By Scott & Alex Hancey, blue belts (father and son)
Two teenagers kicking at a martial arts school for teens

Being a teenager while doing Taekwondo is important now and later in life. Being a teenager, I have learned in class to use self control before self defense, we call this "Ho Shin". It means not to hurt anybody outside or inside of class unless you are being threatened. It means not to hurt them if they are being rude but always ask what the problem is first and don’t go straight to punching and kicking. If they were about to start hurting you a lot that is the time to start using what you learned in Taekwondo to protect yourself. Defending yourself is important. Parents want their kids to be safe and not be scared. Taekwondo is a way to defend yourself in dangerous situations. 

Taekwondo has helped me stretch my body to kick higher, punch harder, and to have a good stance which requires lots of practice. In Taekwondo, practice is important, both mentally and physically. If your goal is to become a better kicker practice at home, outside, or in class because practicing makes you better at doing it. 

martial arts school for teens teaches student how to better deal with pain and struggle. In class pain and struggling is temporary but has a big impact on you later in life, and sometimes necessary in order to reach your life goals. 

Everyone has a problem that you know nothing about, this is especially true when you are a teen. Who are your friends, what crowd to fit in with, which grades are more important, why am I in trouble again? Issues that seem trivial as adults take center stage as a teen, yet chances are you had the same issues growing up. 

How easy it is to forget the challenges of adolescence, I certainly have either forgotten or suppressed most of mine. Often while watching my teenage son struggle I find myself poking around in the dusty corners of my brain looking for remnants of my young feelings. All parents do this at some time, wanting and hoping to give their child some kernel of information that they did not have. One piece that I had as a teen was Taekwondo, I am hoping to pass along some of my my growth and experiences through this training to my son. 

School and the pressures that go along with it can be hard, especially in the middle school years, nothing seems to make sense. Friends change, teachers can be good or bad depending on the day and don't get me started on parents. There is no consistency at a time when a sane and simple, predictable routine should exist. CTI provides our family this stable platform. 

Everyone is equal, at least in the teens martial arts school. It doesn't matter the color of your hair, eyes or your belt. Your uniform is the same, your basic training is the same and so is your sweat. The most difficult challenger you will encounter is the one you see in the mirror, this reflection will also become your biggest critic and your most steadfast ally. There are no subgroups based on fashion, looks or intelligence, we are all working to better ourselves. 

Advancement in rank is set by your instructor, it is up to you to set your own individual goals. You may choose advancement to the next belt, breaking more boards, learning to protect yourself or becoming fit. It doesn't matter what you choose as your assignment so long as you are true to yourself. 

What you learn in addition to your training may not be initially seem important. It is the side lessons that when planted require time to take root. Listening, timing, self confidence, spacial awareness are some of these skills. You and your teen may not see the benefits of this alternate training initially but they do show up in your attitude, which ultimately enhances your personal and family skills. The Colroado Taekwondo Institute is an awesome martial arts school for teens.

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