Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Art of Patience

By Sally Morgan, 1st dan

    There are many different reasons to get involved in the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.  Some join for the physical fitness, others join to learn self-defense skills, while families may join as a way to spend time together in an activity that is healthy and lots of fun.
    I joined the CTI for a little of all of these reasons.  My daughter joined first, and when asked if I would like to try it out, I thought, “Why not?”  I could share in something my daughter seemed to enjoy, work on my own health and physical fitness, as well as my own self-defense skills.
    And now, three and a half years later, I am in better shape than I have ever been in, and my daughter and I have gotten much closer.
    I joined the Westminster CTI Campus with these expectations, but never anticipated how much more I would learn and how much more Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo had to offer.
    If you would ask my parents to describe me growing up, the word patient would have never entered into their description.  They would have also called me a perfectionist.  I wanted to get everything right the first time.  Needless to say this is not a good mindset to have in Taekwondo, much less in life.  Human beings are not perfect, and to expect perfection will only lead to disappointment.  Now don’t misunderstand, striving for perfection and expecting it are two different things.  Always strive to be perfect.  You may not achieve perfection, but you will succeed at being the best you can be.  The trick is to never give up.  And never giving up requires a mindset of dedication, perseverance, and above all patience.
    When thinking about Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo you would never think patience would be a condition for success.  But patience is probably the most important skill you will need to develop your art.
    For instance, in poomse, it takes at least five hundred times in performing a poomse before the techniques and skills are getting good.
    When I was learning some of my poomses, I was very impatient.  I could not understand why it took so long to get new moves or why I would only learn a couple of moves at a time.  It’s only now that I have trained for some years that I’ve realized there is much more to knowing a poomse then just performing the moves.  Among countless things, you must focus on eyes, balance, stances, flow of movement, timing and so on.  It was then I realized that performing a poomse is truly an art form.
    Sometimes things don’t happen the way you expect or want them to.  And when this happens, you have two choices.  You can become frustrated and angry and keep asking yourself “Why me?” Or you can be like water and go with the flow.  This analogy sounds silly, but it works.  When water comes to an obstacle, such as a large rock, it doesn’t try to break or push through it, it simply finds a way to flow through or around it.  It may take more time, but it eventually reaches its destiny.  Patience.

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