Friday, April 26, 2013

Taekwondo: Unity of Mind and Body

In a world that can be violent and threatening, a working knowledge of self defense is an invaluable skill. And there are many forms of fighting to choose from – boxing, wrestling, kick-boxing, and many others from different parts of the world and different traditions. But for those who want to learn a method of fighting that extends beyond a confrontational situation and permeates throughout one’s life in a positive manner, taekwondo is a unique opportunity.

Taekwondo is a traditional Korean form of martial arts training that has developed over a period of 5000 years. Its name is derived from three words: tae, kwon and do. “Tae” means to smash with the foot. “Kwon” means to smash with the hand. “Do” refers to a practice, art or discipline. When put together, taekwondo essentially means the art of using one’s legs, arms, feet and fists in the “right way,” a way that is centered on control and promoting peace and unity.

It is with this mindset that the Korean-style martial arts training is considered a form of self defense. It isn’t rooted in hot-headed, random aggression. It is firmly planted in the unity of mind, body and spirit. Those who master the art use it to promote a similar unity and peacefulness not only in themselves, but in their communities. Compared to many other styles of fighting, it is exceedingly level-headed and spiritually balanced.

If you’re thinking this sounds more mental than physical, think again. Taekwondo requires immense physical focus and control. A single pose, one that is interweave with a sound mental focus, takes extensive practice and dedication. When mastered, it creates great destructive potential and fighting capabilities. It is a form of self defense, but it is extremely powerful and intimidating against one’s enemies.

The ability to fight is a long, hard-earned skill that will serve the person who is willing to put in the work very well. And while the ability to protect oneself is a reward in itself, the benefits of taekwondo extend beyond physical force. It creates a balanced unity of mind and body that keeps its practitioner of a sound, peaceful mind, a balance that serves to increase the peacefulness of all society. If you’re looking for a martial arts training method that will become not only a hobby but a way of life, taekwondo is for you.

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