Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Importance of Being a Self-Directed Learner

By Caleb Feagans, 2nd dan, Conifer Instructor
A kid practicing for his martial arts school during remote learning

As a result of recent events, the Colorado Taekwondo Institute has moved to online learning and has been conducting modified in person classes for the months of self-quarantine and during this time students of the CTI are starting to truly understand what it means to be a self-directed learner.   

One of the aims and goals of Moo Sul Kwan is to “Help students in identifying and accomplishing appropriate goals, developing a sense of self-esteem and confidence, in encouraging their desire for self-directed learning”.   CTI martial arts instructors help their students set goals and assist them in achieving those goals however, during this time we cannot get together and work out consistently twice a week. At this time we as students must now continue to work out and grow by ourselves and force ourselves to set goals and strive to accomplish those goals. 

The definition of self-directed learning is the process in which one takes initiative to set goals and takes the steps necessary to accomplish those goals.   In Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, we set goals like earning our next belt, increase our maximum number of push-ups, finally nailing that perfect side kick, or breaking a board with a kick you’ve been working on.   Our instructors push us every class and help us progress towards our goals, but now we cannot go see our instructors twice a week in classes so we can get that support and help.   That is why now is the time to truly become a self-directed learner by setting and working towards those goals on our own. 

 I have found that my motivation to do work-outs consistently and after a few weeks has been minimal.  I tried to do my basics and warm-ups as much as I could using the remote learning page but it was not until I created a training chart and set goals for myself that I finally started to get excited about working out since self-quarantine began.  Creating a training chart, having an accountability partner or make new small goals to achieve during this time will help bring back that sense of accomplishment.  Not only will you become stronger when we eventually return to regular classes, but you will be a better self-directed learner.  Being a better self-directed learner will not only help you with your MSK Taekwondo goals, but it will make you a better co-worker, a better student in school, and simply a better person in general.  During these uncertain times it can be difficult to motivate yourself but in the CTI one key aspect of becoming a great student is the ability to be a self-directed learner and now is the best time to show off that skill to your instructor and yourself.