Teen Discusses the Benefits of Taekwondo
A 13-year-old guest blogger explains her love of this martial arts form
Photo by Master35/Shutterstock
Taekwondo is a form of martial arts that originated in South Korea. It includes poomsae, breaking, sparring, self defense, weapons and life skills. I am a 13-year-old female who has been involved in martial arts for eight years. I began training because I was being bullied in second grade, and now I’m training to test for my third degree black belt. Honestly, Taekwondo, as a whole, has shaped me into the well-rounded person I am today.
Taekwondo can be beneficial to everyone. Male or female, adult or child. Most studios have classes for kids ages 3 and up. Therefore, it is a family sport and a fun way to exercise. It can be understood at different levels by different ages. Children learn how to deal with bullies, stand up for themselves and get out of dangerous situations. Adults learn how to protect themselves in a dangerous situation, as well as how to protect their family.
Taekwondo isn’t just fighting. It is a form of self defense only to be used in dangerous situations. We do fight, but rules and proper protection are used. Fighting in Taekwondo is called sparring and consists of getting points by hitting the opponent’s chest or head. Other parts of Taekwondo include poomsae, breaking, kicking targets, weapons and leadership. Poomsae is also called "forms" and is a mixture of movements that change at each belt level. Breaking is just what it sounds like: breaking boards. Yes, real wood, and yes, you can do it. Kicking targets is when an instructor or master chooses a kick (yes, there are different types of kicks), and you kick handheld targets. Weapons consists of nunchucks and sword training. We spar with the swords and show off with the nunchucks.
At Taekwondo, we have certain skill sets called black belt life skills (BBLS). BBLS are skills that we all need to have and live by every day — respect, integrity, confidence, etc. We all know what they are, but so many people don’t use them regularly. I’m guilty of doing this just as much as anyone else, so the BBLS are good reminders for me. The skill changes every week, and we learn (or review) the definition and how the skills can be used at the Taekwondo studio, at home and at school/place of employment.
So, are you willing to try Taekwondo in the future? It’s fun, a good way to learn safety, a good reminder of how we should be acting, and great exercise. The school I attend is Master Chang’s Martial Arts with many locations in North Carolina. I hope to see you there soon.