Perhaps you have been watching your child take Tae Kwon Do for a while. You show up, grab a seat on the bench and start scrolling through your phone, chatting with the other parents or catching up on some reading for the 45 minute class. Occasionally, you look up to see what’s going on, but you’re just killing time until class is over. Some days you probably look over and think what they are doing looks like a lot of fun, but that it’s just for kids. Or that you are not athletic. Or that you are too old to learn or you would never be able to kick like they do. I’m here to tell you to give it a try.
Why? Because it’s a great workout. It’s a full body workout; cardio, strength, and core all rolled into one class. Tae Kwon Do is designed to be a self-paced program. You can come as often as you like and progress as fast or as slow as you are comfortable doing. Few people begin a Martial Arts program in great shape. The use of the belt system is designed to allow for this. Your white belt is a clear indicator to the instructor and to your fellow classmates that you are a beginner at this, so less is expected of you. The only thing that is asked of you is to try your best.
Why? Because it’s also great way to reduce stress. For most kids memorizing the forms (a complex set of movements combining blocks, kicks and strikes) comes easily. Kids are sponges; it’s not as easy for adults. It forces you to utilize a part of your brain that you have not accessed in years. It requires concentration, balance and coordination. It truly requires you to be dialed in and focused into the moment. Suddenly you are checked in, not checked out and you will find that the stresses of the day evaporate.
Why? Because it a great way to increase self-confidence. Tae Kwon Do builds both physical and mental confidence. Mastering a new kick, squeezing out one more pushup when your arms are wobbling, or smashing through your breaking technique is an amazing feeling of accomplishment. There is a direct link between increased physical confidence and improved mental confidence.
So give it a try, sign up for a two week trial. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
by Laura, adult, TKD black belt and currently green stripe in HKD