Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that, from the beginning of its time, utilized natural human defense mechanisms, kicking, punching, and screaming to train military combat to protect a heavily invaded country of Korea. During the Silla Dynasty, young boys of nobility were trained to protect and fight for their King, and it was during this period the “do” was adopted into the training to instill humanity and righteousness on the battlefield.
Fast forward to modern day, taekwondo was accepted into US Amateur Athletes Union (AAU) in 1975, and continued its development into the global network of modern taekwondo with acceptance as an official event in 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Taekwondo advertises a fantastic list of personal development: self-discipline, self-confidence, self-esteem, respect, focus, a ‘Yes, I can” attitude, and improved school grades to name a few. This is not only a parent’s dream come true, but also what the future of our humanity needs. Is taekwondo the magic solution? Perhaps it is magical. What makes taekwondo pull these results? Well, I can’t exactly reveal our trade secret, but what I can tell you is that it isn’t exactly in the training of kicking (tae) and punching (kwon)…it may have something to do with the “way of” (do), which in and of itself deserves a dissertation worthy attention.
Then how are millions (an estimated 80million) of taekwondo students around the world benefiting from taekwondo? Taekwondo training, when done correctly strengthens and stretches all the muscle groups in a holistic manner. It challenges each muscle to be used for many different applications: speed, microbursts, power, and lengthening (this is why taekwondo athletes have well defined muscles). Taekwondo training (not kick-boxing) also gives the brain a workout, and this is the reason why taekwondo is an apt exercise routine for everyone from the age of 4 through mature adults into their diamond years. It’s science based fact that exercise helps the brain at all ages The Brain-Body Connection (PDF), but more so when that activity is taekwondo.
In order for the brain to make effective and efficient connections, the brain needs both left and right brain stimulation. Taekwondo movement is designed in a way that almost all movements require simultaneous engagement of both left and right side of the body with constant crossing of the body’s midline. Each time a hand block is executed, the student has to cross the midline to chamber the block and cross again to complete the movement, this in effect, crosses the left and right brain in an effortless way, allowing the brain to “exercise” and become more pliable to make faster connections.
Taekwondo also helps the brain organize its focus priorities, which is lacking in children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Taekwondo requires the brain to use short-term memory, working memory, and long term memory when learning (short term and working), memorizing (short-term, working, and long-term), performing (short-term, working, and long-term), and teaching (long-term).
In short, taekwondo has something to offer everyone, whether that be for muscle tone, brain health, depression therapy, gross motor skills, competitive sports, developing speed and agility for other sports (great for off-season training), and/or self-defense; anybody, young, old, and prime, typical or exceptional can benefit from taekwondo when the teaching staff is aware of the magic that it can provide and has the knowledge and skills to present it in a way to maximize its benefit for each student.
The staff at Jiho Choi Taekwondo Institute takes pride in our in-depth knowledge and experience in early childhood developmental pedagogy to stimulate nuero-cognitive connection to provide a holistic experience for all our students.
Jiho Choi TKD Institute is a full service taekwondo training center where students are advised and taught about health, fitness, nutrition, kinesiology, meditation, competitive taekwondo sports. And most importantly, we understand the underlying secret to help each student successfully reach the pinnacle of their inner discipline, confidence, and respect. Nothing we do here is random. We teach students, taekwondo is the tool with which we unlock the potential and make it happen for our students. Come take a trial class and activate your massive potential.