From Awkward to Empowered: Tae Kwon-Do and Social Struggles


Social struggles know no age. 

I get a lot of students – adults and children alike – that are, for lack of a better word, awkward.

Of course, it can sometimes be related to a learning disability or some other external factors, but for the most part, I find that the source of social struggle is usually due to a lack of confidence or some other internal issue. Something is either weak or missing completely in the student.

I think that a lot of times what happens is, people become tainted or thrown off-course by what society “expects” them to be. In reality, you can never live up to society’s expectations because that changes every day, completely by design. 

Regardless of how old the student is or what the source of that struggle may be, training Tae Kwon-Do at our school has, time and time again, proven to help people overcome their challenges. Every aspect of what we do and teach here builds confidence. Getting in the ring and doing patterns, sparring with people, these things all will help you.

Inside and outside the dojang.

More than self-defense, more than kicking and punching, the improvement I see the most in all of my students is an increase in overall confidence. And I’m even prouder of the fact that the confidence they usually find is the confidence to be themselves.

And as crazy as it may sound, the more people train, the better looking they get. Not just physically (although your body will tone up and become stronger), but because they carry themselves differently. 

They stand taller. Their heads are high. It gives them the confidence and security to approach a stranger and introduce themselves. Or, when someone new approaches them, the security to welcome that person and include that person.

In a way, being at a social gathering can be a bit like sparring. You’re not fighting (hopefully), but it’s a series of struggles to overcome. You’re trying to talk to this person or that person, you’re defending yourself against people with conflicting viewpoints, you’re learning from others who are at a different level than you, etc.

The atmosphere at our dojang is that everything is one of consistency. Everyone here receives the same training. We’re just teaching you to be the person we know you can BECOME. A strong you. A confident you.

We have built a social construct within the walls of the dojang itself. We have no cliques here. But that is an unavoidable part of human nature and we teach you to navigate through those situations. We certainly have groups here and they are open to everyone. 

These groups tend to form based on common interests and skills. So, there might be a sparring type of group, a group of students who love tournaments, groups who like to stretch together, etc. 

That inclusivity is noticeable to new students very quickly, and it is often the first step toward breaking social struggles. Then, confidence and mental toughness continues to build through training. Self-defense applies just as much mentally as it does physically. You will learn techniques here to defend yourself if someone physically attacks you, and the confidence you develop can help you stand up to those who might try to harm you psychologically as well. 

Fortifying your spirit is the most effective way to handle even the most critical, insulting people. Tae Kwon-Do can help you fortify your spirit, and empower you to walk through life more assuredly.

Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, visit the Contact Us page or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!


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