If I sound like I’m obsessed with Tae Kwon-Do and the martial arts, it’s because I am. Few people get to see all of the good it does as well as I, as an instructor, get to see. Each student (and/or parent) experiences the Tae Kwon-Do world one piece at a time, or at best, in small doses. As a SaBum-Nim, I see the whole picture on a daily basis. For example, this past week, I assisted 2 brothers having issues at home work things out, talked with a school teacher who complimented one of my students for exemplary behavior and academic improvement, watched my Yellow Stripe students assist their fellow White Belt students, had a few parents tell me how TKD has turned their kids around, had a congratulatory talk with a student who has lost his goal of 60 pounds, had 2 of my instructors teach an off-site self-defense course to a group of women at SUNY/Bflo plus many, many more amazing things.
BUT…what was one of my best Tae Kwon-Do moments this week (and there were many) was watching 3 of my students (So-Yun Raquel Feliz, Il- Dan Rebecca Mogavero and Il-Dan Molly Reed) after a class. These three young women were about to fiercely compete for the honor of representing our Dojang at the North American Open in the musical forms competition. They would be competing against other students as well as against EACH OTHER. And yet, here they were, HELPING EACH OTHER prepare…critiquing, complementing, suggesting ideas, etc. Seriously, in almost any other venue or sport, they would typically be working against each other, attempting to thwart the others. I am very proud of them. I am pretty sure they didn’t think twice about it or even notice it. THAT’S what makes it so amazing. And if that wasn’t enough, I had 2 color belts, Tanush Nair and Joseph Tate enter the competition knowing they were going up against Black Belts…so proud of them as well.
Like I said, I see this sort of thing on a daily basis, in all forms, happening with all different students, in many different situations. I know Tae Kwon-Do isn’t a sport, but it has some “sport-aspects” to it and this just proves what a TEAM SPORT it can be. I laugh inside when a parent comes into my office and says “Johnny needs to stop Tae Kwon-Do so he can participate in a team sport.” ……Really?