This is the busiest time of year for many people. School is back in session, extracurricular activities are in full swing, even football season is among us. With everything going on, it’s easy for kids to get overwhelmed, and oftentimes want to slack off or quit their responsibilities. Perhaps the most crucial and valuable lesson learned in martial arts is perseverance. Students learn to never give up. They keep moving forward regardless of obstacles. They discover that without failure, there is never success.
Many find that the competitive nature of Taekwondo training is fun and extremely rewarding. But what happens in times where it pushes you past your limits? Or when you fail at something you have been working on for months? When you start to question your “why” anytime in life, it’s at that moment where perseverance must kick in. Taekwondo trains that skill and makes it an integral part of every class.
Never giving up after failure:
We all sometimes fail in life. That’s all part of being a human being. It’s no different in Taekwondo. Sometimes students will fail their belt testing and not receive a new belt. Or they will compete in a tournament and will lose. They might mess up a form or get beat in sparring. It would be easy to quit after that. But Taekwondo teaches students to get back up and try again, the next time being better than ever before. They are taught to persevere through that failure and never give up because the reward is so worth every obstacle.
An essential part of perseverance is to keep improving. That’s the only way we keep moving forward. In Martial Arts, there are unlimited chances to keep improving. At the very basic level, students need to get better to keep moving up in rank. In order to get a new belt, they have to persevere to learn new techniques, memorize their form, and test in front of other people. Without using perseverance taught in class they would lose motivation. But the desire to achieve their goals and become a black belt keeps them going.
One of the most fun parts of Taekwondo is breaking boards. Any student can tell you that the first board you attempt to break will almost always be unsuccessful. But that’s the best part about it. It isn’t about breaking the board, it’s that you keep trying until you do. Then when it shatters beneath your foot, you know it’s because you never gave up, regardless of the obstacle.
While Taekwondo training is a very personal journey, it also includes the community around you. Going to class and seeing other people working hard towards their goals is inspiring and motivating to keep trying until you succeed too. There are so many people who train and compete at an extremely high level that it motivates you to never give up because you want to be as good or better than them someday.
Perseverance isn’t just a lesson learned in class. Students carry that lesson through their lives and use it in everyday situations like trying again after failing a test or losing something they really wanted to win. They know to get back up and try again until they are successful. That mindset is of a true champion.
What is most essential is that they carry that into adulthood when life really gets tough. They are able to overcome the hardest situations because of perseverance they learned at a young age during Martial Arts. They never give up when they try to get a job or pursue their dreams, even if it comes with many failures.
Isaac Martin, the head instructor of Venture Martial Arts, knows perseverance better than most people his age. Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 17, he was able to recover because of the perseverance taught to him in Taekwondo. The challenges he faced when he was younger helped him get through that period of his life.
He now runs a Taekwondo Dojang, is a multiple-time world champion winner, and inspires kids to learn perseverance just like he did. Martial Arts training helped him overcome the worst period of his life and can help people no matter what they are going through, no matter what age they decide to start. The key to any successful person is to keep moving forward.