“There is an innocence in admiration; it is found in those to whom it has never yet occurred that they, too, might be admired some day.” -- Friedrich Nietzsche
What or whom do you admire?
If you are a UMAC student, past or present, do you remember your early days learning Taekwondo, what gave you that sense of wonder?
Maybe it was seeing the Demo Team do an extraordinary performance. Maybe it was the speed and power demonstrated by your instructors during sparring. Or maybe you were amazed that someone could remember all the forms from White Belt to Black Belt. Or maybe it was watching amazing board breaking at your first belt test.
Those feeling of wonder and amazement are admiration...and you should always remember and keep them. Admiration provides inspiration and motivation to become “just like your hero” and more importantly, to be the best that you can be.
You follow your parent’s instruction...learning the difference between right and wrong.
You follow your master’s instruction...to gain technique and self-defense.
You follow your peer’s instruction...when it is positive to reinforce your friendship.
You follow your own instincts and instruction...to gain a higher perspective about yourself.
All of this is done through the admiration you feel for those that guide you through life.
Admiration For Taekwondo
To be the best Martial Artist you need three things: a great instructor, lots of practice, and tournament-level competition.
All great students have great teachers. It is the rare individual that excels completely on their own. Most of us need help and guidance. Grandmaster Kim is my “great” teacher and I hope that I and the other UMAC instructors are yours.
All great students practice...a lot! It doesn’t matter if you want to be good in science, math, reading, baseball, dance, or Taekwondo...it takes practice. And once the hard work is done the best place to find out just how good you really are...is to take a test, like in a tournament.
Tournament competition is an essential element of Martial Arts training and so much more than winning shiny medals and trophies. And when you learn to compete at the tournament level you find out you can accomplish many other things in your lifetime.
Tournaments test your skills
Practicing and developing your skills, perfecting your forms, learning effective sparring strategies, is all fine and good...and when the work is done then competition test your training, showcasing your abilities and learning where you need to improve.
Tournaments help you overcome your fears
Martial Arts training teaches you how to stay calm and clear headed under pressure; be smart, be confident, be in control. Stepping onto the tournament floor is cause for excitement; your juices are flowing, your heart beats faster, there are butterflies in your stomach...you can’t run and hide...and this teaches you how to control your body and mind. And this confidence builds and builds where you learn to channel this control in all challenging and stressful situations, allowing you to step out of your comfort zone, which is so important later in life.
Tournaments keep you motivated
Competing can become short-term goals on your way to each belt. You train hard and smart so you can compete. Competing becomes a source of pride and a sense of accomplishment.
Tournaments allow you to watch and learn from others
Practicing with the same partner allows you to become comfortable, knowing what your partner will do and allowing you to anticipate their moves. Competing against strangers is challenging, forcing you to be more aware and mindful of different forms and styles, teaching you to adapt to be successful.
Tournaments allow you to take your Martial Arts training to the next level
This is what the Martial Arts and learning Taekwondo is all about...learning the skills and building a foundation of life-skills...learning to be the best you can be
So watch out, someday you may be that someone...to be admired.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.