“I shall be a champion of freedom and justice” and “I shall build a more peaceful world.” Summing up the philosophy of Taekwondo, these two phrases have been struck deeply into the minds of our children this week. Earlier this week I was approached by a gentleman with a calming demeanour, asking me if I could afford him the opportunity to instil some values in our children. Naturally intrigued, I asked him to divulge, at which point he introduced himself as a taekwondo champion. His mission, he explained, was to promote the tenets of taekwondo – in which he fervently believes – through the means of Marshall Arts. After a brief explanation of his philosophy, he requested permission for his dojo to come and perform a demonstration for us.
Alongside the awe-inspiring feats of athleticism, what stood out about the group of young warriors was their discipline, respect and calm: perfect command of one’s own body seems inextricably linked to a calmness that allows true reflection. The beauty of this art form stretches beyond the movements into everyday life as it demands that one carefully consider every action and movement. The combination of physical discipline and the tenets of freedom and justice, Taekwondo’s philosophy, if correctly pursued, seems ideally suited to humanitarian work because it, too, promotes peace and justice whilst demanding huge respect for culture, values and rights. If the philosophy of discipline and respect can be translated and upheld correctly by our children, Taekwondo may provide the perfect platform from which our children can grow and nurture respect for the rights of others and use their discipline and perseverance to champion a better world.
I am, therefore, eager to see our new Taekwondo club unfold and shape some future champions of the tenets of “freedom and justice”.