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Taekwondo for Body and Mind

July 15, 2010


I am guessing that most of you reading this have interest in Martial arts.  Perhaps you practice and spar with an organization, or maybe you are just interested in learning the arts for purely intellectual purposes.  Whatever the reason, I am here to talk to you today about a very important and sometimes forgotten principle that defines the relationship between the physical and mental realms of our bodies.

Although commonly seen as a purely physical martial art with flying kicks and spinning arms, Taekwondo is a perfect example of a sport where the mental connection to training must never be forgotten.  Author Gilles R. Savoie’s technical manual, Taekwondo, explains that the literal meaning of Taekwondo explains a foot strike, fist strike, and life philosophy.  This can be translated as “ The way of the foot and fist,” but  in truth, this sport places as much emphasis on the life philosophy as it does on the fist and foot.  Mental conditioning is a core concept to training and can include breath conservation, planning and analyzing a fighting style, or even just communicating messages to the body to orchestrate combat.

In performing a single move, our minds send messages to every body part to achieve a perfect flow and on target attack or block.  The mind is in charge, and must simultaneously plan the entire bodies strategy and carry out an even level of breathing to conserve energy.  Of course, we can’t forget about the importance of physical conditioning to ensure that the body is ready and strengthened for training.  Staying physically fit is a vital step in mastering any martial art, Taekwondo being no exception. Our bodies must be limber, flexible, and able to work with our minds to achieve perfect kinetic energy.

Once the body and mind are mastered, we can truly achieve greatness in ourselves.  The effects of the newfound control can be seen outside of any dojo in the composed manner we think in, our levels of patience, and even the way we visualize ourselves.   Studiers of martial arts like Taekwondo generally excel in studying and improve work efficiency.  Do you feel as though studying martial arts has improved your mental and physical state inside and outside of the dojo?

If you are interested in Taekwondo or want to learn more about the mind and body, then check out Taekwondo, a World Taekwondo Federation approved book, and put your mind to the test.

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