Understanding Meditation and Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do, it is an Korean martial art that includes kicking and punching, and that also often involves breaking boards and performing ‘forms’ – sequences of moves including stances, transitions, kicks, punches, blocks and alternative strikes, to a clearly defined pattern and rhythm, with a specific pattern of breathing often applied as well.
Tae Kwon Do is a good form of exercise that builds strength and flexibility, but there is more to it than that. Focus and meditation are important parts of any martial art, and in particular Tae Kwon Do. Through meditation you will learn how to channel your body’s energy, clear your mind, and focus on whatever tasks are ahead.
There are many different styles of Tae Kwon Do now. Some focus on the more ‘showy’ aspects of performance. Some focus on point fighting – especially the styles that want to have a chance of sending people to the Olympics. Others are more interested in the spiritual side of things, and will put a lot of time into meditation, breathing, and using martial arts for self improvement.
Be wary, however, of instructors that talk as though Tae Kwon Do is thousands of years old. It is actually a relatively modern martial art. It was inspired by karate, but it was invented as a form of physical fitness improvement for young people in Korea. Any stories of masters from thousands of years ago are greatly exaggerated, and are being used to lure in unsuspecting people who want the mysticism of martial arts.
It really does have a lot to offer – but much of what it can give you will come from the fitness improvements, flexibility improvements and confidence. You will learn to punch and kick, get better balance, toughen up a little, and gain confidence in the way you carry yourself. These are things that any martial art can give you, but the extra ‘tradition’ (albeit young, relatively new traditions) that come with Tae Kwon Do are important, and they will help you in every aspect of your life – from coping with stressful situations, to finding the discipline to do jobs you don’t enjoy.