The philosophy of TKD can be traced back to the ancient “Hwa Rang Do”. It was a military educational and social organization for the noble youth. Its code of honor consisted basically of:
- Loyalty to your nation.
- Respect and obedience of one’s parents.
- Courage and bravery on the battlefield.
- The avoidance of all unnecessary violence and kills.
Simply speaking, the philosophy of TKD is to gain an understanding of love, kindness and compassion; to achieve of one’s body, mind and spirit and to attain superior character. TKD is meant to be used only in defense of one’s country or when the life of the student or their ones are endangered. TKD training begins by learning the physical aspect of the art. Only after years of physical training and most importantly , mental discipline combined with learning of TKD philosophy, is the student then enlightened as to the “DO” or the way of life of Tae Kwon Do.
The educational objectives of TKD training are:
- To develop an appreciation of TKD as a sport and as an art.
- To achieve physical fitness through positive participation.
- To improve mental discipline and control of one’s emotions.
- To learn self-defense skills.
- To develop a sense of responsibility for one’s self and others.
TKD is, by nature, a lifetime sport and art. Its benefits are psychological, sociological as well as physical. The training aims at the development of balance, speed, agility, power, rhythm, muscular endurance and strength. Neuro-muscular coordination and cardio-vasular efficiency are greatly aided by practicing TKD. The goals of TKD coincide with those of other sports and physical education accompanied by the use of TKD skills can be divided into three major divisions:
- Poomse of Hyung (Formal Forms)
- Kyorugi (Sparring)
- Kyukpa (Breaking)
Therefore, to achieve a balanced training, the TKD student must learn forms, sparring and breaking.
TKD is not only excellent exercise, but is an expression of the principles in human movement, skills and spirit. The TKD student learns that tranquility improves performance. The setting for the feeling of emotional well being that TKD provides produces better training results; frees stress and fear.
It is therefore the instructor’s responsibility to assist the TKD student in growth of not only the body, but the mind and character. “Do”. The life. Is the backbone of all martial artists and compassion and understanding must be intertwined for the true martial artist. Without these elements, the art of TKD would be little more than physical fighting and would lead to its eventual demise.
Hence, TKD becomes a way of life. A style of living with a peaceful understanding of others and most importantly, one’s self. Without mental training and philosophy, TKD becomes merely a method of fighting. Student must understand that TKD is just as much an art of the mind as of the body. When the mind and body work as one, the power of the spirit can be drawn upon and channeled into whatever direction the student desires.