Taekwondo By: Domenic M. Motivation When a student learns Taekwondo, the focus of his or her training is not only on physical strength and growth, but also on important skills that will benefit students inside the classroom and beyond. After all, a healthy individual is characterized by a strong body and a strong mind so that you can attack any curve ball life throws your way. Encourage Taekwondo helps give people self-confidence. It also strengthens your self-discipline that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. Health Benefits Flexibility -If you want work on flexibility, consider Taekwondo. Stress Relief -Taekwondo is a way to blow off steam. Stamina & Energy -Taekwondo will eventually boost your endurance and you will have more energy throughout the day. Fitness Benefits The principles of Taekwondo techniques are based on the design of your body. For power you develop the larger, powerful muscles of the torso. The speed of the techniques comes from the fast, agile muscles of the arms and legs. As you progress in Taekwondo, you will learn to coordinate this speed and power, and develop a concentration to focus all of your body's strength into a small, hard striking surface like the edge of the hand or the heel of a foot. Self Expression When you take Taekwondo, over time you will learn respect, attitude (spirit), loyalty, honor, integrity, and more. Each life skill taught through ATA curriculum is based on The Songahm Spirit of Taekwondo oath, a promise each student makes at the beginning and end of each ATA event to prepare them for what lies ahead. Social Interaction There are more than 350,000 members of the organization worldwide. Members can decide to compete in tournaments that are placed around most of the U.S.A. In tournaments you can set up new friendships with kids from California to Maine. These friendships could last for a lifetime. Challenge (s) Challenges include going through all of the belts (White to Black), committing to practice, and dedication to the philosophy of this art. Enjoyment of Taekwondo When you participate in Taekwondo, you will be able to use weapons, protectively fight others (spar), and learn new things (such as kicks and hand techniques). “These things are quite enjoyable once you learn them, even if you don’t want to at first.”, Mr. Scott DeShetler, Karate Instructor. Value of Taekwondo After you go through the belts in Taekwondo, the belts show how hard you worked and that is a real treasure to keep. Also, you can keep going after the Black Belt and eventually own a school or become an important figure in the Taekwondo world. Importance Taekwondo is important because it gives you health and fitness benefits, it might start new friendships, it is an ancient art that might need to be protected and known in later years, and even if you think a challenge is not very fun it will teach you why we need a challenge or two in or lives. Participation (Where) You can participate in many Taekwondo systems. I recommend the ATA (American Taekwondo Association). The ATA has nearly 1,500 independently owned and operated licensees in current operation on five continents. You can go to any school around the world if you want to. You would go to a scheduled class on a certain day with other kids or adults. Cost You can take a four week course for $49.00. If you want a membership you can choose from a variety of monthly plans (Plans range from 1-12 months. Prices vary depending on which plan you choose.) Works Cited Ataonline.com. American Taekwondo Association, 2012. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://ataonline.com/schools/schoolsearch.asp>. Chardonata.com. Chardon Karate for Kids, 20092012. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.chardonata.com/members.html>. Taekwondoanimals.com. US Digital Millennium, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.taekwondoanimals.com/taekwondohealth-benefits.asp>.