In our classes, both young and old, we make it a point to recite the tenets of Taekwondo at the beginning of every class. The purpose of this, of course, is to remind everyone the general guidelines we, as martial artists, use to live by. In addition, every week, we discuss one tenet in very good detail–asking each student to find examples they see or actually exercise in their daily lives.
Recently we covered “self-control.”
On the student’s card, this tenet encourages the student to calm themselves down in the face of anger or frustration, by breathing in a relaxed manner while counting up to ten. This process actually has some logic to it because our emotions generally take over when we get angry; by counting to 10, we engage the side of our brain that deals with reason and logic. The combination of relaxed breathing and counting help control the anger that is brewing inside us. The result is that we are less likely to be angry, and thus less likely to say or do something we will regret in the future.
Because we teach everyone targeted defensive blocks, strikes, punches, and kick, it is very crucial that we temper these skills with self-control (in concert with the other tenets). Without self-control, a person learning these skills can easily become a bully, or worse, a danger to society.
Be advised that students who use their skills for other than self-defense, can quickly find themselves suspended from Taekwondo classes.
Self-control is not just about anger control. It is all about controlling ones self from temptations. There are many pressures in our environment, as well as within our feelings, that cause us to do something. Sometimes what we do is good, but more often than not, it is something that isn’t good.
At school for example, kids are under constant peer pressure to be with the “in crowd.” Say for example, the “in crowd” are all smokers. This creates peer pressure for a kid to smoke since that act is associated with that group. A strong sense of self-control, can help a child justify to themselves why that group is not such an “in crowd” after all. Instead, they will learn to feel sorry for those that fall and succumb to peer pressure.
There are many other things kids (as well as adults), can be tempted to do. With self-control, they can temper such urges.
Now you know the importance of self-control, and what can happen, should a student fail to exercise it.
Have you exercised self-control lately, or have you seen someone put it to use? Please share by commenting below.
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