Welcome to the first ever blog post of Halama’s Martial Arts! I started this blog out of a genuine desire to help people through a medium I know well, and to articulate my knowledge to share with everyone. This is meant to be more than just martial arts in modern times; Tae Kwon Do can change your life!
Okay, I know you’ve heard that many times before. Every self-proclaimed guru tells you the same, whether it’s on TV, in their book, or online. What they usually don’t say is what I’m going to tell you now: this won’t be easy. Anyone here thinking this will be a quick, smooth path to mastery and excellence will be very disappointed. That’s not to say you can’t achieve a certain result shortly-in fact, there are many short-term goals you’ll have to succeed at in order to realize that final long-term goal. True mastery of anything takes time and dedication, which you will need to devote if you want to succeed.
Tae Kwon Do can help you with long-term success in life. I’m not telling you that it’s impossible to find that elsewhere; rather I’m drawing on my own experiences to give you the why and how that I know very well. To give you the tools to be prosperous, happy, and-even though it sounds dramatic-in control of your own destiny. It’s all entirely achievable.
Tae Kwon Do isn’t a religion, and shouldn’t be considered one-in fact, it’s quite compatible with any other spiritual creed you choose to follow. What you’ll learn here is about an ethos and philosophy to guide you that can integrate into your other beliefs or completely on its own. Core principles of our martial art include integrity, compassion, strength, skill, wisdom and leadership.
At this point you’re probably wondering-where do I start? How does this journey begin? As with any journey, we start at the beginning. We’re going to talk about the origins of Tae Kwon Do as a martial art. In order to truly gain the most you can from something, I find it best to understand its origins and as much as I can about it. I also want to point out that this blog should be used in conjunction with actually taking classes and learning the art. The lessons presented within will give you insight into many things, but actual application coupled together with this will yield the most benefit.
Tae Kwon Do is a martial art originating in Korea. I’m not going to recite the entire history of it here-that’s something you can easily find online and won’t be as instructive. Suffice it to say that it was developed as a combat art and evolved over time in Korea until it was presented in the United States and other countries worldwide until it has become what it is today-an internationally recognized martial art being practiced by millions of people, as well as an official Olympic sport.
There are multiple schools, or Kwans within Tae Kwon Do. My style is Ji Do Kwan, and the one we practice at our school. It means Ji=Wisdom, Do=the way, and Kwan=School, or the Way of Wisdom school. The flag of Ji Do Kwan hangs in our school. The 8 points on the flag around the central circle stand for the 8 manners of solemnity. Wisdom is integral to the practitioner of Ji Do Kwan. Knowledge alone isn’t sufficient. There is more knowledge available to everyone in the world today than at any other time in human history. Anyone with a computer, tablet, phone, etc. can simply hit a button and “know” about something. But wisdom is far greater-the ability to process that information, use it and apply it while maintaining your core tenets of integrity and compassion. That is where the Ji Do Kwan practitioner shines-becoming an example for those around him (or her-anyone and everyone can successfully practice martial arts). The dictionary defines wisdom as “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.” This can be learned in class and from those around you, but remember that this isn’t confined to the do jang-this translates to the rest of your life.
Ji Do Kwan is also defined by its Indomitable Spirit-that is, impossible to subdue or defeat. Our style prizes a never give up, never give in attitude. However, let me be very clear-this is not aggression. We do not use our strength for destructive or hurtful acts. Remember, we are guided by our core principles of integrity and compassion, wisdom and leadership. We assert ourselves, and our will is strong. We don’t give up when faced with adversity, and we don’t back down from a challenge. in fact, we relish it, and see it as a way to prove to ourselves above all else that we can and will achieve it.
Now that you have a solid background in what Tae Kwon Do and our style, Ji Do Kwan are, we can discuss what comes next. I intend to convey both the philosophical aspects of Tae Kwon Do as well as the physical in this series. I’ll cover Respect, Discipline, Focus, Accountability, and Inner Strength, as well as Power, Precision, Balance, Timing, and Breathing Control. Each post will hone in on certain topics to truly give you an understanding of it as best as I can convey. I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it, because there is little that is more rewarding to me than sharing my knowledge for others to utilize and benefit from in their own lives.
See you soon-Master Cruz