The Martial Arts Open School aims to involve more youth and women in martial art activities, and foster physical and psychological development of the participants through the use of martial arts around the world.
1. Personal impression about the project
It was a good time for me to think a lot as a martial arts instructor. First, I thought it was actually a great opportunity when dispatching aboard became impossible under the special occasion of COVID-19 pandemic that we have had. The reason being that there would be a lot of unexpected things happening in the future, and I reckoned this chance could be a valuable experience in responding to these kinds of situation. Also, I was proud to do it well, keeping the attendance steady to the end of the class. Most participants did not know about Taekwondo at first and there was a lack of understanding on the general martial arts education system in contrast to classes being held at Taekwondo gyms. Master Kim and myself, decided to teach the philosophy of martial arts, and put a lot of effort into implementing a more dedicated Taekwondo training. So, it was such a great experience for us too. Especially, our teaching slogan was ‘joyful martial arts activities’ and I was touched by the participants’ passion and hard work during the class. They experienced a sense of success when they finally acquired difficult movements and techniques, understood Taekwondo more and more, and started to respect each other, and came to think that learning martial arts is amusing. This all happened in a rather short period of training time but, I am sure they all have grown up a little, of course, myself too through them. In a nutshell, Martial Arts Open School project was a great chance for each other to teach and learn from one another.
2. Role of martial arts for youth and children
I feel like children and youth lack awareness of respect and moderation these days. There are things that can not be learned from school, in that sense, they mostly learn from books while digesting excessively many school and private institute schedules, this can lead to a lack of sociality and morality that can usually be learned from adults and seniors as well as raised with friendships. I think that it is necessary to have a certain tool to train the mind and body, which is to teach effectively and actively, and that tool is martial arts. The first reason is self-control, because the person who trains martial arts should know how to control their minds, that means someone can control their emotion, and further the person who does not get excited normally wins the competition and it is clear that martial arts play a key role in training their minds. Of course, some martial arts trainers cause social problems, this is because their physical growth is not followed by their mental growth. If you are a martial artist, you must control your emotions well. I thought this is the most important thing for youth to think about before they become adults. Secondly, respect for the other person can be said to be a characteristic of oriental martial arts, which is a prominent feature in Korea with strong Confucian ideas of ‘Hyo(filial piety)’, ‘Chung(fidelity)’ and ‘Yui(justice)’ and starts from understanding and respecting the other person in terms of physical superiority over the other person. This is because I think that ‘value of respect’ is essential for young children and all of us, who have a tendency of individualism these days, so I think that martial arts education is necessary.
3. Future plan and my dream
It is my dream to run a business of consulting Taekwondo instructors. One of the things that many martial arts instructors go through after graduating from the university is lack of their own teaching methods or athletic skills. Of course we can learn theoretical education while attending the department of Taekwondo, but I think there was a limitation in learning from the case of theoretical classes at school. Basically, teaching methods can be obtained after learning the course of teaching or intern course, and this is a formal pedagogy. However, in the field of Taekwondo, the instructors are qualified immediately after only a week of training, which can cause many problems. First, the friction with the students who participate in, and second is the problem with the private Taekwondo gym. Therefore, I would like to consult Taekwondo instructors and help them overcome this challenge. This consulting is to combine exercising methods from different gyms, after studying efficient methods of teaching martial arts, and then we dispatch them to domestic gyms, companies, overseas Taekwondo camps to gain experience. This is also to dispatch masters who have learned to teach to necessary areas of the world, it is to promote Taekwondo more efficiently and to remove a stigma that Taekwondo is just for infant physical education. To remedy this, I am currently working on a project to share Taekwondo guidance programme by creating a career club in the university. This is a programme that creates and shares the effective teaching methods and the efficient pedagogical way that we think and then give them mutual feedback. I personally hope Taekwondo will not be left as an exclusive property for children only, but become Taekwondo that can be enjoyed by seniors, adults, youth and women after all.