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Title [ICM's Pick] Master Kyujin SHIN, my teaching experience in 2020 4th Martial Arts Open School Project
Q1. Personal impression about the MAOS project
We live in the times of COVID-19, a very unfortunate circumstance that forced us to focus on those who are closer to us here in Korea. UNESCO ICM did a wonderful job and made the best of the situation by finding a way to continue the open school project. We reached out to students in international schools, Taekwondo in Ulsan, and Taekkyeon in Jeju.
Although Taekwondo is a staple activity for Korean youth, it is not the case for students in international schools. This is more prevalent for an old art like Taekkyeon. As Jeju Branksome Hall Asia is an all girls school, who has less exposure to martial arts than boys, they were even more unfamiliar with Taekkyeon. So it was a quite a nice opportunity for the students during the project.
It was also a great experience for the instructors, as we recognized many youth have never heard of Taekkyeon. It would have been great to have the 4th MAOS run longer to teach them the whole beginner's curriculum. Because it was such a short period of time due to the COVID-19 effect, the class was focused on having a fun and memorable experience. In the limited time we had with them, I believe they learned the true essence of Taekkyeon; training with love for the world, and having a healthy and resilient body.
Q2. Role of Martial Arts for youth and children
Physical fitness is crucial for a prosperous life. Research has shown that physical activity is great for the body as well as mental health, as it boosts self-esteem, betters concentration, and helps with sleep. This is even more important for youth, because physically and mentally weak children have extreme difficulty achieving goals in life and possibly end up harming themselves or people around them. We also know that lack of self-esteem takes a large part in school bullying, for both the bully and the one who gets bullied.
Martial arts is the pinnacle of physical activities, as it is all forms of movements and training. One can train on their own or with others, empty handed or with equipments, against no opposing force or force. Correct method trains you in correct movements without harming joints, developing all muscles and nerves. Martial arts also form a better, relaxed posture, which gives you confidence and helps you to stay calm. Since children and youth spend so much time with smart-phones, a good posture has become ever more important.
Martial arts will grow kids and youth into healthier, happier, and more peaceful adults which in turn will make our world a better place.
Q3. Future plan and my dream
Martial arts have different reputations. Some are viewed as just a fighting system, some as less than a dance, and some as just a way for a peace of mind. When in fact, it is all things, not just one of many. It is a fighting system, a dance, meditation, and a way to keep up the physical and mental health. Unfortunately, it is us, the instructors who are responsible for. Many martial arts are marketed and taught in the same way as they are viewed. My goal is to teach in a correct and an engaging way to change people's views on martial arts and provide them with a lifelong training experience.