TAE KWON DO MAN ON BUILDING SELF CONFIDENCE
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The concept of focus is one factor that characterizes this data set. Focus means that students are expected to stay on task, physically and mentally, until completion. The parents unanimously touched upon the concept of focus. Still has problems but much better than before. Trying to find threads that led to the reinforcement of focus in children, observations indicate that a certain routine characterized the sessions.
To better understand the systematic pattern of representations that occurred, the following will describe a typical day at the training hall. Children scattered around while adults waited for the line up to get organized.
Tae Kwon Do Man On Building Self Confidence
Line Up! The hands of the clock pointed at exactly the time announced. One call was the trigger for the scurrying around of the children trying to find a place on the lines indicated by a blue tape on the red carpet. Since ranking is an important feature for their lining up, children focused on the belt colors to place themselves in the line. To the right, all the higher belts lined up starting from the Black to the red, the blue, the green, the yellow, the white and finally the no-belts.
Anxiety, self-confidence and performance in Tae Kwon-Do.
Regardless of the age of the students, the belt color is the only indicator of the ranking in line. In the case of big students obstructing the view of the others, some mild rearrangements are done by the instructor to allow both instructor or leader of the session and students to see each other at all times.
Again visual and mental focus was diverted towards the self- check. Young and old, big and small, females and males, were all unified with one move, all on their knees, their eyes closed and in silence. All eyes were focused forward onto the instructor waiting for him to dictate the next move.
Day after day, one can observe the same routine with hardly any change except for the leader of the session. Depending upon the availability of higher belts, the leader of the session is chosen by the assistant instructor. The Grand Master as well as the assistant instructor are always present and available. The session continued with each move being uttered verbally once, and the students following through based on the imitation of the leader of the session. One wrong move meant that all had to wait till that student straightened their stance. Each move was called once in English and twice in Korean at which point the students would repeat verbally twice and then execute the move.
There were no interruptions allowed during the actual process unless of an emergency.
Benefit #2: Goal Setting & Discipline
There were no allowances made for any type of interruptions that were not directly relevant to the moves executed at that time. One minute break. Students shook hands with the leader thanking him for this part of the session and went out for water and a minute of fresh air. For this segment of the session, students lined up seated along the rim of the carpet.
Children checked on their seating order following the ranking and crossed their legs while on the line. If they were too young to be left alone outside, he would ask them to sit by him, alone in front of the group. Such types of punishment were very consistent but hardly ever administered, as children seemed to follow rules to avoid such confrontations. When orders were called, students executed. No Sir! During all this activity, the children would be totally focused on the proceedings of the session.
The simplicity of the physical environment of the training hall consisted of limited visual aids and visual stimuli. The human element consisted of the student body, the Master and instructors, and finally the visitors. However, focus on the self and the instructor or the leader were the keys to all the activities. At times, when spectators would be noisy or talking, the students were not actually permitted to pay attention to them. One salient feature of the training hall was the obvious fact that there were limited visuals to divert the attention of the students off the instructor.
The hall has one wall with mirrors and one wall where all the white charts with terms in English and in Korean were written in big script for everyone to see. The students were expected to memorize these terms within the first six to eight months of their training. Besides these two walls there were no other visuals.
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Children either stared into the mirrors or just straight ahead. With limited verbal and auditory stimulation and limited instruction, these children appear to have the ability to keep their focus and carry through the session without any complications. While answering surveys, parents conveyed similar ideas about the effects of Taekwondo. They all mentioned the fact that their children had acquired more focus, knowledge, and responsibility and stayed longer on tasks. By mentioning the home chart, she meant that Taekwondo teaching did not stop at the threshold of the training hall but went beyond it to the home and the society to which the student belonged.
The home chart is one of the handouts that the Master actually sends home every month. It is a list of all the items that children are encouraged to accomplish as duties at home and at school and in the environment. These charts show chores the children are supposed to carry out at home, to help their parents, obey the rules of the household, and do their homework.
For this particular mother, this chart seemed to assist her in keeping things under control. When the children completed this chart monthly, they would bring it back and receive a green star as a reward in front of the student body. In order to insure continuity of completing duties and achieving focus, the Master has the training hall set-up in a way that is intended to promote helping students to become responsible and focused. The first duty the children needed to attend to as they entered the training hall was to 1 bow, 2 take their shoes off, 3 pickup their student form, 4 and head directly to the assistant instructor and the Master.
Then they would hand in their form for absence using both hands and bowing to the Master who would usually be sitting at his rectangular table, parallel to the mirrored wall. Observations reveal the speed at which all these routines were learned. Some children would go on to do some stretches or if they were too young, they would find an adult to cling to or talk to. Those who would come in with their parents or caregivers would just sit by until the session began.
During each observation conducted, I saw the five subjects with their parents and their instructors. Once they entered the training hall, parents never interfered with their children nor the Master, unless for some urgent business. Parents also seemed to understand the rules of the game and knew how to delegate power to the Master once in his training hall.
They behaved like the rest of the students, for example, they would take off their shoes as soon as they entered the hall and would not step across the red carpet that was only meant for the students. Respect was another factor that was greatly displayed in the training hall: respect of students to each other, to the parents, the spectators, and finally the things available in the training hall such as punching bags, mats, and sparring gear. Courtesy was exhibited in many ways by all the present in the hall.
Parents have learned to bow to the Master too and did so when appropriate. They had also learned not to interfere and to keep to a minimum, the level of noise and distraction while waiting in the training hall. As for the students, the lower belts have learned to bow for the higher belts or for the Black belts, to listen to their teachings, and to respect their elders.
Among other duties, students were supposed to help the younger belts acquire the routine of respect and the duties of the training hall. In some instances, when the first afternoon group came in, one of the students would take the responsibility to vacuum the carpet and turn the fans on to freshen up the place. There was also a strong feeling of a tightly knit family gathering in the training hall that was more than just a Taekwondo school for learning.
Sharing responsibilities and taking part in all types of events that the Master provided in his training hall made the students feel like one big cluster with equal opportunities of leadership. When traveling to tournaments or demonstrations, the Master delegates duties to all and assigns tasks in a way that makes students feel responsible towards themselves and everyone else in the group.
One way of being in a group is staying together in one hotel or traveling from the training hall in a carpool. When the students reported to others about their experiences, there were signs of having had a great time and a valuable experience. Another salient feature of the data, especially collected from the surveys, was the issue of confidence.
Parents mentioned that their children 3 out of 5 who started as very shy children can speak up and talk in public and are showing signs of confidence. Another parent declared that there has been a gradual increase in responsibility and knowledge. Another tangential testimony of confidence was displayed during the black belt testing of two of the students included in the study.
For this promotion, every student has to prepare a public speech telling about his or her history in the training hall with all the activities and the participation that would have taken place. Both students indicated how well focused and confident they had become and attributed these results to the discipline of this martial art. They have actually become more confident and have acquired a great amount of knowledge. As a matter of fact, this testimony itself was a public speech and both students were speaking out loudly and assertively.
Another aspect of the Taekwondo experience that seems to foster confidence is the experience of teaching that all students eventually have a chance to lead. Once a month, the assistant instructor would choose a leader for the session to teach. The Master sometimes chooses a leader to teach the class on an hourly basis. This feature of the session has been a great help in building confidence in the students. Leadership, clarity of directions, teaching skills are all segments of this experience in the training hall.
When a student teacher faces the others and gives directions, the imitation of the actual physical move has to be mirror imaged. That too requires a tremendous amount of focus and confidence. It also requires that the student teaching take care of the beginners and give them a special assignment or assign other belts to take care of them.
Benefit #1: It Is A Social Activity
There are also instances where the children play the role of judges as they are observing the higher belts performing their forms, their breaking techniques, or their sparring competency. They have to give scores and be fair as well as show evidence for their own decision. Verbal clarity and identity assertion were coded as components of confidence. These two factors were also observed while training in this school. I have observed the students standing up and answering the Master when being asked questions.
To start with, he always encourages pupils to introduce themselves to each other and to the new members. He also demands that they speak up in front of a public and express themselves clearly and loudly. If they sounded whiny, the master would imitate their sound, and students would actually laugh at it.
Day after day, sessions had been conducted with many spectators in the audience. Parents, visitors, occasional curious individuals would stroll in to see what was happening. All this information is an assertion of the identity of the student in Taekwondo. It is almost identifying oneself with a group or a family. Knowledge was also an observed and coded component of confidence. Knowing the Taekwondo terms both in English and in Korean is also part of the training of Taekwondo.
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Memorization is enhanced by repetition and everyday routine. Students seem to demonstrate pride when they are able to say such foreign sounds without even knowing how to write or read them.
Once well acquired, one of the objectives of Taekwondo is teaching the students a sense of honest and integral leadership. In the training hall, and on the wall, there is an automatic message strip that comes on and fades away, all throughout the sessions. Yes I can! Yes, I can! With this leadership, students begin to understand their capacities and try to achieve higher goals.
He acknowledges birthdays, achievements, and rewards of good performance in school. When a child brings a report card, it is read aloud to everyone and the Master rewards the student with a blue star. Award giving is also a ritual in the training hall as the Master recognizes the good deeds of the students and encourages them through words of praise. There are different colored stars for different achievements and promotions in the school as well as the Martial arts.
Students also are encouraged to share the extracurricular activities they are involved in: music, art, sports and others. For good achievement, rewards are always awaiting and stars are given out as acknowledgements. While reinforcing all the mental disciplines of Taekwondo, physical strength is another display of observed confidence and perpetually the target.
These benefits are written in large print on the board on one of the wails. Once memorized, the Master insures the repetition of these benefits in order for the students not to lose sight of the objectives and reason of their presence in the training hall. Beginners from day one join the entire group in stretching and jumping and kicking as well as breaking boards. Then, immediately, peer teaching and coaching is put in practice. During the observations, one sees children imitating other older belts and trying steps that are even harder than their own level.
These aspects are the supporting aids that the Master uses in order to promote confidence and strength in his students. With the discipline and the tight regimental approach in Taekwondo comes confidence that I have classified under self-control. One of the parents actually declared that her child, who used to cry and moan about every little fall or gash on the knee, has become stronger and acts more like a grownup.
Now, they understand that they should not be doing that. In practice, the Taekwondo sessions daily end up with a review of all the rules that govern the martial art of Taekwondo. One can hear the students yell:. An improvement in self-confidence can occur on the very first day of training since kids are shown they can do things that they have never done before.
They are taught to believe in themselves, especially when attempting new techniques. Gaining the ability to more confidently move their own bodies helps take the clumsiness out of merely walking. When their focus is concentrated on how their bodies move, even the kids who are famous for bumping into things become more attentive and focused on both their own bodies and their environment.
Too often, what happens in a stressful moment is that kids will hold their breath. Even if for a few seconds, this is enough to cause tension in the body. Breathing through the panic is a way to develop the muscle memory to breathe through it making it possible to unlearn this automatic stress response. This can be applied in such situations as taking a test, participating in sports, speaking before others, just to name a few.
Surprisingly, remaining calm and breathing through the fear allows one to do the right thing naturally. In essence, it puts the mind in the right place to receive the stimuli. In addition to using these disciplines to make new friends, avoid bullies and avoid conflict without resorting to violence, other gains to learning the combat arts are:. Training engages the mind, but it also works in the areas of the physical, mental and emotional planes of expression.
These workouts benefit both male and female tremendously. The ability to go forward with a balance of these aspects of being has unending advantages for kids who are seeking to vanquish their timidity or shyness and to fully engage in a broader sense of relating to their immediate world.
Their sphere of influence is enlarged and their sense of accomplishment soars when all cylinders are firing. With Self-Control Comes Fluidity in Motion An improvement in self-confidence can occur on the very first day of training since kids are shown they can do things that they have never done before. Categories: Bullying , Confidence , Martial Arts , self confidence. Name First Last. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.