Tang Soo Do – How it Changed My Life

How Tang Soo Do Changed My Life

I started taking Tang Soo Do because I had always seen karate movies and shows on T.V. when I was a little kid and it had looked so incredible how the martial arts guy dodged kicks and punches jumped over tables and used ordinary objects as weapons. But I did not know that there was a completely different side to karate. Karate was not just physical; it required you to use your mind as well. When I started taking Tang Soo Do at T.J.’s Tang Soo Do Karate Academy I had no idea how immensely my life would be changed in just a few years.

Tang Soo Do has affected my life in many ways. It has helped me both mentally and physically. Before I started to take Tang Soo Do I was not athletic, but after I began to attend classes and exercise three days a week doing one hundred push ups, sit ups, and jumping jacks I slowly started to get better at them. Even after I could do a hundred of all the exercises I started to improve on how I did them. After training for a while I was able to do better exercises in less amounts which was more effective then doing a lot of poor exercises. Repetition with breaks was also very important to make my training better. For example instead of doing all hundred push ups at the same time it helped to alternate between push ups and sit ups at intervals of twenty five to give your muscles a short rest but not let them rest too long to sever the cycle of training.

Training in Tang Soo Do has also helped me enhance my techniques immensely as well, my punches have become more controlled and I have learned to snap them at the last six inches to get maximum power out of them and my kicks have also become much higher than when I first began training, the power in my kicks has also increased tremendously. I have also learned to get my blocks into a set motion so I don’t have to move my block to the attacker’s fist but only let it move to my block, so my block is always the same no matter. I still need to work on my techniques much more and I am always ready to try new exercises to strengthen my techniques or make them faster.

I also learned that training would not provide the best results possible unless it was continuous at regular spaced sessions so I tried to attend classes as frequently as possible and tried to miss as few classes as possible to provide the best training possible.

Tang Soo Do has not only affected me in a physical sense but also in a mental sense. It has made me more in control of myself and taught me to manage my anger in a positive way. It has taught me to release all my frustration in class in my techniques in the form of punches, kicks, and blocks. These mental changes came from the five precepts or codes of Tang Soo Do that we recite every day we practice. The five codes are as follows:

1. Loyalty to Country
2. Obedience to Parents
3. Honor to Friendship
4. No Retreat In Battle
5. In Fighting Choose With Sense and Honor

These five codes that we use in Tang Soo Do actually originated from the Hwarang Code. The Hwarang Code was as follows:

1. Loyalty to One’s King
2. Piety to One’s Parents
3. Faith to One’s Companions
4. Never Retreat In Battle
5. Kill With Discretion.

I believe that the codes were changed to meet today’s modern society, because there is no king any longer, and kill with discretion is not needed any more because killing is not common unlike the time in which these codes where invented during the Silla Dynasty. The first three codes almost exactly mirror three of the five Confucian (Chinese philosopher’s teachings) relationships while the last two reflect Buddhist thought.

Tang Soo Do helped me become a teacher as well. I have tried to teach the children’s class and found it much harder then I expected at first. I know I still have a long way to go but it has taught me how to be patient with others as they learn the art of Tang Soo Do just the way I did when I first started training as a white belt. I have found out that it is not simple to be a good teacher and it will require an extensive amount of time to completely learn the ability of teaching well.

Tang Soo Do has helped me in so many other ways such as disciplining me and teaching me not to give up no matter how hard the task at hand, it has taught me that you can do whatever you want to do but you have to set your mind to it and try over and over until you can finally accomplish your goal or challenge. This was very useful when I tested for my blue belt because I had to do four hundred push ups, four hundred sit ups, and four hundred jumping jacks. I knew that I could not give up and I had to move forward. Even though my muscles ached I kept going because my reward was my blue belt and I knew that I would never get it if I gave up and quit. So the only thing I could do is give it all the energy I had and continue to do my exercises, but that was not nearly as hard as trying to remember all the other techniques after I finished the exercises and fatigue set in.
Tang Soo Do has changed my life forever and it will continue to do so for as long as I keep practicing the art and I will never forget what it has done for me. I will forever be grateful for what Tang Soo Do has done for my life. I hope that this article inspires you to began your journey and gain what you never thought was possible.

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