There is a myth that Martial Arts is strongly tied to religion or spirituality. Perhaps this was true of some martial arts in the past, maybe even a few in the present. But of the most part practices like taekwondo have nothing to go with religion.
Taekwondo or any decent martial art is about physical activity, improving the body and providing a means of self-defense should we be unlucky enough to encounter a situation where we might need it. Yet the mind and body are not completely independent. If we training ourselves for any task then we improve our mind. The discipline this requires, the mindset where we set and achieve goals, the understanding of our abilities and limits that this imparts – this has a certain spiritual aspect to it. Martial arts training can help us understand ourselves and our place in the world.
Of course there is philosophy entwined with Taekwondo, and with at least some other martial arts. Taekwondo teaches the five tenant – Courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and the indomitable spirit. But these are things we might find in any approach to life, including religious approaches or ethical systems of though. They are about finding the best way to live and be an individual amid a society of other individuals. People who make the mistake of thinking that philosophy means spirituality tend to misunderstand this. Philosophy literally means a love of knowledge. And there is knowledge involved in any endevour. With taekwondo there is knowledge behind the training and skills, a knowledge that also helps with many other aspects of life.
Taekwondo The Ponds
Competition Taekwondo helps in a way that neither book knowledge or isolated training will. When we compete with others we learn to deal with stress, fear, adrenaline, anxiety. These are factors that can compromise our performance, especially in unexpected situations. If we are unfortunate enough to encounter a street fight, if we are mugged, we may find that all out training goes to waste because of the unexpected adrenaline we experience when seriously threatened. We cannot be sure how we will react until we are in the situation. But constant competition will help us considerably. Having experienced stress and adrenaline in competition we learn how to function under these circumstances. And then a real threat doesn’t quite catch us so off-guard.
Taekwondo West Pennant Hills
Taekwondo training can help us develop as individuals, and help us considerably through life. It is only spiritual in the sense that we learn about ourselves and our place amid others.