Here at KOMA we build character through martial arts, specifically taekwondo. We all know that character is something that we should have, but what is character and how does one build it? Character isn’t necessarily your personality, but more how you behave and interact with the world. It isn’t always easy to build, but here are four ways that we help our students build character:
Respect is the foundation of Taekwondo, as well as most martial arts. Respect is how we show that we value others. In Taekwondo we teach our students to always respond with “Yes Sir/Ma’am” or “No Sir/Ma’am”. Another way we teach respect is by having each student take care of their own belt. Caring for our belt is how students show respect to themselves for all the hard work they put into their progress. Lastly, they learn to respect Taekwondo by not using it in any situation outside of a studio or a performance unless their life is in danger.
To do Taekwondo successfully, students must focus. If they aren’t concentrating, it’s easy for students to mess up a form or skill. Learning focus on the mat helps many of our students apply that focus in school and work. Using that focus also helps them to stay committed even when something might seem hard to accomplish.
Making goals and reaching them is important for learning commitment. In Taekwondo everyone’s goal is to become a black belt in three years. While this may seem like a long time, students aim to receive a belt every three months. To advance in belts students must earn stripes, which represent their knowledge of skills and techniques. This helps them set attainable goals that help them work towards the bigger goal of earning their black belt.
Many students who start Taekwondo lack confidence. After a few months of Taekwondo, this is where we see the most improvement from our students. This is because a number of things such as, we aren’t team based so everyone gets the attention they need to grow, they interact with other students, we encourage being loud, and they have to perform in front of an audience and their peers to advance in belts. You can read more about how we build confidence in our students here.
Vincent Galate shares his childhood experience of growing up at KOMA.
Josette shares her perspective on the 11 years she spent at KOMA before moving off to college.