The teen years are infamous for causing struggle and hardship for teenagers and parents alike. This time is often categorized as some of the most challenging years of a person's life. Providing your teenager with an outlet for emotional release and fostering a place of belonging is vital to their success.
Below are a few character traits that we impress on our Taekwondo students, which can transform teens with low self-esteem into leaders.
People with integrity are easy to spot. Do they tell the truth? Do they do what they say they're going to do? Do they keep their word? When people have a system in determining right and wrong, they can hold every decision and choice to those beliefs without compromise. The teen years can be marked by experiences of peer pressure and making irrational choices just to fit in. Taekwondo calls us to something higher. Students vow to be consistent in their training, enforcing the importance of sticking to their word. We commit to a life of good character and high moral standards inside and outside the studio, which helps teenagers make good choices when no one is watching and doing the right thing, even when it's hard.
Self-awareness allows you to recognize where you are, make changes to improve, and learn from that process. Influential leaders possess a deep connection to themselves and their needs. They have a firm grasp of their strengths and weaknesses, which helps them determine when to push themselves and when they need re-charging. This insight allows teenagers to reach their full potential by learning to meet themselves where they are, honestly internalize their strengths and weaknesses, and begin working toward the life they desire.
Respect is defined as admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, or important* and is often cultivated in environments that make challenges and support a standard. Leaders are recognized not by what they say but by what they do. Are they mindful of others' time by being punctual and consistent? Are they comfortable being corrected and able to grow? Leadership holds others in high esteem and values people for what they offer to the world. Teens that exemplify these skills often gain the respect and admiration of their peers. Respect is cultivated at KOMA as students learn to respect their teachers and their knowledge. At the same time, teachers mirror this same respect for their students' capabilities and commitment to the art.
For leaders to develop relationships with those they lead, they must recognize the needs, thoughts, and feelings of those they are leading. Relating to others' experiences helps a leader determine what that individual needs to succeed. Mastering the skill of empathy allows teens to build social connections to others and respond well to others. Taekwondo holds mindfulness, respect, and compassion in high regard and is incorporated into every training session through honoring your competitors and coaches.
Our Dynamics program has been thoughtfully designed for ages 10-15 to give teens excellent martial arts skills while empowering them to become confident, disciplined, and respectful young leaders. Our youth continue to face more and more distractions that keep them from becoming their best selves. We’re proud to provide parents and teens with a positive outlet to grow tomorrow’s leaders.
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.