One of the main purposes of martial arts training is learning to defend yourself. Being empowered to possess the strength and skill to actually protect you and your loved ones means that you also must have the control to use it only as a defense. That self-control is an aspect of integrity, which means doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Integrity is learned hand in hand with Taekwondo training at Venture Martial Arts.
It goes far beyond just using their skills in defensive situations. Students are taught to make all the right choices and therefore earning trust through their actions. They learn this during class and carry it into their everyday lives.
Individual practice during class:
Just like at school kids are broken into groups to work on an individual basis. They are trusted to actually practice to the best of their abilities without someone watching over their shoulder to make sure they are actually doing it. If they don’t practice it shows, because they will not know the content or will not be as good as those that actually did practice.
That translates directly to school life. The kids that actually study and work on their projects during that alone time receive better grades and have higher quality work. At home when they are told to do something without supervision (like cleaning their room), they actually do it.
Students that excel in class are invited to become junior instructors. In order to receive this title, they have to show that they have a high level of integrity, and are consistently doing the right thing even when no one is watching. They are an example of how other students should be behaving and are empowered to teach others the skills they have learned.
By being a leader in Taekwondo, they take those leadership skills to their everyday lives. They encourage their friends and peers to make the right decisions in all situations. Peer pressure has no impact on them and they are the “good kids”. They lead in school and create a better environment for everyone by being on the student council, captain of sports teams, or model students.
Practicing at home:
Any world champion will say that they would not have achieved that title without practicing at home. If a student truly wants to get their blackbelt they have to train more than one day a week. By learning and using integrity, they work at home without being watched by an instructor. They are empowered to do this because they know it is the right thing to do, and by doing the right thing they will achieve their goals and maybe even become a world champion someday.
Like individual practice and practice at home, this directly translates to other areas of their life. They will make sure to do their homework because they know it will mean getting better grades and learning the material at a higher level. They will try more things and set higher goals because they know as long as they are doing the right thing, they are likely to succeed.
James Stockdale once said, “Compassion is a necessity for leaders, as are spontaneity, bravery, self-discipline, honesty, and above all, integrity.” He used his integrity to survive as a POW for seven years when fighting in the Vietnam War. He believed that when supported with education (or training), integrity would be the primary trait people carry through life when presented with hard situations.
Having a high level of integrity makes for a great person. It is an essential life skill of great students, athletes, and even as adults for employees, soldiers, and human beings. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but the long-term rewards far outweigh doing the wrong thing. Integrity learned at a young age can make a profound impact on a person that can even someday change the world for the better.