Free Martial Arts Classes Teach Children More Than Just Self-Defence

Thursday 17 September 2015, 4:03PM
By dave worsley

Free Martial Arts Classes Teach Children More Than Just Self-Defence

Many students at primary and intermediate schools around Auckland are finding out what it’s like to learn self-discipline, self-defence and flexibility thanks to a KiwiSport campaign taught by International Taekwon-Do New Zealand

Nearly 2000 students at 18 schools along the Auckland isthmus have been receiving free Taekwon-Do instructions in term 3 through the auspice of KiwiSport. So far the majority of these schools have been in the Auckland Counties Manukau and Waitakere areas. Plans are to take the programme to North Harbour schools in term four 2015 and term 1 2016. The programme is taught by a dedicated team of nine KiwiSport sanctioned/trained Instructors.

The efforts of the instructors have been well received by those schools and has been indicated that they would like us there every week.

“The Auckland Regional KiwiSport has been set up to support regional and/or national sport organisations for projects or initiatives that can provide new or increased opportunities for children aged 5-18yrs’ participation in organised sport across the Auckland Region. It  is great to see ITK TKD  successfully engage young people across Auckland and utilise their investment to achieve the outcomes of KiwiSport,” said Jacqui Johnston the Manager Young People from Aktive Auckland which is the main funder of the programme along with region sports trusts.

The classes run for 45 minutes, giving a brief introduction to a lot of different aspects of Taekwon-Do. They have been learning some of the Korean terminology, and core values (or "Tenets") of Taekwon-Do

From there they work on technical skills, self-defence, and punching and kicking pads. The main objectives of the classes are to provide a positive introduction to both the physical and mental aspects of the sport as well as teaching the cultural and historical aspects of the sport and use Taekwon-Do as a method to improve a childs basic movement skill development; this includes the basic skills to ‘release’ from a grab.

Other skills taught involved creating a fun experience while at the same time introducing martial art style discipline and training and improving a childs self-esteem by positive encouragement and achievement

Taekwon-Do is the Korean art of self-defence and the world’s most popular martial art:

It was first developed by a Korean Army General, Gen. Choi Hong Hi, in the 1950s and 1960s. “Tae” means to jump or kick with the foot; “Kwon” means to punch with the hand or fist; and “Do” means art or way.

Taekwon-Do is also an exciting sport with many spectacular events such as sparring, patterns, power breaking and the high flying special techniques competition. But it is also a martial art suitable for all ages and abilities. Classes are run for everyone from beginning to advanced levels, including special classes for children.

Taekwon-Do was designed for self-defence, and there is a strong emphasis on the moral aspects of the art, such as discipline, humility and self-control. These non-physical aspects are known as the “Do”.  Members of International Taekwon-Do are taught aspects of “Do” as a part of the grading syllabus and are encouraged to live by the tenets of Taekwon-Do, which are: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit.