Self motivation, a willingness to learn and perseverance are all determining factors for success. However, these attributes may not be enough. A student will look to authority both inside and outside the classroom for guidance. It's unfortunate when a student's true potential is jeopardized by no fault of their own. Taekwon-do has its challenges and not everyone is successful. But with proper guidance students can avoid these three common ways of failing Taekwon-do.
1. Lack of Encouragement
When children first start Taekwon-do, it's fun and engaging. They meet new friends, play fun games and are motivated by belts and awards. Over time, the novelty will wear off as classes become difficult and repetitive. Upon hitting this 'road block', children tell their parents 'they're bored' and wish to quit. This is a common occurrence. Some, but not all parents, bend to their child's demands, pull them out and enrol them in the next activity only to repeat the cycle. Parents who understand the benefits of Taekwon-do are less likely to remove their child simply because they are bored. Involved parents watch classes, ask questions and even join. Success in Taekwon-do is a collaborative effort between the student, parents and instructor. Consequently, there's a high probability that this lack of involvement could promote failure.
2. Chasing Belts, Badges, Stripes and Patches
Taekwon-do is extremely visual. From its aerial kicks to snappy uniforms, Taekwon-do has an attractive curb appeal. It's no wonder why people are attracted to Taekwon-do. But have the reasons become more about flash than function? Taekwon-do is a military art, thus following a standardized system of rank. Unfortunately, this system has been altered and exploited by greedy instructors. A bad instructor will bribe their students with belts, badges, stripes and patches rather than teach proper Taekwon-do technique. At a poorly ran dojang, promotions will come quickly to keep students interested. Students become accustom to the promotions and find themselves chasing the next belt. This results in a dangerous student with a large ego who may go on to open their own dojang thus repeating the cycle. If a students adopts this attitude regardless if they have achieved a black belt or not, then they have set themselves up for failure.
1. A Bad Instructor
An entire post in and of itself, bad instructors are more common than not. It should be noted that there is a difference between quitting and failing. So for this post I'll focus on how a bad instructor will help you fail at Taekwon-do. In short, an instructor is responsible for a student's knowledge, attitude and technique. If an instructor is teaching incorrect technique, handing out early promotions and instilling false confidence as an incentive to keep students in the dojang, then this type of environment is a breeding ground for future 'watered down' instructors. Although a student may be promoted to black belt from this environment, there will come a time when their knowledge and abilities will be put to the test. Eventually, a bad instructor will leave you wondering what exactly is wrapped around your waist.