So it's time for me to test for a new belt again! I'm not as comfortable with my breaking kick this time around so I'm nervous that I won't break the board this time. I also think my hubby and older daughter will be there - they haven't seen a test yet. Of course that will be the time that I don't break the board. Isn't that how this kind of stuff always works? Miss M is testing for a new belt tomorrow, too. She's such a little pistol and she concentrates and works so hard in class. I couldn't be prouder. When she practices stuff at home, she always points her finger at me and says "Mom. Don't help me. Even if you think I don't know. Don't. Help. Me." God, I love that.
Anyway, here's my belt test essay. Not my best effort, but I think it's ok.
What is martial arts spirit? How can you see it in every day life?
As we recite the student creed, we make promises to our instructor, our fellow students and ourselves. When we fulfill those promises – inside and outside of the dojang - we live the martial arts spirit.
We promise to develop and express our physical and mental abilities based on the martial arts spirit. We fulfill this promise by attending class, working on our techniques and having the right, positive attitude. But we can also fulfill this promise in the way we live and work outside the dojang.
We promise to seek truth and practice it and to promote the highest moral character through training and disciplining of the mind and body. When we live the martial arts spirit we respect ourselves enough to care for our bodies by eating well, getting sufficient sleep and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. It might not be easy to pass up the coffee cake in the office or the dessert at home but making those tough choices to care for our bodies makes us stronger, not just physically, but mentally as well.
We promise to promote respect for the art of Tae Kwon Do through our actions and never use our martial arts skills for selfish ends. There are people who brag about their martial arts skills and try to make lower ranking students feel inferior. These actions reflect poorly on the study of Tae Kwon Do and show a weak character. Martial arts spirit teaches us to treat others with kindness and respect.
We promise to strive for justice, freedom and a meaningful life for ourselves and others; to promote trust and cooperation among all members of our society; to enrich our lives through knowledge and understanding of other cultures. An important part of the martial arts spirit is to look beyond our selfish needs and to care for others; our families, our friends and society in general. If we are respectful of others and worthy of their trust, our ability to promote cooperation among all members of our society will be enhanced. Our views are more likely to be trusted and respected. We cannot fulfill this promise if we do not have an understanding of other cultures, the strong moral character to stand up for what is right, and the strength to make the right choices.
We promise to use our strengths to positively affect the world we live in. This then, is the true essence of the martial arts spirit. If we fulfill the promise of the student creed, we can’t help but leave the world a better place.
Wish me luck!