Remember the core values of your sport
It is intriguing that martial arts, specifically taekwondo, has been brought to the picture in the recent bullying case involving Ateneo high school students.
Bullying in all forms is wrong and proper action has already been initiated by the school against the guilty party. Although there is still a long way to go to completely stop bullying everywhere, the dismissal of the student involved is a move in the right direction and sends a signal to all those who bully or plan to do anything against the weak.
The offender has reportedly had some success in the sport but has now sadly dragged along his discipline.
The Philippine Taekwondo Association was swift to condemn the misdemeanor.
“We, the Philippine Taekwondo Association, condemn any form of misbehavior which includes harassment, bullying, and acts of violence,” the PTA said in a statement, “This is not what Taekwondo instills to its practitioners and is a serious matter that we as an association stand against.”
In a subsequent statement, the PTA has recommended counseling and guidance for the student.
Almost all martial arts disciplines advocate using their skills and forms primarily for self-improvement and defense. The different forms teach discipline and self-control with a martial art used only as a protective measure against aggression. There are of course competitions across all disciplines but these are meant to hone skills and capabilities in a sporting context.
This incident reminds all those who engage in these sports to go back to the core values of their respective martial arts. Using a fighting technique to offend and dominate those who have no similar training or the weak in general is wrong.
The story also brought back memories of the Karate Kid movies, especially the first installment where the hero Daniel La Russo was compelled to learn karate from Mr. Miyagi as a countermeasure. Daniel was bullied by a gang that was wrongly coached to use the martial art as a form of power.
Picking up a martial art is a choice and must be done with the intention of learning a discipline and its good values. In their purest forms, fighting sports like taekwondo can mold strong, disciplined and humble individuals who can use their discipline for good. It is never correct when a martial art is used for the wrong reasons.
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