In a world that I remember where people can click to buy what they want, where time with family is short while we are glued to devices, game consoles, telephones and computer pads have made us less sociable, more irritable and affect concentration. People start to forget manners, discipline and become self centred and selfish, ignorant to their own behaviour and end up in denial. 'I am not like that' I hear you cry. You probably are not because you are taking the time to read this, but believe you me there are plenty out there that are in this state of self loving and selfishness.
These people seem to measure themselves is by 'likes' and 'followers'. Through various media platforms people have developed virtual manners and become almost idyllic on the internet but have seemed to forget their physical lives are much more important.
Tae Kwon-Do was an antidote to this malaise and was snapped up by strong parents and adults looking to better themselves and earn respect. It kind of slaps you on the cheek and gives you a wake up call.
Our national organisation the Tae Kwon Do Association of Great Britain (TAGB) has flourished in numbers from 1983 and dedicated, talented instructors opened clubs around the country. Stephen Lamberth’s Tae Kwon Do School (SL TKD) opened it’s dojang doors in October 1994 in Ringwood, Hampshire. We now have SL TKD and SLAMA academies in Ringwood, Ferndown, Fordingbridge and Verwood.
Our Leaders supported, encouraged and set examples while our students strived to pass gruelling tests of skill and dexterity. We now have well over 200 members in our area alone and over 20,000 participants of Tae Kwon Do nationwide through the TAGB.
Then along came a virus which stopped us in our tracks...
We couldn’t mix, we couldn’t teach and overnight lost our livelihoods and direction. Our world was effectively closed and we had to stay indoors. Children couldn’t go to school or out to the park or beach. Everyone was concerned and we had to evolve quickly.
From an enclosed singular and isolated environment, our instructors needed to step up. Like an army fighting against an invisible foe, we put our heads down and made things happen. Things turned from a dark worried place to a positive environment.
Instructors redesigned teaching plans and turned their living rooms, bedrooms and garages into Dojangs (Training halls).
These talented, resourceful army of Tae Kwon Do Instructors rewrote lesson plans, set up Facebook LIVE sessions and Zoom meetings. Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys all stood up in front of their screens and we started our lessons with a bow and did our things. We now work harder than ever and have become eager to move on further with our personal quests for higher belts. The students and Instructors alike were at first tentative, but now it has become the ’normal’. It will continue as it has become a great way of learning.
Some Instructors have opened up the possibility of 1-2-1 teaching. WhatsApp video sharing and the SLTKD You Tube Channel resources evolved. We have joined each other’s sessions online to learn and perfect the art on a computer or tablet so thousands could still train, improve and have a goal at this dark time.
We decided to join this generation of computer people and have made it a more reasonable place with what we do. We do say 'hello’ and be respectful and have manners with one another. In fact bonds and even friendships have been built upon and, when this is over, we can meet up in safety and our group will grow stronger.
If you are interested then check our club website www.taekwondo4u.co.uk
We have dressed up in fancy dress, performed routines to music and had virtual coffee mornings. We have laughed, smiled, worked and trained hard as we would usually do in our usual training areas but just in front of a screen. Above all, we have been there for one another and supported each other. We are still here for you so get involved if you have not as yet. It really is not that bad and actually is surprisingly good fun.
Several new members who have joined our classes via their computers - these people have become the digital pioneers of what we do. Would you like to be a pioneer? ,You are welcome to give it a try. What have you got to lose? You must have some time on your hands. It will do you some good, I promise.
It’s 65 years since Tae Kwon-Do was formed and along with the 5 tenets of the art come Motivation, Encouragement, Adaptability, Loyalty and Humbleness.
I have witnessed all these new tenets and more in the last few weeks, especially in my area, the South West of England, through our 'Family' of Tae Kwon Do. Personally, students from other countries have come to our virtual lessons on line from Germany, Ireland, Wales and Holland and other parts of England: Southampton, Totton, Bristol and Torbay to name but a few have visited our virtual dojangs.
So now is the time of opportunity and renewal. It's time to accept business as ‘unusual’ and learn from this experience.
We are part of such an innovative group and as such our organisation is in the best position to support us grow our clubs, improve our standards and embrace these new 21st century technologies to supplement our teaching.
I feel confident that this massive change in our lives has made us better, stronger and closer than ever. Every cloud has a 'sky blue’ lining.
Major General Choi Hong Hi would be proud of our determination, positivity and spirit. The blue sky is the limit Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for your solidarity & support as we move forwards to an evolving future.
Yours In Tae Kwon Do