Seven Habits For Taekwondo Instructors To Improve Your Life by KwanJangNim Jong Sung Kim
This article is for Taekwondo school instructors and anyone who plans to become an instructor someday. We know that confidence and sense of self are based on accomplishments, and are built on a foundation of good habits. It has been said, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” You like who you are by knowing who you are, living by your martial arts values and practicing habits that help fulfill your potential, and make you a better instructor, family member and friend. But how do you get to that place? By building good habits, and having the discipline to practice them every day.
Here are seven habits for Taekwondo instructors that will improve your life:
Discipline is the core of what we teach as traditional Taekwondo instructors and the foundation of achieving goals. You check off a to-do list and achieve your goals by having the discipline to do the necessary work every day, whether it is completing an advanced education course at our headquarters in Korea, launching a new program in your school, building your network or striving to exercise more, having the discipline to do things when you don’t want to do them, repeatedly is the foundation of excellence. As Aristotle wrote, “excellence is not an act, but a habit,” and having the discipline to create good habits is what will fundamentally improve your life and the lives of your students.
Manage Your Time Well
As a Taekwondo teacher you explain to students that goals, such as earning your next rank, are met one day at a time. The key to ensuring you complete the necessary tasks for the day, and work ahead on looming deadlines is to learn how to work efficiently and manage your time. Prioritizing well and strategically allotting the time you need will help keep you on pace and will enable you to complete everything you need and want to every day. The sooner you learn to manage your time, the sooner you will start getting more done. The more you get done, the more goals you will accomplish. That is why putting a deadline on your goal is important so that you work toward achieving it in a specific period of time.
Exercise Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
There is no healthier or greater way to clear your mind, temper anxiety and relieve stress than exercise. Studies show it helps improve mood, state of mind, assist focus and improve quality of sleep. As Taekwondo teachers we understand that we must exercise our Mind, Body and Spirit. Carving out time to exercise through our daily Taekwondo practice, meditation and being mentored you will increase your energy throughout the day. Part of developing your spirit is to eat healthier and help build a routine. Your clarity of thinking is directly connected to how you fuel your body. Mind, Body and Spirit exercise increases productivity and will improve your mood when you are with students, family and friends. As physically demanding as exercise can be at the time, it reaps many benefits.
Keep A Journal
Once you have laid a foundation of good habits then keeping a journal will helping you track your progress. A journal for Taekwondo instructors should be divided into two parts. Part one would be your schedule where you use time management to fit in daily exercise, daily self-practice of Taekwondo and your To-Do list. That is the way to build on this foundation is to track your progress. Progress is incremental, tracking it will help build confidence as you meet your goals. It will help increase productivity, motivation and encourage greater goals.
Everyone fails: The most successful people in every field of endeavor achieved their success after overcoming major failures and they have all failed time and time and time again throughout their career. They have failed far more times than they’ve succeeded. I am here to tell you from experience that failure, and lots of failure is the precedent to success. Failure isn’t permanent. Be resilient, and continue to work and progress despite failure. This is what builds success. The sooner you learn to embrace failure and to keep working in spite of it, the sooner you will see results.
Limit Screen Time
This is part of our modern era of technology. Technology can make our lives better or worse depending on how we use it. Too much screen time can impact obesity, body image, quality of sleep, personal relationships and social skills. It has also shown to impact school performance. Managing your screen time: turning off your phone at least an hour before bed, watching less television, decreasing your work in front of a computer screen, etc. will help make you a more efficient worker, create more free time and improve your quality of life. Set a good example for your students by having someone else handle the phone calls while you are teaching. Too many of my younger students wear glasses because of this excess screen time. I try to encourage them to read a real book instead of a tablet or phone all of the time.
Get Outside an Hour A Day
Living in a big city it seems as if I just go from one building to the next rarely being outside except to go to my car to drive to the next building that I will be in. That is why I have developed the daily habit of starting and ending my day outside. At 5 a.m. I do my breathing exercises on the balcony of my apartment and then go outside for a 30 minute run. The reason for this is that similar to exercise, getting outside improves focus, outlook and mental health. It also strengthens the immune system. Feeling the sun, breathing fresh air and taking a walk can help you re-energize and refocus in the middle or at the end of your day. Making some time for yourself to be outside and get some light exercise will pay dividends as you work more efficiently throughout the day. I like to take my mid-day private training clients to the roof top of our building where I have an area for practice and even a heavy bag. This helps me and student get in a little extra sunshine and fresh air. I find it extra invigorating to do this in the snow and even under the covered area with the heavy bag during rain with the clean fresh air surrounding us.
About the Author: KwanJangNim Jong Sung Kim is Chairman of the USNTA Board of Directors and a former Republic of Korea Marine Corps Taekwondo and Close Quarter Combat JuMokDo Instructor. He is an expert at the Military Art of Taekwondo. 9th Dan GunDae (Military) Taekwondo, 8th Dan ChungDoKwan, 8th Dan Kukkiwon. He is currently the Provost for the KMAIA International Academy in South Korea.
Yours in Taekwondo,
KwanJangNim Jong Sung Kim
Chairman of the USNTA Board of Directors
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