TaeKwonDo Times Magazine Traditions Column by Master Doug Cook January, 2012
The Demon of Self-Doubt
Remember your first tae kwon do class? I will never forget mine and I am confident most of our readers will not forget theirs either. The experience was like meeting a new love for the first time. I felt an instant connection to the art and as the years went by, a blossoming of passion that remains with me to this day. And just like a successful marriage, that early infatuation has matured into an enduring bond. Yet I do not feel unique. Many of you certainly share similar emotions. So, how do we explain the actions of those who initially concur with this line of reasoning yet impulsively terminate their training at some point for no apparent reason?
Anyone who engages in a serious study of traditional tae kwon do can tell you it is a difficult pursuit. There is no elevator to success; you must laboriously scale each step to the top. Every class represents a challenge of some sort coupled with the fact that the tae kwon doist cannot help but experience peaks and valleys in the course of their practice. Tae kwon do mirrors life and, just as in daily life, things are not always perfect. Certainly, there are times when you will enjoy an exemplary training session, one where every stance flows smoothly, where every kick is well placed and strikes exhibit unstoppable power. However, if that were consistently the case, everyone would be a master. Instead, it is more likely that days will be endured when techniques refuse to come easy, when you seem to be digressing rather than advancing. It is times such as these when the true spirit of tae kwon do must materialize allowing indomitable will to trump faltering action.