I think most people begin Taekwondo for about the same reasons. Those of us who have remained for many years have done so for very different reasons than those that inspired us to take up the art. All of those original reasons are still valid but today they are only a small part of our relationship with Taekwondo.
It is true that Taekwondo is a great method of self-defense as well as a cardiovascular exercise that is almost without equal and a means to a supple, flexible body that preserves our youth far into our senior years. But we have come to know and love Taekwondo for many more reasons.
From the time a beginner enters our dojang, it is the unified objective of the instructors and fellow students to see that he or she succeeds. From the first test the idea of seeing a goal and achieving it is planted forever. With each belt promotion a sense of self-confidence develops and overflows into every aspect of a student’s personal and professional life. It establishes the will, motivation, perseverance, and personal strength that encourages success in school, career, marriage and personal relationships. It gives the student the strength to face physical and emotional challenges with self-assuredness. The achievement of "black belt" often results in the development of a personal philosophy for living.
For those of us who have sustained our commitment to Taekwondo and found the depth beneath its flashy exterior, we have found that peace that comes from knowing ourselves. We have watched the line between Taekwondo and the other aspects our lives gradually disappear until they have become one.
We have become physically equipped to battle our enemies but realize that our enemies are often emotional crises, apathy, laziness, spiritual weakness and even old age. It is fortunate that Taekwondo has given us the means to deal with even the most abstract enemies. We are privileged to take with us a weapon as powerful as Taekwondo, and it is our pleasure to share it with hundreds of enthusiastic students.