Taekwondo - A Way of Life

The Art of Taekwondo Does Not Amount To Only Using Fists And Kicks, It Is Essentially A Non Violent Art And Constitute A Training Method of The Whole Body And A Complete Way of Life

taekwondo - a way of life

My name is Itsik Zamir and I practice taekwondo for about 20 years.
I began my path in the Taekwondo & Hoshinsul Dojang Ramat-Gan under Master Yaakov Bussani 6th Dan, instructor and educator who has contributed to me a lot personally, and greatly to the sport of taekwondo in Israel, both in official roles in the Israel Taekwondo Federation and as a coach with a vast record of nurturing and fostering athletes young and old.

taekwondo - a way of life

Under his guidance passed most of the practitioners of taekwondo in Israel - coaches, instructors and students who learned and amassed the knowledge, professionalism, experience and high performance level that characterize master Yaakov Bussani. For years he worked to advance the sport and art of taekwondo in Israel and accumulated hundreds of students, including Israeli champions, european competitors, instructors and coaches who are now leading the field.
As a student of master Bussani and owner of the highest degree among his students, I see myself as his successor in the same ambition for professionalism and love for the art of taekwondo, which contributed a lot in designing my personality and the high performance level I have achieved.
As a martial artist and an athlete I have been exposed to a lot of martial arts both domestically and overseas and learned to respect every art and artist, therefore I will refrain from any comparison to other martial arts and try to be as objective as possible.

The path I took since starting my way in taekwondo has changed my life and filled me with satisfaction. The fact I was raised by the principles of respecting the coach, my friends and dojang can already attest for a good foundation and a positive direction.
The beginning of course was not easy, the fact that taekwondo demands a very high performance level, in addition to that, the amazing level of master Yaakov Bussani made me ask legitimate questions as well as yourselves regarding my personal, physical and mental abilities in comparison to others in the dojang and is the path I have chosen is the right one.

When I speak about high performance level in taekwondo it has a lot of significance, and since some of you have no experience in martial arts I will try to explain the learning process briefly.
For example, taking the movement of the leg, marking a target accurately, adding it strength, speed, combining the waist, flexibility and maximal utilization of body movement so to have maximal flow in favor of that movement, adding to all that the concentration and inner strength, the result you get is technique.
As you observe and try to understand the technique from a theoretical piont of view, you can appreciate that combining all this increases performance to the highest level and the results are considerable. As much as I persevered more I understood that me and only me can make the path for myself and when the path was clearer it also became easier.
At a certain stage I turned to the competitive side, which is an option that is given for every trainee in taekwondo in any weight and age, beyond the experience itself and the immense satisfaction of winning Israel championships I realized how much effective and gratifying this art and how much worthwhile it was to go through the path I have chosen.

After six consecutive 1st place wins in Israel championships and other championships, I decided to pass the knowledge I acquired on to my students.

What Is Taekwondo?

A Korean martial art, Olympic sport and self defense which specializes in kicking techniques combined with hand techniques. The art of Taekwondo incorporates work on several elements:

  • Flexibility
  • Agility and responsiveness
  • Strength
  • Self confidence
  • Coordination
  • Self discipline
  • Concentration
  • Physical fitness and endurance
  • Self defense

Combining these elements in Taekwondo training:

  • physical fitness - Physical fitness is a very important component. It is developed at the dojang and independently. Usually the training begins with muscle relaxation and joints warm up and later muscle warm up for strenuous work.
  • agility and responsiveness - Working on maximum agility of the hands and feet techniques and body movements. Preparing them for the strain entailed in that workout.
  • flexibility - At the end of every workout, after sufficient activity of the legs' muscles, we begin with flexibility exercises which are defined by the coach in pairs and/or independently.
  • strength - Working on strength exercises, combining proper technique and developing awareness for the accumulated strength.
  • coordination - Combination of two techniques simultaneously and consecutively.
  • self disicpline - Perseverance and inspiring for improvement.
  • self defense (hoshinsul) - Working on defensive modes against knife, gun and stick attack by using hand defenses, joint locks and pressure points.
  • concentration - The key to success in any field in life.

The art of Taekwondo does not amount to only using fists and kicks, it is essentially a non violent art and constitute a training method of the whole body and a complete way of life. Taekwondo includes physical and spiritual discipline, practitioners of this art can develop coordination between all parts of the body, a strong body, self confidence and judgment ability. A student will not abuse the knowledge he gained in training.

· Respect For The Coach, Friends And Place Are Key To Advancement In Taekwondo!

· Practice, Perseverance, Self Discipline And Patience Are Key To Improvement!

All the tips and recommendations mentioned are meaningless without perseverance in training (especially in training with the coach). If you want to get better, no excuse is acceptable.
"I've got no time" is an excuse! Organize your time accordingly. Give training its time at least twice a week. You must make room for training in your list of priorities.
Lack of perseverance in training is a result of reluctance ("What the hell am I doing here wearing these wierd clothes, people hit me and this weak man telling me what to do!") or lack of self discipline ("I've got no energy today, so from tomorrow on I'll persist, I'll be the best persistent!"). So pull yourself together if you want to improve your quality of life, yourself as a person, your skills.

Some tips in this matter, that will help you persist:

  • Try to come to all the trainings, especially if you don't train in addition to training with the coach.
  • Don't be late for training, and even try to come early.
  • Come in proper attire, uniform (Dobok) and belt. Keep in mind!!! When you are training, you are in a structure, in which you are only meant to enjoy and utilize (you are paying for it). The clothes aren't intended to be a uniform. When you wear the suit you make a switch for maximal concentration in the thing you love. Disconnect yourself from work, studies and all your troubles. You are going to undergo two hours entirely for you yourself.
  • Think at the end of every workout about the new things you learned. Now you are a different person, better skilled, you have more knowledge than two hours ago. No one can ever take that knowledge from you, it's with you all the time.
  • Recall from time to time what you were a month ago, six months ago, a year, two years, five, and what you are now. Have you achieved your goals in training?
  • Don't get discouraged, be patient. Martial art includes complex elements to implement (and therefore also improves a lot your ability). It may be very likely you will perform something countless times, but won't feel significant improvement for a certain time. Don't worry, if you persist, it will come, I say this from experience.
  • Don't say "I'm old, so I could no longer be better in this lifetime. I won't be flexible, I have a potbelly". If you feel like that, you won't get better! If you don't have, god forbid, health limitations that prevent you from performing a certain exercise, there is no reason you won't improve. Old age is a limitation, as years go by, but that doesn't mean you can't improve, and even achieve nice results, that won't embarrass even an athlete ten or twenty years younger. Physical exercise can be done at any age, it's a fact! For instance, there is evidence you can improve flexibility even after age 50! It will probably take longer, but with the right training, persistence, self discipline and patience, you will see improvement.

Best regards

Master Itsik Zamir.

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