Tae Kwon Do Dying in America
So Tae Kwon Do is a Korean based Martial Art System, meaning “The Way of the Fist and Foot.” There used to be 2 Tae Kwon Do schools near my home that had been established for over 20 years and another one that operated within the commercial gym that used to be Bally’s, now turned LA Fitness. In 2014, both Tae Kwon Do schools near my home closed down as well as all the Tae Kwon Do schools that were in all of the Bally’s gyms. Bally’s gym itself went out of business and along with them went down the Tae Kwon Do schools that were operating out of that gym.
Many have criticized Tae Kwon Do including myself upon the inevitable flaws of the system that has become so commercialized, but seeing these schools shut down is not a positive impact in the overall Martial Arts community. The community is getting smaller and smaller. Although Tae Kwon Do has it’s flaws, in my opinion it is much less flawed than what combat sport has to offer to this society. The biggest detriment to the people is the lack of teachings on eastern spirituality. These teachings go against what sport stands for and promotes, which is competition.
The East promotes meditation, the West promotes competition, the teachings of Meditation began in India, then it spread to China, Japan, Korea and throughout the countries in the East. The teachings of Meditation is the key, and Tae Kwon Do is supposed to teach that. But when Tae Kwon Do goes out of business and there is nothing to replace it or if it is replaced with just another sport, such as soccer, wrestling, basketball, or football; the biggest detriment is that lack of Eastern spirituality that is needed to create the proper balance.
Although Tae Kwon Do is not a Jeet Kune Do, it is still representing something much more beneficial to this society than just sport or fitness. The way of life of which the training is supposed to lead towards is the greatest benefit to this society. Korea has promoted Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido to America to try to show this way. India has promoted Yoga to try to show this way. China has promoted Tai Chi, Gung Fu, Wushu to try to show this way. Japan has promoted Aikido and Judo to try to show this Way. When the Way is lost, when the Way goes out of business, the people lose out. These styles and systems will never be perfect, but what they have to offer is a benefit to the people, when these places go out of business it is damaging for society.
But the Way needs to be taught properly. If the business is still up and running but they are not teaching the proper way, if they are not upholding the values of the True Way, then going out of business may be a benefit for the people. If a Tae Kwon Do school is teaching combat sport under the name of Tae Kwon Do, then it may be best for the school to go out of business. If you are a restaurant owner who is to represent health and wellness but you end up serving poison to the public, your business is better off going out of business.
Not every Tae Kwon Do school deserves to be in business, but I do stand up for what the label is supposed to represent, which is “The Way” of the Martial Arts. Basically I promote for people to follow “The Way”, to follow Tao, to follow “Do”, to practice Zen. If people do this, it will be a great benefit to this society. It is like the difference between true Religion and corrupted Religion. If people practice true Religion, it will be a great benefit to the society. If corrupted religion is being operated under the name of true Religion, then it is better for it to not exist at all.