Taekwondo was first introduced to me as an afterschool activity when I was around 7.
It was taught to me as a path.
One I could walk with my peers, but still each to our own steps. Sometimes in unison, other times I may have zigzagged along the way while my brothers pressed straight ahead.
All on the same path (sort of by our Sabumnim's footsteps) toward a common goal.
The definition of Taekwondo and many other martial arts was someone saying, "I aim to be able to defend and control myself and a situation by using these specific skills and techniques, by training them in this manner. I'm going to walk this way." Self-expression was inherent in the whole process of walking and finding.
Training back then led me to make many friends from various martial arts backgrounds. And I learned that not everyone shares the same attitude toward Taekwondo or other traditional arts.
I've encountered a bit of criticism regarding traditional arts and training methods while transitioning to Muay Thai and MMA.
ineffective, waste of time, inferior to x, y, z method.
An entirely different attitude towards martial arts and combat a lot of times. People like finding and watching one-sided, style vs style videos. People watching clips of other people watching these videos and talking about them. Constantly talking about the way another man walks. However, many criticisms are fair ones.
I've seen cringy videos too.
I find that many of the criticisms of traditional martial art(ist)s are of those who are not walking any path.
Someone whom this is all an afterschool activity for.
Or if they are walking some path, it's not one concerned with fighting.
Many people only take a few steps into an art before quitting or reigning judgment, which is fully their right; however, there are those who are so far ahead along the path that you wouldn't have caught a glimpse of them. You get out there by focusing one's opinions onto oneself and one's own actions/results.
Less talking about/being threatened by something different someone else is doing, and more walking.
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