Every month we talk about a specific Life-Skill in our classes. The Life-Skills that we seek to develop in our students are the true purpose of our program. Yes, we want to develop students with good Taekwondo skills, but our true goal is to use Taekwondo as the vehicle to develop our students focus, teamwork, and this month, indomitable spirit.

Different than perseverance, Indomitable Spirit is about an individual’s inner strength to overcome challenges and obstacles. When things become challenging, it is about not getting discouraged by the challenge. Where perseverance are the actions we take, the physical outcome of not giving up. Indomitable spirit is our internal life, our emotional response to the challenges we face.

I have been dealing a series of small, but persistent injuries since July, 2017. First I pulled my calf, which has turned into a chronic situation, then I have been dealing with a left hamstring strain, right quad tightness and now a left hip flexor strain. It would be easy to give into all the small injuries. While none of these small injuries alone stop me from training or enjoying Taekwondo, together they have put a hold on my ability to prepare for future competition. I could give into the current moment and stop driving to compete again or I can work to recover and get back on track. I cannot let this current state dampen my emotional will. Rather than letting these current ‘failures’ define where I am, I look at my goal and what I need to do to achieve that goal. Sure, I will have moments where I am discouraged, but the present moment does not define the future.

As students of Taekwondo, each of our students will face moments, inside and outside of class where they will fail. They will have techniques that feel out of reach or perform at a promotion test and feel they did not demonstrate their technique well. As their teachers, and parents, it is our job to help them develop the strength to not give up or shut down when they face challenges. We need to encourage them to not define themselves by current failures or weaknesses; they need to know that they are not defined by any individual failure or embarrassment. Instead, we need to assist them to look past their current moment and help them strive to reach their goals.

Developing indomitable spirit takes time and it is not something that all people do naturally. As student’s teachers and parents help students develop indomitable spirit. We need to be their to encourage them when they are upset, but to also be there and talk to them about their goals.

Two parts:
1) Crisis Management
2) Goal Setting

Crisis management happens in the moment a student fails to succeed. In these moments students need someone to be there for/ with them. Some students need encouragement and others just need someone to be there.

When the moment passes, we can help the student reset their goal and help encourage them to success. This step also requires us to listen to the student. It is one thing to assume we can tell the student their goal, it is another to listen to them and help them find their goal. The second method gives the student ownership and will help them internalize their new goal. Internalizing their goal will help students achieve their own indomitable spirit.