Taekwondo is well known and respected not simply as a good sport for all ages, but also as an excellent structured program to build character for young people. Recently, the Ministry of Education of Korea honored Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) by accrediting Taekwondo as a superior program for character education. In fact, Taekwondo is the only sport in Korea to be officially recognized as an accredited character education program by the Ministry. While academic research is under way to prove the relationship between physical exercises and character education, we all know intuitively and experientially that Taekwondo is good for building character. The five tenets of Taekwondo - which are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit - are not only learned inside Dojangs, but are practiced throughout the course of day inside and outside of Dojangs by the students of Taekwondo as a matter of life style and lifelong values. In many character education programs, learning ends with just 'knowing' what is proper, but 'behaving' is often swayed by external factors such as reward and punishment. But, Taekwondo aims at achieving a state of coherence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies, ultimately leading to profound changes in behavior that is intrinsically motivated, a true sign of character.
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