Star Wars: The Force Awakens has rekindled our fascination with the worlds created by George Lucas, and now being expanded by the likes of JJ Abrams. Despite the fact that Jedi existed a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, would you be surprised to find out that you, as a martial artist, have a lot in common with Yoda, Luke Skywalker and Rey?
As a martial artist, you begin your journey through the ranks, starting off as a white belt, progressing through the ranks, gaining more knowledge, experience and skills. Eventually, with hard work, dedication and focus, you can achieve the rank of black belt. But your training never really stops, as you can climb the ranks of black belt, attaining higher and higher levels, and eventually, if you continue along that path, you can achieve the rank of Master, one of the highest achievements in martial arts.
For fans of Star Wars, this should sound very familiar to you, and if you’re not a fan of Star Wars…what’s wrong with you? Jedi Initiate, Trainee or Youngling are just some of the terms used to identify someone beginning their journey through the ranks, gaining more knowledge, experience and skills to become a Jedi. Eventually with hard work, dedication and focus, you can achieve the rank of Jedi Knight. But the Jedi training never really stops, and Jedi can achieve the rank of Master, one of the highest achievements in the Jedi Order.
So, your martial arts training follows a very similar path to Jedi training-that’s pretty awesome, you’re in great company! But it doesn’t end there. Here are some other quick takes:
Taekwondo is a defensive form of martial arts
Jedi are defenders
Taekwondo learn their skills in a Dojang
Jedi their skills at a Jedi Academy
Taekwondo traces its roots back to Korea
Jedi trace their roots to the original Jedi Temple
Taekwondo relies very much on ceremony: bowing when entering the Dojang, wearing of traditional uniforms, saying “Yes sir” and “Yes ma’am” when speaking with others
Jedi rely very much on ceremony: bowing, wearing of traditional uniforms, and speaking with respect to others
To excel in Taekwondo, one must focus and clear their mind of other distractions
To excel as a Jedi, one must focus and clear their minds of other distractions
Taekwondo favors more traditional, civilized weapons, such as the Jahng Bong (staff) and Gum Do (sword)
Jedi favor the lightsaber, a more civilized weapon
You probably never thought of it, but you’re in good company-you’re martial arts training is setting you up to become a Jedi Master as well. The Force is definitely with you! Now all you need to do is find maybe an experienced pilot who has a starship that can do the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs to take you to the Jedi Academy in a galaxy far, far away…