Embracing Taekwon-do Tenets: Perseverance

I have written about perseverance on more than one occasion. Perseverance is a critical asset no matter what you do and what you aim for. It is a final and perhaps most important element of the DAP approach: Desire – Action – Perseverance (patience).

Not surpisingly, it is also one of taekwon-do tenets.

To begin with a training hall, perseverance is crucial to progress in taekwon-do and any other martial art. You must keep on training no matter what your rank is. The way of taekwon-do, and the martial arts way in general, is endless.

Extrapolating this to the outer world, perseverance is ultimately never giving up. Whether you are pursuing a goal of your own, building up a relationship, or working on a project, the only way to succeed is to treat END as:

Effort. Never. Dies

Perseverance is telling your heart,
you’re going to finish the things that you start,
It’s refusing to quit when the going gets tough,
or starting to cry when the sparring gets rough.
It’s not giving up on the board you must break,
no matter how many tries it may take.

©The Academic Taekwondo

Embracing Taekwon-do Tenets:



Every Master Was Once A Beginner

I believe in three letters.



‘D’ stands for desire. One  need to have a burning desire to make one’s dreams come true. As Paulo Coelho nicely put it in The Alchemist, “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

‘A’ stands for action. Dreams without continuous action are nothing but daydreaming. Only action brings true knowledge, and only action propels us forward.

‘P’ stands for patience or perseverance. Patience is the ultimate ingredient that makes the dish complete, fresh and tasty. Indomitable confidence combined with the previous two steps can create magic results.

The difference between possible and impossible is only in the amount of time invested.

This is why we must never give up.

Black Is The New White

This is the conclusion of the insightful The Black Belt Myth article written by a karate master Jesse Enkamp.

After just having received my first black belt, I feel the same. I knew I would feel like that.

There will be same mistakes. Same problems. Perhaps more responsibility.

And as always perspiration until your dobok can be twisted to release water.

What is new though is the joy that you are moving ahead no matter how slow you are. As Abraham Lincoln brilliantly put it: “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back”.

Speed doesn’t really matter as long we don’t stop.

Give Up in Order to Win

Life gives opportunity to learn every day.

One of my recent lessons is that sometimes you need to give up your goal in order to achieve it.

Or perhaps it’s not just sometimes? Maybe it’s a universal principle?

That could be.

My philosophy has always been not to give up. Now I claim one needs to do so. I can formulate this as a paradox (at first sight):

Never give up on your goal.
Give it up to achieve it.

By not giving up I mean a very simple thing: try on and on until you succeed. Perspiration, perseverance and patience are keys to success.

By giving up I mean your goal must not eclipse everything else in your life. It must not cross out the feeling of here and now. A goal must be just one of many side lights, not the end of the journey.

Any goal lies in future by definition, yet the focus must stay in present.

By relaxing and enjoying the present moment we reach our goals much quicker than if we would be completely absorbed by a future achievement.

Why We Must Never Give Up

We often hear that we must never give up on anything. I will not restate the same thing here told millions of times already. Well, not in this post.

Instead I’d like to share a piece of Chinese wisdom that may give additional motivation.

So there is an old Chinese proverb which is one of my favorites. It goes as follows. The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.

Got it?

If you quit, it means you almost achieved what you aspired for.

Almost. But not really.

There’s a huge difference here, and don’t be mislead by ‘almost’ or ‘nearly’, This is the difference between success or failure. As simple as that.

So next time you give up on something, think that you almost succeeded. But ultimately failed.

Indeed, brick walls are there for a reason.