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Taekwondo: Feel Safer in a Less Safe Feeling World

young man feeling threatened

Does the world feel more dangerous to you in 2024?

Many feel that it is actually less safe. Per the July 21-23 2023 Gallup poll, 76% of people feel that the world is MORE dangerous today than ever. Sadly, there is a good indication that it is, regardless of whether your news comes from CNN or FOX. Major crimes in New York City spiked 60% in 2022. That rise includes violent crimes like murder. They've also increased greatly in Chicago, Baltimore, cities in California, Oregon, Washington state, Texas, Washington, DC, and the list goes on. De-funding the police likely doesn't help me feel any safer. Nor does public policy that publishes lists of crimes that are no longer "punishable" by law... as a way to manage overcrowding in jails and overworked police. Even in smaller cities, the effects have been felt --- simply speak with your local Police and Sheriff departments.

76% of people feel the world is MORE dangerous today than ever – July 21-23 2023 Gallup Poll

Anxiety and Depression are at an all time High

Whether it is increased crime, the complicated legacy of challenges that COVID 19 lock downs and isolation left behind, businesses closing due to no available employees, record high gasoline prices, increased governmental corruption, and an impending recession, etc, it has made a deep imprint on our modern psyche. Most will admit to feeling more anxious, or on edge, over the past couple of years. Depression, anxiety, suicide, drug overdoses, have all increased. There are much longer waiting lists for adults and children to be seen by mental health practitioners, since the need for services has drastically increased. I can attest to this with my own school aged son having waited almost an entire year to be seen at a mental health facility. All of the facilities in our area are backlogged with long waiting lists. You can read that this is the case across our nation. Heartbreaking and not surprising. So how can we help ourselves and our kids feel better?

How to Feel Better in Spite of Where We Are

I actually consider myself an optimist. Not because I feel confident that we will turn this tide, but because we can still take action on a personal level. There is always something we can do to help ourselves. Apathy is not proactive. Apathy is where discouragement and depression sets in. Action begets change and with it, hopefulness. Start by surrounding yourself with positive and like minded people. Get and keep your body and mind strong. Stay informed but also limit the steady stream of news. Grow your faith. Chip in with your time or money to a cause that really matters to you. Learn to protect yourself and your loved ones. Get back to the basics.

Martial Arts: For Body, Mind, and Emotional Well Being

Martial arts, and in particular, Taekwondo, is a BIG action step toward equipping yourself to take on this world we are in! Post COVID lockdowns and isolation helped us see just how social we are. Even if you are less social than other people you know, you still need people and connection. Fun is important too (actually REALLY important) as it helps combat depression. So does physical fitness - we all know about the natural endorphins that get released with physical activity! When you find a great Taekwondo school, you will find a group of positive and accepting people, a way to strengthen your mind, body, and emotional state, and have fun, all at once!

You Can (and should) Expect MORE Out of an Activity than Fun & Fitness

You could say, "yes, but my kids' soccer class and baseball classes provide fun, fitness and friendship." You are probably right, they can provide social connection, shared fun, a great endorphin release to ward off depression, a more strong and fit body, and maybe even an improvement in focus and mental clarity which is so important for kids with ADHD/Autism, or just in general for any kid today. BUT, do those sports or after school activities teach respect, mental discipline and self control? These are at the core of martial arts. Do they teach situational awareness and real world self defense skills? Does their sport/activity, etc. BULLY proof them? For Life? Why not also give our kids the confidence in knowing they can walk into any situation or setting and take care of themselves. As a parent, you know how short your time can be. Why not have your kid's activities do double or triple duty? Let them play today and gain skills for tomorrow all at the same time.

Parental Peace of Mind

As a Mom of a boy with ADHD who got bullied plenty when he was little, it does me good to tell you that it can give your Mom heart some real peace of mind knowing your child is not going to be an easy victim of a bully when they learn Taekwondo! This bullying of course can happen not just to boys and girls with ADHD or Autism, but to any kid who may be a bit "different," or quirky, creative, gifted, different looking, whatever. We know how kids can be with other kids. In a world where tolerance is espoused but not always practiced, and hair trigger reactions and fits of rage can be seen all around us, kids need to know how to defend themselves! Just the sense of confidence gained from knowing they can take care of themselves or their friends if they had to, can be evidenced in how they walk, talk, and carry themselves through life. When you sign your son, daughter, or yourself up for Taekwondo, you join millions of others who have discovered one of the BEST ways to take charge of their health, their happiness and their safety, all at the same time. What other activity can do so much for your mind and body today while preparing you in so many ways for the world tomorrow?


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