Is Taekwondo Good for Discipline?

kids training taekwondo

You might be wondering if taekwondo classes can help you or your kids develop a good level of self-discipline. So, is Taekwondo good for discipline?

Taekwondo is a martial art and combat sport that is good for self-discipline. It teaches you to set goals, focus your mental and emotional energies, and get along well with others.

While practicing taekwondo is a great way to learn self-defense maneuvers and improve your overall physical health, one of its biggest benefits is the ability to help enhance self-discipline.

In today’s world, the ability to maintain control over your thoughts, words, and emotions is tremendously valuable both personally and professionally.

It is the foundation for improving a healthy sense of self.

The result of Taekwondo’s attention on self-discipline (especially for kids) is that it helps them to build self-confidence, understand the difference between a journey and the destination, and develop the ability to manage their emotions and make good choices.

This enormous benefit is one of the many reasons why taekwondo is so good for kids.

A study has shown that Taekwondo can help children control their behavior and emotions, which is great!

Now, let’s examine what discipline is and how taekwondo helps to promote it.

What Is Self-Discipline in Taekwondo?

Self-discipline in taekwondo is the ability to control one’s behavior, desires, emotions, and impulses. It is the ability to resist the desire for instant gratification to gain long-term satisfaction and fulfillment from achieving higher and more meaningful goals.

Self-discipline is an art that requires us to aim higher and self-rule ourselves.

Self-discipline is seen as the ability to motivate oneself despite a negative emotional state.

It is a mastery of the mind over the body that forces us to become self-aware of our habits, thoughts, words, and emotions.

Self-awareness helps students learn how to discipline themselves and become in charge of how they act or react in any given situation.

Some of the qualities associated with self-discipline include self-control, hard work, persistence, and willpower.

Understand that continuous taekwondo practice and determination are needed to master the art of self-discipline.

Does Taekwondo Teach Self-Discipline?

Taekwondo teaches self-discipline as students learn to set goals, focus their emotional and mental energies, and get along well with others.

While Taekwondo is effective for self-defense, weight loss, and physical strength development, it is not just a fighting style or form of exercise.

In fact, self-discipline is at the heart of Taekwondo’s ethics and etiquette.

These taekwondo tenets are;

  • Courtesy – Be nice and kind to others.
  • Integrity – Be truthful and do not lie.
  • Perseverance – Keep on trying and never give up.
  • Self-Control – Control your body, mind, and emotions.
  • Indomitable Spirit – Be humble and have a positive attitude always.

The ethics of taekwondo are not about politeness, but respect (for self and others) and self-discipline.

Every beginner and experienced practitioner is expected to follow these rules consistently and intentionally.

So, because of its emphasis on self-control, Taekwondo remains one of the best ways to master self-discipline.

How Does Taekwondo Teach Discipline?

Here are some of the ways that Taekwondo helps to instill discipline in students and practitioners.

Ensuring Obedience to Laid Down Rules

The ‘rule’ is the one thing that everyone hates the most. However, it helps to guide the martial art learning process.

Rules are necessary to become self-disciplined even if those rules are not something you agree with or have a hard time following.

Taekwondo relies on following certain rules which must be followed.

For example, students are taught to respond by saying “Yes sir” when the master says something.

 A Taekwondo instructor would not condone disrespect or people who disobey the rules.

As a result of this, students quickly learn the importance of adhering to rules.

Helping Students Set Realistic Goals

Living a disciplined life requires living life according to particular guiding principles that cannot be learned overnight.

For example, Taekwondo incorporates a belt ranking system that starts with a white belt (denoting the lowest skill level) and a black belt which is the highest belt.   

Through this ranking system, students are encouraged to work on reaching the next level.

As a result, students develop this intrinsic motivation to achieve higher ranks.

This, therefore, teaches them how to set and achieve a goal.

So, by developing this goal-setting habit, students are learning the discipline required to learn to work for and succeed at other goals in their lives.

These goals may include bagging a high school diploma or attending college.

By Teaching Self Control

Success in Taekwondo depends on your ability to control your words, actions, and emotions.

Interestingly, Research has shown that kids who learned Taekwondo improved their self-regulation and showed reduced signs of aggression toward others.

Self-control is in fact the fourth tenet of Taekwondo which emphasize the discipline to control your body, mind, and emotions.

The focus of taekwondo isn’t on dominance or gaining control of a weaker opponent, but on centering a person’s body in a fully controlled manner.

So, to bridge the gap between the body and mind, it is essential that we understand our inner thoughts and how they guide our actions and reactions.

Improving Focus

Taekwondo teaches students to concentrate on the task at hand.

Students (particularly children) learn how to focus their energy to complete tasks, such as punching or kicking a target or splitting a board.

They have to concentrate on completing these seemingly simple actions using the proper techniques.

Also, taekwondo teaches students to focus on the instructor’s teaching and not be troubled by other things in the environment.

Interestingly, this type of concentration exercise can also help them with discipline at home to finish their homework before going out to play with the cat.

Through Students Emulating Disciplined Seniors

Children learn best by observing the behavior of adults, even when those adults aren’t intentionally trying to teach them anything.

Students have visible images of the moves and how to correctly perform them.

Thankfully, the role models that students look up to for emulation are disciplined seniors or practitioners.

Furthermore, instructors take note of disciplined students and highlight their strengths which enables other students to emulate them and receive similar accolades.

Disciplined taekwondo instructors are also role models for children.


From the above, you can see that taekwondo is a key tool in building discipline both in adults and kids.

Taekwondo teaches children discipline at an early age, which helps them grow into responsible adults.

Children with discipline are never followed around since they’re easy to get along with and they treat everyone with respect.

So, if your kids are struggling to be disciplined, enrolling them in a taekwondo class may be the solution to help instill in them this valuable life skill.

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