Are you a martial artist or a fighter?
I thought of this question after our team came back from USAT Nationals in Richmond, VA last week.
To me the difference between a martial artist and a fighter is the philosophy. As a Taekwondo student, we repeat in every class our 5 tenets of Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit. RESPECT and HUMILITY are also embedded into our training at every class.
At a Taekwondo competition, there is a code of conduct that is expected by athletes, coaches and referees. Just as in golf, there is a level of decorum that should be followed. Imagine Tiger Woods or his coach throwing his club or yelling after a bad shot. He would and should be sanctioned for his bad behavior.
At higher level Taekwondo competitions, coaches cannot come to the ring in flip flops or tee shirts. Throwing of your helmet or yelling at a referee will come with consequences.
Let's keep Taekwondo a martial art and not a circus or reality show. Our kids are watching and will follow our lead.