Your parents argue, your best friend seems preoccupied with her new boyfriend, and you suspect your little brother may be getting bullied. But right now, it’s time to take class.
Your job is ending, your kids are struggling in school, and your aging parents are going to need more help. But right now, it’s time to take, or even teach, class.
We bow in and out of the dojang, but why? Tradition? Is it respect for the space? Yes, but it is more than that. Bowing before entering is also a quiet declaration that we are ready to be in that space. We are prepared to receive what is being offered on the floor, with a clear mind, free from the distractions of the outside world. Carrying the problems of the day onto the floor impedes this process, whether one is a teacher or student. (Ah! Perhaps there is a reason the uniform has no pockets!)
Try this: before stepping onto the training floor, take a deep breath. As you inhale imagine gathering your worries together. As you exhale, visualize setting them down, saying to yourself “This hour is for Tae Kwon Do. These can wait here.” Straighten your dobok, bow, and go work hard. Those problems will be right where you left them. And after a good class, they may even be a little lighter!