Master Hans Jørgen Helmersens tese til 7.Dan

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6. november 2017
MASTER HANS JØRGEN HELMERSENS 7.DAN

Master Helmersen

  Master Hans Jørgen Helmersen har publisert sin tese som ble skrevet i forbindelse med gradering til 7.Dan.

  Jeg tror sterkt at valgfrihet er en av de viktigste aspektene i hvordan du skal forme din fremtid og deg selv slik du ønsker.

  Videre tror jeg at valgfrihet er kritisk / viktig for å stå i mot gruppepress og andre situasjoner der du er tilbøyelig til å gjøre og si
  ting du ikke er komfortabel med.

 

 

Hans Jørgen Helmersen

Head instructor Fosen Taekwon-Do Club
Stadsbygd March 2016

1.0 Introduction

I strongly believe that freedom of choice is one of the most important aspects in how to shape your future and yourselves the way you desire. Furthermore I believe freedom of choice is critical/crucial to stand up to group pressure and other situations where you are inclined to do and say things that you are not comfortable with.

After 34 years of being both a student and an instructor of Taekwon-Do I have seen many students transform into confident individuals who carve their own way in life.

In this paper I will explore the potential benefits I believe Taekwon-Do provide when it comes to freedom of choice.

2.0 Thesis

The thesis I will try to prove in this paper:

«The study of Taekwon-Do gives the students confidence and strength to gain the freedom to make their own choices in life with little or no persuasion from peers.»

3.0 Confidence

Dr Jan Rimau defines (http://rimau.com/?page_id=21) confidence in both an internal and external sense. Internal as support from yourself, and to be comfortable with your own opinions. Which in turns gives you calmness when dealing with external challenges. External as in confirmation on your external qualites like performance.

I will use Dr Jan Rimau’s definition to discuss how Taekwon-Do increases a student’s external and internal confidence.

3.1 Internal confidence and Taekwon-Do

The dojo is a safe zone. There is zero tolerance on bullying and other negative behaviours. This makes the student relax and gives him the safety to truly be himself without worrying what others think of him.

The process of the student letting his/her true self shine through takes time. It is important for the instructor to be aware of this, and guide the student through this journey. Both the instructor and student must have patience in this regard.

When the student finally shows other people who he is and nothing bad happens, his internal confidence increases. I have often wintessed insecure and closed off individuals starting the journey of Taekwon-Do in my Dojo. It is truly marvelous to see how happy and energetic they become when their internal confidence rises. This is observed in the Dojo at first.

In time, the increased confidence starts to make its mark outside of the Dojo as well. Often I get feedback from the students regarding this, other times from the parents. They tell me how they overcame some external challenge with school, work or friends. This may only be anecdotal evidence of the importance of confidence and freedom of choice, but every story shows the impact Taekwon-Do can have on someone’s life.

I see internal confidence as truly knowing yourself. It is a challenging journey for the student. However truly knowing yourself is a very powerfull experience; to know what your values are, and have the power to stand by them in times of external challenge. With the help of a good Dojo this is achievable by all students of Taekwon-Do.

3.2 External confidence and Taekwon-Do

A good instructor will give a student positive feedback when the student shows good improvement in technique. This will increase the students external confidence as per Dr Rimaus words. However this is also true for other activities like football or fencing where the student recieves positive feedback on his performance.

What seperates Taekwon-Do from other activites is that the student is not compared to others. A good instructor will focus solely on the students individual improvement. How they did  better this time compared to the last time. This methodology achieves two things:

Firstly, it gives the student better external confidence when the instructor gives affirmation of good performance. This would not necessarily be the case if the student was compared to other students. For example if a student was having problems with his balance, but practices three times as much as the other students. If this student was compared to the other students he would never receive praise or positive feedback, even though he had improved three times as much compared to his own performance in a given time frame.

Secondly, it teaches the student that he should not compare himself  to others. He only have himself to answer to. This will give a huge boost in external confidence because you are not dependent on others for confirmation of your performance. They are taught to only look inwards when tracking progress. This will also help improve the students ability to be objective when evaluating his own performance. This will in turn increase his confidence since he knows what his ability to complete tasks is like. And when he accepts a challenge he can accept it with complete confidence.

4.0 Freedom of choice

Ian Carter (February 2004), Sebastiano Bavetta, Ph.D., and Pietro Navarra, Ph.D. (2011) defines freedom of choice as the individuals opportunity and autonomy to perform an action based on at least two options unconstrained by external parties.

In my opinion confidence is the most important factor when it comes to the autonomy in freedom of choice. In other words to have the capacity to choose freely. I will discuss in depth both how internal and external confidence enable the student to have freedom of choice.

4.1 Internal confidence and freedom of choice

Internal confidence gives you the power to stand by your values in face of difficulty. It also makes you trust yourself and your feelings. I think this is key when it comes to having freedom of choice. For example if you are in a situation where your gut feeling is bad, with high internal confidence you will trust this feeling and take action to remove, fix or escape the situation. This is why freedom of choice is so important.

If you know who you are and what your values are you have freedom of choice. It will be signifcantly harder for external parties to manipulate you into doing something you are not comfortable with. If a student is not confident in his values, it will be a lot harder to make his own choices. Because how can you have freedom of choice if you don’t know what your values are?

4.2 External confidence and freedom of choice

In 3.2 we discussed how a good instructor will help the student avoid comparing himself with others. This is a very important part when it comes to freedom of choice. Human instinct inclines us to follow others, and do as others. The reason for this is safety in numbers. If everyone else is doing something it feels safe to do the same as them. It’s scary to stand alone, to be the one that says no.

This is confirmed by Dr. Robert Cialdinis principal of influence «social proof» (Cialdini, Robert, Influence: Science and Practice, 2009). He writes that people will do what other people are doing.

With increased external confidence the student has learned that he only answers to himself, that he doesn’t need confirmation from others to be whole. This gives the student freedom of choice in a situation where his peers are trying to convince him to do something that he is not comfortable with. Something that crosses his values. The student has the strength to stand alone to defend his values. This is freedom of choice.

5.0 Summary

In the summary I will try to confirm the thesis with a logical structure of the arguments, experiences and theories written in this paper. The thesis we started this paper with:

«The study of Taekwon-Do gives the students confidence and strength to gain the freedom to make their own choices in life with little or no persuasion from peers.»

We can clearly see a strong connection between the study of Taekwon-Do and increased confidence. Dr Jan Rimau’s definition of confidence was built on two fundations; internal and external.

Internal confidence is increased by the structure and enviroment Taekwon-Do gives the student. The dojo, the dobok, the disiplin; which are all external factors. The external input is what increases the internal confidence. Like yin and yang, the contrary forces fullfill each other.

External confidence is increased by teaching the student to look inward for confirmation. Again we can observe how oposites complement each other. External and internal. External confidence grows from internal confirmation. This is a journey that both the student and the instructor must partake in. Its success is dependent on patience from both parties.

We see clear indications of Taekwon-Do increasing the confidence of the student. And we know how important confidence is to have freedom of choice. As I wrote in 4.0 I believe that confidence is key to achieving this freedom. Studying Taekwon-Do gives the student the confidence to truly know himself and to stand by his values. To dare stand alone if necessary, and be confident in his own feelings and thoughts.

I believe one of the biggest risks for both young and adult individuals is group pressure, to succumb to the pressure from peers. It can force individuals to do things and say things they regret for the rest of their lifes. Like we talked about in 4.1 and 4.2 I feel that the strength to stand against peer pressure is one of the biggest benefits from students get from increased confidence. The freedom to walk their own paths.

In this paper I firstly looked into how Taekwon-Do increases both the internal and the external confidence of the student. Then I defined what freedom of choice is, and how important confidence is to achieve this freedom. Looking at how both external and internal confidence enable freedom of choice. I have also explained why I believe freedom of choice is critical/crucial to living a happy and fullfilling life. This is one of the greatest gifts Taekwon-Do enables the student to give himself.

To sum it up we can say that studying Taekwon-Do increases the students confidence. Confidence is key to achieving freedom of choice. Therefore I feel confident in standing by my thesis which states that studying Taekwon-Do will give the student freedom of choice.