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of the asian Tae kwon do

"Momma always said don't take the easy way outta' life.  The more you give the more you get." This common theme seems to ring true throughout the entire world.  Ironically, Americans can be better described as trying to get by in life with doing the least amount of work, while still receiving as much as they possibly can.  In other words, taking the easy way out.  While the typical stereotype of Asians, more specifically Koreans, is a hardworking class of people who's ultimate goal in life is inner peace.  One definite example of this is shown through the practice of TaeKwon-Do in both cultures.  TaeKwon-Do is taken to more of an intense level in Korea compared to the United States.  Koreans have developed it as a martial art form and a way of life, while Americans in general have taken bits and pieces of it to suit their life style.
   TaeKwon-Do originated in Korea about 20 centuries ago.  As a free-fighting combat sport using bare hands and feet to repel an opponent, TaeKwon-Do is used solely as a defensive mechanism.  People trained in TaeKwon-Do can overcome an opponent using their hands, fists, elbows, knees, feet or any other part of their body.  It also is used to improve one's health, physical fitness, poise, and self-confidence.  The literal translation of TaeKwon-Do is "Tae- jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot, Kwon- to punch or destroy with the fist, Do- the art or way of."  (http://www.itatkd.com/whatiskd.html)  
   The philosophy of TaeKwon-Do is to create a more peaceful world, and to do this its foundation begins with the individual person.  Trying to develop positive aspects of personality like respect, courtesy, goodness, trustworthiness, loyalty, humility, courage, patience, integrity, perseverance, self-control, an indomitable spirit and a sense of responsibility to help and respect all forms of life is what TaeKwon-Do individuals strive for.    Students studying TaeKwon-Do memorize and recite the student oath and the tenets of TaeKwon-Do everyday.  The Student Oath is "I shall observe the tenets of TaeKwon-Do.  I shall respect all instructors and seniors.  I shall never misuse TaeKwon-Do.  I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.  I shall strive to build a more peaceful world."  The five tenets of TaeKwon-Do are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and an indomitable spirit. (http://www.itatkd.com/tkdphil.html).  All these values are still held true and practiced daily in Korea.
   Americans have torn apart the art of TaeKwon-Do in numerous ways.  They have taken the easy way out, and instead of learning the entire art form of TaeKwon-Do they have taken small pieces of it, therefore losing the overall purpose of it.  Military and Law Enforcement training seminars are offered from numerous TaeKwon-Do Associations throughout the entire United States.  They mainly teach them self-defense and law enforcement techniques.  Completely forgetting about the ultimate goal of creating a peaceful world.
   Koreans on the other hand have seminars on weapons, swordmanships, and other topics more related to the original purpose of the martial art.  At these seminars, they focus mainly on the basics and etiquette, blocks and strikes, and defense against unarmed and weapon attacks.  Other take-offs of TaeKwon-Do are aerobic exercise videos.  A popular video series is called "Tae-Bo."  It uses kicks and punches to achieve a high quality physical fitness.  There are also countless cable TV programs that are similar to Tae-Bo, like "The Friday Club" and "TaeKwon-Do American Style."
   Overall, Americans claim that they know and practice TaeKwon-Do when really all that they are doing is a small portion of the real thing.  Koreans tend to take on the practice of it more seriously; some even dedicate their lives to becoming a black belt at the sport.  Maybe Americans need to try and give a little more to TaeKwon-Do and other things in their lives to receive more out of their life.  After all, momma always knows best. ... more

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The United States, The Melting Pot

The United States has Changed from a Melting Pot to a Vast Culture with Varying Racial Backgrounds.

The United States,  created by blending or melting many cultures together into one common
man,  known as an American.  Modern communication and transportation accelerate mass migrations from
one continent . . . to the United States  (Schlesinger 21).  Ethnic and racial diversity was bound to happen
in the American society.  As immigration began to explode,  . . . a cult of  ethnicity erupted both between
non Anglo whites and among nonwhite minorities.  (22).  
Until recently,  the only country who has made a multiethnic society work,  was the United States.  
Hector St. John de Crevecoeur said,  in America . . . individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of
men. Is this still true?   The creation of the U.S.  . . . was not to preserve old cultures but to forge a new,  
American culture."  (Schlesinger 22).
In the 20th century,  the melting pot is not working,  and the whole idea is under attack (Evans
76).  The United States has changed from a melting pot to a vast culture with varying backgrounds.  In
years before,  America was a collection of Chinese,  Germans,  Italians,  Scots,  Croats,  etc.,  all craving
freedom.  Today,  even the simple concept of an English-speaking nation is fading off the continent.  In the
old days, immigrants were taught in English in the public schools. (76).  In America today,  children are
taught in German,  Italian,  Polish,  and 108 other languages.  Most of these schools are funded by 139
million federal dollars.
Until recently,   emigrants in the United States longed for admittance in society's mainstream.  
Now these groups demand separation from society,  to be able to preserve and conserve their customs and
languages.  The biggest problem with this demand,  is whatever accommodation takes place,  must be done
and accepted by the receiving society  (Chavez  60).
The increasing accommodations directed toward immigrant culture worries many Americans.  
Americans fear the special treatment granted to immigrants will effect the unifying force of the country.  
Today,  the trend is toward multiculturalism,  diversity and adapting the newcomer,  rather than on the
newcomer adapting himself or herself to . . . a diverse society (61).  
Many Americans believe the nation has lost control of its boundaries.  Concerned if
immigration continues, the U.S. economy will suffer,  and that employment will be scarce.  Immigrants . .
.are flooding the welfare rolls and are heavily involved in crime.(Morganthau 18).  The increase number of
U. S. immigrants does effect the number of jobs available.  The problem is, immigrants are either highly
qualified ( take American jobs) or are less than skilled in any field (increase welfare).  The view on
immigration today is one of a drag on the economy,  instead of
a lift (18).
In 1995, new immigration laws transfigure the American society.  As a result, races group together
to defend their customs.  The current immigration problem also increases the racial tension facing America
today.  One result of racism in the United States is hate groups and gangs.  Both  have only one thing in
common--violence!  The very use of the term of color - which embraces blacks,  . . .   Asians,  Native
Americans and Hispanics,  . . . many whom are ethnically white - implies that these disparate groups are
bonded simply by not being of Northern European descent. (Henry III 73).  One example of these hate
groups is the Ku Klux Klan, known for their hatred toward African Americans, Catholics, and Jews.  
The growing diversity of the American population makes the popularity of multiculturalism and
Political Correctness explode.  The main function of this craze is to raise minority self-esteem.  Viewed
by some,  the obstacle this creates is not for the better.  Multiculturalism helps unite groups and separates
them from the rest of the country.  . . .Civil liberties and human rights -- is portrayed as the root of all evil .
. . (Schlesinger 3).  A positive approach would have Americans stop seeing themselves as members of
primarily one ethnic group,  gaining their total identity from that group.   White or black,  Hispanic or
Asian,  they must envision themselves simply as Americans.  



















Works Cited

Brookhiser,  Richard.  The Melting Pot is ... more

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