The following set of posts are based upon the chart below. I hope that you find some benefit from them. Part One starts here.


While this is from John Wooden, who I know about because my high school alma mater here in Minnesota has a coach with one of best careers in the nation, it is a very good illustration of what the martial arts should be teaching.

The words are different from those typically seen in martial arts classes but they represent the Tenets of Taekwondo, the credos of Song Moo Kwan, the principles of Aikido (and probably EVERY other martial art style taught). The most important factor here is that Coach Wooden presents these in terms that apply on the court or on the mat and outside of them.


The student must understand that all of the work they are doing is what created the success of those who came before them. That work will help build relationships with their teachers and peers, who are working just as hard, and the emotional benefits begin. These relationships (and emotions) provide the desire to see others grow, especially those who have helped them. The loyalty to others further develops the cooperation among the friends as they all see growing benefits. The increased benefits generates ever growing enthusiasm to continue. Well, at least this is one version of putting them together.

The true may be closer to something like Aikido’s principle of Mind-Body Unification. This talks about the four parts that need to be present in order for a person to move in a completely mindful, intentional manner. These parts are “weight underside”, “extend Ki”, “keep your One Point” and “Controlled Relaxation”. As it is discussed in Aikido, if you can find one of these concepts, then you can find them all but if you you lose one, you lose them all. This may be what happens, or is created, with Coach Wooden’s list. If you have any one of these from this level, you can create the others as you grow into the whole. I wager this will fit for each level of this chart, so I’ll only mention it here.

The next few weeks will feature posts from this chart done as a four part series. So, until next time – Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel – tune in for more! Part two next week.

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Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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