A KOREAN MELON once happened to move to our country and more specifically to our well-known garden, where the other fruit and vegetables gave him a warm welcome. “Thank you, I hope to adapt easily to my new country!”, the Melon told them with excitement and tried to learn all the habits and customs of our place.
As the days passed however, he found it more and more difficult to fit in. “Why don’t you find a sport to occupy your mind?”, the orange bell pepper, who really loved football, advised him. So he thought of picking up taekwondo, as to learn self-defense on one hand, and have something to remind him of his country of origin, Korea, on the other hand, as taekwondo is a Korean martial art.
After searching thoroughly, he found the best taekwondo school in Athens, which he registered to. With great enthusiasm, and after supplying himself with proper clothes, he attended his first class fully prepared. He there met other fruit and vegetables, most of which had little or zero experience in taekwondo.
“You will learn far more than a martial art here. You will learn a whole new way of life”, their teacher told them the first day, and they listened to him with great attention. He then explained to them that taekwondo is based on five virtues: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and possessing an indomitable spirit. He even went so far as to stress the importance of the perseverance required for someone to beat pain and become a taekwondo warrior. Most of the fruit and vegetables, with our good Korean Melon first, were too excited to learn the moves so as to give any importance to those words.
The teacher then started analyzing the technique of the sport. He first showed them how to lift their foot high enough to kick the air, and how to clench their fist and make it strong, how to keep their balance and how to move with great speed. And so our good students started their first trainings.
Only a few sessions later, however, most of them were full of bruises and scars from falling clumsily on the walls. Things got even worse when one day our good Korean Melon lost his balance and fell on the floor, trying to raise his kick as high as he could. “I can’t stand the pain anymore…”, the Melon admitted in front of the other martial arts students.
“Since you know Korean, maybe it’s best to let us know what ‘Tae’ means in your mother tongue!”, the teacher told him. “It means to strike with the foot”, the melon answered.
“And what does ‘kwon’ mean?”, continued the teacher. “It means to strike with the hand!”, replied the Korean melon.
“And what does ‘Do’ mean?”, the teacher asked him for a last time and the Korean melon replied: “’Do’ means… way of life!”.
“This is what you should always bear in mind then, that taekwondo is not simple martial arts moves, but a whole way of seeing life!”, explained the teacher to his students and then reminded them that among the five virtues was patience. They burst into applause as soon as they heard him and took courage to continue their trainings.
And so our good Korean Melon took his first big lesson in taekwondo. Not only did he continue, but he loved taekwondo so much that many years later he received the black belt....