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The inspiration for this book comes from the ancient Korean history of the Hwarang— young student-warriors who worked to strengthen their spirits as well as their fighting skills. Author Jim Langlas, an educator and Taekwondo master, presents seven principles that are rooted in the long tradition of Taekwondo and are also tied to modern character education: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit, community service, and love. Breaking each of the principles into four fundamentals, Langlas explores them through a mix of storytelling from the Hwarang and writing from his own former students, describing ways in which they’ve applied these principles to their own lives and inspiring readers to do the same. Rounding out the narrative are questions to spur reflection, discussion, and action. A background or interest in Taekwondo or other martial arts is by no means necessary for readers to understand and benefit from this engaging book. Its storytelling aspect—and especially the enduring appeal of traditional master/student tales—will resonate with teens of varying interests and backgrounds.
About the Author
Jim Langlas is an educator, Taekwondo master, and writer. In 1974, he was a member of the U.S. Taekwondo team and won a gold medal at the International Taekwondo Federation World Championships in Montreal. He taught English in Illinois for 33 years. During those decades, he taught nearly 15,000 pupils in the classroom, in the Taekwondo training hall he opened in 1980, and on the athletic fields as a coach. In 1996, Jim founded and directed Pathways for Achievement, a Chicago organization devoted to helping teenagers succeed in school and in daily life. He received his B.A. in English and physical education from the University of St. Thomas, his M.A. in teaching English from Northwestern University, and his Ph.D. in English from Northern Illinois University. Jim presently serves as copresident of the Universal Taekwondo Federation and teaches at Edison State College. He lives in Naples, Florida.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Entering the World of the Warrior 1
The First Principle: Courtesy 5
The Second Principle: Integrity 25
The Third Principle: Perseverance 43
The Fourth Principle: Self-Control 61
The Fifth Principle: Indomitable Spirit 79
The Sixth Principle: Community Service 97
The Seventh Principle: Love 113
Jsing This Book with Students?A Guide for Teachers and Leaders 134
About the Author 153