Dr. Tae Yum Kim is a Grandmaster of martial arts. She is a renowned martial artist and teacher who teachea hundreds of students each year, primarily at her academy in Fremont, California. Dr. Kim often works with young people, and sometimes with adults, who are struggling to contain their tempers or avoid violence. Dr. Tae Yun Kim recommends meditation as an important tool towards practicing nonviolence and kindness.
While meditation is traditionally an Eastern practice, it is growing in popularity in the United States. Meditation is used for many different reasons. It can improve memory and mental clarity, and it can be used to reduce stress. Meditation is also an important tool in conflict resolution and anger management. When Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s students have conflict in their lives, she encourages them to meditate or reflect quietly on the problem. She gives them three questions to think about: Why does this bother me? How does the other person feel? How can we fix this together?
Meditation has been an effective tool for conflict resolution in Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s school, the Jung SuWon Martial Arts Academy. When students have conflict, they are asked to reflect quietly on the problem using the three questions that Dr. Kim provides. Then, they are able to calmly discuss the conflict and come to a mutual agreement about how to move forward in a constructive way. Dr. Tae Yun Kim recommends that meditation be adopted by schools, families, and community organizations.
There are several meditation techniques that can be useful. Dr. Tae Yun Kim says that any meditation technique that works for you is the best one to use. Meditation can be done in short sessions; ten to fifteen minutes are often sufficient to improve mental clarity and to organize your thoughts on a conflict, stressor, or problem. To meditate, take a comfortable seat in a quiet room free of distractions. Most people like to sit on the floor when they meditate, but you can sit wherever you are comfortable. At Jung SuWon Martial Arts Academy, Dr. Kim offers students the use of an empty classroom if they need time to meditate.