Tae Kwon Do
The following descriptions of tae kwon do will give you a basic understanding of where the style came from and how it evolved into what it is today, but there are many books, videos and DVD's available to further your knowledge of Tae Kwon Do
A brief history of Tae Kwon Do
Early Koreans developed unique martial art forms for unarmed self defense to complement their skills with weapons.
The first recorded evidence of what was to become modern Tae Kwon Do is found about two thousand years ago in Korean history. A mural painting from the Koguryu kingdom (37 B.C to 66 A.D.) was found in a tomb believed to have been built sometime during the period 3 to 427 A.D .
This mural depicts figures practicing martial arts techniques. Historical records from this Koguryu period also mention the practice of martial arts techniques and tournaments.
The early forms had different names, such as Kwonbak, Bakhi, Dangsoo, Taesoo and Kongsoo. From about 600 A.D. to about 1400, the main stream dominant form was Soobak, which further evolved into Taekyon beginning in the late 1300s.
Taekyon was the dominant Korean martial art form until the Japanese invasion and occupation of Korea in 1909. From 1909 to 1945, the Japanese suppressed Korean culture and martial arts, and introduced Japanese culture and martial arts.
The modern period of Taekwondo began with the defeat of the Japanese and the liberation of Korea in 1945. Korean martial arts masters wanted to eliminate Japanese influences. They began discussions on how to return to the traditional Taekyon based Korean martial arts and on how to unite the various martial arts schools (or Kwans) and styles into a single style and national sport.
After several years of discussions, the name "Taekwondo" was chosen in April 1955 by the board of masters of the various Kwans, and the kwans started to unify through the late 1950s.
1961 saw the creation of the Korea Taesoodo Association, which changed its name to Korea Taekwondo Association in 1965.
The spread of Taekwondo as a martial art and competitive sport continues to this date. The principle events in the rapid evolution of Taekwondo as a popular world wide sport are:
· 1973 - World Taekwondo Federation created.
· 1975 - General Association of International Sports Federations recognizes the WTF.
· 1976 - Taekwondo accepted as a Consul International du Sport Militaire sport (world level military sports organization).
· 1980 - International Olympic Committee recognizes the WTF.
· 1981 - Taekwondo accepted as a World Games sport
· 1983 - Taekwondo accepted as a Pan American Games and All Africa Games sport
· 1985 - Taekwondo adopted as a demonstration sport for the 1988 Olympic Games.
· 1986 - Taekwondo accepted as a Federation International du Sport Universitaire sport (world university level sport organization).
· 1992 - Taekwondo is an Olympic demonstration sport in Barcelona, Spain.
· 1994 - Taekwondo selected as a full Olympic sport for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
· 1996 - Taekwondo is an Olympic demonstration sport in Atlanta.
· Today - Tae Kwon Do is by far the most widely practiced martial art in the world..
Tae Kwon Do
by Master Instructor, Brian Malik
In English, it is commonly written:
Tae Kwon Do, Taekwondo, or Taekwon-do.
Regardless of how it is spelled, Tae Kwon Do is the world's most widely practice martial art.
It is an Olympic sport, an artistic discipline, a system of self-defense, and a way of life.
An Olympic Sport
Tae Kwon Do is an Olympic sport.
It was introduced to the Olympics in Korea in 1988. Unlike many of the other sports that young people are involved with today, Tae Kwon Do competitors are required by rule to demonstrate respect for officials coaches and their fellow competitors. What a concept!
An Artistic Discipline
Tae Kwon Do is an artistic discipline.
The techniques are done with graceful and powerful movements. Students continuously strive to improve the artistic presentation of each technique. The art of Tae Kwon Do develops posture, graceful movement, excellent coordination, and attention to detail. We believe that everyone can benefit from exposure to this artistic discipline.
Self-defense skills are safety skills. We believe that it's important for everyone to learn these self-defense skills.
When a person learns and develops self-defense skills, the chance of sustaining an injury due to a fall or an attack is greatly reduced; and the chance of escaping from a mugging, a rape or an abduction attempt is greatly increased! Learning these safety skills does not promote violence; rather, it enables one to avoid becoming a victim of violence and to minimize injury during a fall.
Tae Kwon Do is a way of life.
Students are encouraged to live according to the tenants of Tae Kwon Do.
The Tenets of Tae Kwon Do
To be thoughtful and considerate of others. Taekwondo students and instructors should be polite, and show consideration for others.
To be honest and good. Taekwondo practitioners should live by a code of moral values and principles
To never give up in the pursuit of one's goals. Students should welcome challenges, because challenges cause us to grow and improve.
To have control of your body and mind. A Taekwondo student should practice controlling his actions and reactions.
To have courage in the face of adversity. A Taekwondo student should never be dominated by, or have his spirit broken by another.
Tae Kwon Do is excellent exercise.
When exercise is done consistently, invaluable physical and mental improvements occur. Students develop real and lasting self-confidence.
Taekwondo students do exercises which develop strength, flexibility, endurance, speed, balance, memory, concentration, coordination and self-control; to name a few. One of the keys to the success of Taekwondo is that the exercises are fun, the students see results, and they are inspired to do more.
Tae Kwon Do Training Develops Self-Confidence Success in a personal development program, such as a Taekwondo class, where the students experience noticeable increases in strength, flexibility, memory, coordination, and self-defense skills, as the result of a dedicated effort, is an excellent foundation for self-confidence.
It is self-confidence based on physical and mental self-improvement, as opposed to self-confidence based on one's athletic performance.
This self-confidence is deep; it is not subject to the results of tomorrow's game. It is not reserved for the best players on the team; it is available to everyone, because everyone experiences improvement with Taekwondo training.