What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo literally means “The way of the hand and the foot”, Tae meaning foot, Kwon meaning hand or fist and Do meaning way. Taekwondo is the Korean art of unarmed fighting. It’s earliest roots have been traced back over 2000 years to 50 B.C. when artists of the time incorporated images of classic Taekwondo techniques in their works.
Modern day Taekwondo is a unique martial art incorporating the quick linear movements that characterize the various Japanese styles and the flowing circular movements of many of the Chinese styles. But what truly distinguishes Taekwondo are its varied and uniquely powerful kicking techniques. It is this prominent use of leg and kicking techniques that sets Taekwondo apart from all other martial art systems.
In addition to this Taekwondo makes use of a very mobile, upright fighting stance that allows for quick action on the part of the fighter. While other systems use deeper stances giving them more stability, the philosophy behind Taekwondo’s stances is that it is better to be able to move quickly on your feet than to be firmly rigid and rooted in one place. For this reason Olympic style Taekwondo is very fast and strong. Taekwondo gained official Olympic status in the 2000 Olympics in Australia. Due to the speed and power of Taekwondo sparring, it has become the most popular martial art in the world.
Taekwondo is much more than simply a system concerned with physical prowess, it is also an art directed toward the moral development of its students. The tenets of Taekwondo are:
- Self Control
- Indomitable Spirit