What is Taekwon-Do?
Taekwon-Do is a modern art of self-defence founded by Grand Master Choi Hong Hi 9th Dan. Grand Master Choi was a General in the Korean army, and is therefore often referred to as General Choi. He developed Taekwon-Do by researching other martial arts and by using principles of physics to design techniques that work with maximum power and effectiveness.
Taekwon-Do has grown in popularity and is taught in nearly every country in the world. It is greatly renowned for its spectacular and dynamic kicking techniques. This has led to the misconception that Taekwon-Do is just a kicking art. Since the legs are more powerful than the arms, Taekwon-Do does make extensive use of the legs but kicks make up only a small fraction of the total number of Taekwon-Do techniques. There are also blocks, punches, and strikes with the hands or arms, as well as basic throws and grappling. This range of techniques caters for all types of situations including defending against more than one opponent, and against weapons. Benefits of Taekwon-Do
As well as learning to defend yourself there are many other benefits:
- You will develop total fitness: strength, endurance and flexibility. Due to the nature of the Taekwon-Do techniques your body will develop the ability to perform fast and powerful movements.
- It helps you to develop a good physique by promoting the loss of excess weight, and developing muscle definition.
- Through training you will learn self-discipline, gain self-confidence and develop a positive mental attitude, which will naturally extend into your personal and social life and improve your quality of life.
- Children can benefit particularly from learning Taekwon-Do by developing good coordination, concentration and spatial awareness at an early age. Our experience has shown that children experience a more rapid acceleration of these skills from Taekwon-Do compared to the usual activities they are likely to participate in at school.
- There is also a social benefit as you meet new people and make new friends as you train together.
Taekwon-Do is much more than just a physical activity, it is also an art, a sport and for the serious practitioner, it is a way of life. There are four Key Aspects of Taekwon-Do:
the way of life Maintaining and improving health Developing character And ultimately developing society
Art of Self-Defence
Using logical discipline Using scientific discipline Using mental discipline Using physical discipline
Displaying beauty of the physical form Displaying graceful and powerful movements Displaying rhythmical and harmonious expression
Taekwon-Do as an exercise Taekwon-Do as a recreation Through competition showing sportsmanship and camaraderie Who can practice Taekwon-Do?
Taekwon-Do is for anyone who wishes to learn it, regardless of age, gender or physicality. You can benefit from practising Taekwon-Do if you are male or female, young or old, whatever your build. People who have a disability or suffer from a previous injury can still benefit from Taekwon-Do as the training can be differentiated to suit your ability. As long as your instructor is informed about your limitations he/she will be able to recommend safe training activities for you.
Taekwon-Do is not just physical training; it involves mental and spiritual training as well. Taekwon-Do has moral culture, which builds character and teaches students to become ethical. Through training you will learn the 5 tenets of Taekwon-Do, namely: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit. Competitions
For students who wish to compete, there are local, national and international championships held regularly throughout the year. Students are allowed to compete once they have reached the yellow belt grade. The competitions consist of various disciplines including: sparring (not full-contact), patterns, special technique (flying kicks) and power (e.g. board breaking). Events are divided into height and grade categories for children aged under 13 years and in weight and grade categories for teens and adults. back to top
The initial part of a lesson usually includes exercises, activities and games to warm up and to develop fitness and agility. The remainder of the lesson consists of various activities to develop Taekwon-Do skills including: Fundamental movements, Patterns, Pre-arranged sparring drills, free sparring and self-defence.
- Fundamental Exercises
- Prearranged Sparring
- Free Sparring
- Self Defence
Before a student can perform patterns or apply techniques in sparring it is important to learn the various fundamental movements. Stances, hand attacks, kicks and blocking techniques are practised repeatedly to develop correct technique. Movements can be practised while stationary, moving or jumping. They can be practised to an imaginary target or to an actual target such as a kick shield, punch bag, focus pad etc.
Patterns are a set of fundamental movements both offensive and defensive against an imaginary opponent. There are 24 patterns in Taekwon-Do. The patterns range in difficulty to suit the level of the practitioner. There are various forms of prearranged sparring, including: 3 step sparring, 2 step sparring, 1 step sparring and semi free sparring.
Free sparring is open combat with no prearranged mode. It is conducted under safe, supervised conditions, bounded by clearly defined rules and with protective equipment worn by participating students, in order to minimise the risk of injury. Players are free to attack and defend with any means except the attacks must stop before hitting the vital spot for safety reasons.
Advanced forms of defence including: How to release from a grab, how to defend against a sudden attack (i.e. while sitting or lying down), throwing and falling techniques, defending against an armed opponent.
How to Join?
Why not visit your nearest Taekwon-Do school and witness the fine quality of instruction and experience the friendly atmosphere of the classes? Beginners are always welcome and can join anytime. You can participate initially wearing loose, comfortable clothing.