About Taekwondo

What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is a modern martial art, characterised by its fast, high and spinning kicks. There are multiple interpretations of the name Taekwondo. Taekwondo is often translated as ‘the way of hand and foot’.

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  • Tae=’to strike or block with the foot’ or ‘to kick’, it also means ‘jump’
  • K’won=’Fist’, ‘to strike or block with hand’
  • Do=’The way of’ or ‘art’.

Put this together and Taekwondo means: “The art of Kicking and Punching” or “The art of unarmed combat”. The sport has been founded in Korea and is one of the popular modern martial arts.

Taekwondo is a modernised way of an ancient Korean art of self-defence.  Translated from Korean, TAE literally means to jump or kick or smash with the foot.  KWON denotes a fist, chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist.  DO means an art, or way with discipline.

Taekwondo has four disciplines which are explained in a separate page/chapter of this site. The four disciplines are:

  • Patterns
  • Sparring
  • Self Defence
  • Break Test

It is the combination of these four disciplines that makes the art called Taekwondo.

Objectives of Taekwondo

  • to develop an appreciation for Taekwondo as a sport and as an art
  • to achieve physical fitness through positive participation
  • to improve mental discipline and emotional equanimity
  • to learn self-defence skills
  • to develop a sense of responsibility for one self and others.
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Ethics of Taekwondo

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Taekwondo students can improve themselves physically, and mentally by training. The final goal is to achieve harmony with nature and oneself. Balance is gained by controlling both good and bad forces (Yin vs. Yang): A true Taekwondo student knows how to behave in all situations.

Taekwondo is not only a way to improve skills of self-defence, but it’s a way of life. Practicing Taekwondo gives the student more self-confidence, but this should not result in a false sense of superiority.

Etiquette

The commandments of Taekwondo are used as a guide for the moral development of students and art. No student who does not fully understand these tenets can ever hope to master the true essence of the art.

Commandments of modern Taekwondo:

  • Loyalty to your country
  • Respect your parents
  • Faithfulness to your spouse
  • Respect your brothers and sisters
  • Loyalty to your friends
  • Respect your elders
  • Respect your teacher
  • Indomitable spirit
  • Loyalty to your school
  • Finish what you begin

Etiquette depends on a lot of things. It is also of great importance to remember the following:

  • Show respect
    • Respect your teacher and the other students (not just the higher ranked!).
    • Respect the Dojang (training hall)
    • Respect your opponent.
    • Respect all other Martial Arts
  • Enter the Dojang properly
  • Behave correctly.
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How to behave in the Dojang

There are a few general rules.

  • Always wear a clean and ironed Dobok (uniform).
  • Clean hands, feet, short nails.
  • Don’t wear sharp things (if you do not have a Dobok, do not wear trousers with zippers etc.)
  • No jewellery allowed
  • Don’t drink, smoke or eat in the dojang (no chewing gum!)
  • Be on time.
  • When entering and leaving the dojang, make a proper bow
  • Don’t talk, unless it is urgent

Taekwondo for Children

Taekwondo has no age limits and is a very good sport for children. They learn fast reactions through games, learn to respect others and learn to know their abilities and disabilities. Competition rules are a bit different for children then they are for adults. Although children wear full body protection (preferably thicker than the protection for adults) only kicks and punches to the body are allowed, no kicks to the head.