Taekwondo is a combative sport and was developed during the 1940s and 1950s by Korean martial artists. The oldest governing body for Taekwondo is the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), formed in 1959 through a collaborative effort by representatives from the nine original kwans, or martial arts schools, in Korea. The main international organisational bodies for taekwondo today are the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), founded by Choi Hong Hi in 1966, World Taekwondo (WT), founded in 1973 respectively by the Korea Taekwondo Association. The governing body for Taekwondo in the Olympics and Paralympics is World Taekwondo (WT).
Taekwondo is a modern martial art, characterized by its fast, high and spinning kicks. Taekwondo is often translated as 'the way of hand and foot'.
Taekwondo has four disciplines:
- Patterns: Forms, or Poomses in Korean language, are series of defending and attacking movements performed against imaginary opponents in a set pattern. Through the practice of forms, students come to learn the applications of various techniques of Taekwondo. Forms serve a multi-dimensional role, aiding in development and refinement of coordination, balance, timing, breath control and rhythm, all of which are essential skills to the Taekwondo student.
- Sparring: Gyeorugi, a type of full-contact sparring, is highly regulated part of Taekwondo. Rules of sparring are very strict and approved by World Taekwondo Federation.
- Self-defence: Hosinsul (self-defence) is a mixture of all kinds of techniques, including grappling/locks as well as depending against armed attackers etc. You will learn how to react (and how not to react), proper freeing techniques, locks and strangling techniques.
- Break test: Breaking an object is a good way to practice concentration, power, focus, speed and precision on non-living objects, without injuring oneself or another. Practicing breaking objects helps you to realise that your body itself is a very strong weapon.
Taekwondo is a one of the most popular sports in the world. This Korean Martial Art became an Olympic sport in 2000. More than 40 million people all over the world participate in this amazing sport. Taekwondo has scientific base, and methods of training and techniques are improved every year. Taekwondo competitions are held only with electronic refereeing, which reduces the judges mistakes dramatically. Competition rules are a bit different for children then they are for adults - only kicks and punches to the body are allowed for kids (no head contact).
Taekwondo is not only a Martial Art sport, but it is also a fabulous way to maintain health and wellbeing. Taekwondo students are always in a good mood and full of energy.
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