What Is TaeKwonDo?

TaeKwonDo, a Korean martial art, set apart with its fast jump spinning kicks as well as incorporating blocks, strikes, stances and other kicks as with most other forms of self-defence/fighting styles.

Tae means to kick or destroy with the foot, Kwon means to punch or smash with the hand or fist and Do means the way or art. Hence, Taekwondo is taken to mean 'the way of the foot and the fist.'

The Five Tenets of TaeKwonDo, to which all students should try to uphold both in and outside the training hall (Dojang), are:

Courtesy (Ye Ui),
Integrity (Yom chi),
Perseverence (In Nae),
Self Control (Guk Gi),
Indomitable Spirit (Baekjool Boolgool).

Two main styles have emerged covering the globe. The first, governed by the International TaeKwonDo Federation (ITF) follows the teachings of Gradmaster Choi Hong Hi (November 9 1918 - June 15 2002), considered the 'Father' of modern TaeKwonDo. This style is a tradition martial art focusing on floor movement, patterns and self-defense. Sparring in the ITF is semi-contact and safety equipment is necessary (a gumshield and foam padded armour is required for head, hands, feet, shin and a box for men).

The second, the World TaeKwonDo Federation (WTF), chiefly teaches Olympic style sparring, but also trains in other pattern systems. Olympic sparring is full contact and uses full body armour, similar in shape to a bullet-proof vest, as well as having head, foot and groin guards.

The TaeKwonDo Association of Great Britain (TAGB) follows the ITF syllabus and is the largest martial arts organisation in Europe, with over 24,000 members. Not only being great exercise, training with the TAGB gives you flexability, strength, balance, reactions and confidence. Classes are aimed at the beginner, from any age, build and fitness level. It can also be a great way to meet new people, every class has a friendly and warm atmpsphere. Don't be afriad to ask other students questions; everyone was a white belt at some point!


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