Logo Martial Arts

History

Developed in Korea in the early 1950's by a group of leading martial artist. The aim was to help unify and establish their respective arts under a single discipline. Major-General Choi Hong Hi was credited as the founder in an inauguration ceremony on April 11th, 1955.

The history can actually trace it's roots back even farther to the Silla dynasty approximately 2000 years earlier. A style developed known as hwarang do. The meaning of which is "the way of the flowering manhood". The Silla dynasty created the fighting style out of necessity as they were constantly under attack from the other two neighboring Korean factions of the time.

When Korea was unified in the 10th century, Tae Kwon Do became compulsory for all young men to learn. This continued for hundreds of years, but slowly began to decline. Buddhist monks kept the tradition alive however. When Korea was occupied by Japan in 1909, the tradition was further suppressed. The art was able to survive however, through dedicated practioners who fled the country or practiced in secret.

In 1945, Korea was liberated, it's traditions were introduced on a national scale to help solidify national identity. Eventually the art spread worldwide and eventually became an olympic sport in 1988.

Today, TKD has become very popular and is one of the most highly practiced martial arts in the world. People from all over the globe study Tae Kwon Do techniques and history as devout enthusiast. Benefits of practice and study are abundant and continue to be realized as the sport grows ever increasingly.

Tae Kwon Do

Description

The foundation is set as the ability to use hands and feet to quickly overcome an attacker. Techniques focus primarily on kicking techniques. Although, punches, grabs, and pressure point manuevers are also incorporated. The philosophy behind the Tae Kwon Do kicking techniques is since the legs are the longest and most powerful limbs, they have the greatest capacity of delivering high power, and effective strikes. This is what distinguishes Tae Kwon Do from other martial arts.

One particularly famous image of Tae Kwon Do is the flying kick. It is one of the most spectacular kicking techniques. It is learned only through constant practice and dedication. Someone skilled in this technique could easily strike the face of a tall opponent.

Tae Kwon Do is as much of a sport as it is exercise or self-defence. Often sparring, forms, or destruction (better known as breaking boards or bricks) are incorporated into it's study. Emphasis is placed on stretching and flexibility, which are necessary to perform many of the spectacular kicks and strikes associated with Tae Kwon Do.

Competition

Is a large part of the sport. The WTF is the largest and the following are the rules it and the Olympics follow: Under WTF and Olympic rules, sparring is a full-contact event and takes place between two competitors in an area measuring 10 meters square.

Each match or bout consists of three non-stop rounds of contact with rest between rounds.

  • Junior fighters fight in 2-minute rounds with a 30-second break
  • Senior fighters fight in 3-minute rounds with 30-second breaks

Points

Awarded for accurate and powerful techniques to the legal scoring areas:

  • A kick or punch that makes contact with the opponent's hogu scores one point
  • Kicks to the head scores two points (punches to the head are not allowed).

If a competitor is knocked down by a scoring technique and the referee counts, then an additional point is awarded to the opponent.

At the end of three rounds, the competitor with the most points wins the match. If, during the match, one competitor gains a 7-point lead over the other, or if one competitor reaches a total of 12 points, then that competitor is immediately declared the winner and the match ends. In the event of a tie at the end of three rounds, a fourth "sudden death" overtime round will be held to determine the winner, after a 30-second rest period.

Benefits:

  • Enhances flexibility and stamina
  • Confidence and well-being
  • Discipline
  • Self-defence
  • Develops self awareness and assertiveness
  • Stress reduction and positive attitude