What is Taekwondo?
Tae Kwon Do (also known as Taekwondo) is the art of self defense that originated in Korea. It is recognized as one of the oldest forms of martial arts in the world, reaching back over 2,000 years. The name was selected for its appropriate description of the art: Tae (foot), Kwon (hand), Do (art).
History Of Taekwondo.
One of the earliest clues of Tae Kwon Do’s existence is a mural painted on the wall of a tomb that was built in the Korean kingdom of Koguryo, between 37 BC and 66 AD. The drawing shows two unarmed figures facing each other in a Tae Kwon Do style stance. Additional drawings in the tomb show figures performing blocks and wearing uniforms similar to those used in modern day Tae Kwon Do training.
The advancement of Tae Kwon Do and its techniques developed as the country of Korea developed. There are examples and history of Tae Kwon Do training in virtually all the records of the different kingdoms that existed within the country throughout the centuries.
The highest form of the ancient art was achieved in the kingdom of Silla. This tiny kingdom constantly faced attacks and opposition from larger and stronger areas. As a result the ruler of the kingdom, King Jin Heung, established an elite group of warriors called the “Hwarang” or “Flower of Youth”.
The Hwarang consisted of the sons of nobles within the kingdom. They were carefully selected and formally trained in all aspects of military skills including unarmed combat, which at the time was known as Tae Kyon. It is significant that the Hwarang were taught not only the importance of developing their bodies, but their minds and spirits as well. In addition to fighting techniques, the young warriors were instructed in history, poetry, and philosophy. The entire body of study was known as Hwarang Do. The Hwarang gained skills not only for battle, but for daily life. This relates directly to modern Tae Kwon Do training, which provides self defense skills as well as improved character, self-discipline, and confidence that can be applied to any task.
What is it all about?
For Self-defense: Since one never knows when her or she may be attacked a knowledge of basic self defence, counter attacking and evading is ingrained in the practitioner so that in a real attack situation when 'the fight or filight hormone' adrenaline kicks in the individual's gross motor self defence tactics will also kick in
For Health: Taekwon-do is far more than just defensive methods. It is a superb means of mental and physical development. Taekwon-do practitioners are noted for their excellent health gained from regular practice of the art.
For Flexibility: Stretching forms a large portion of the Taekwon-do class as it is essential for the overall health of your body and helps to prevent injuries. The benefits of stretching are almost infinite as it aides in strengthening internal organs, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, increasing respiratory circulation, developing muscle tone, relaxing the mind and directly improving your flexibility.
What can be achieved through Taekwon-Do training? Taekwon-do builds dynamic tension and makes balanced use of a large number of body muscles. It provides excellent all around exercise and develops co-ordination and agility. Taekwon-do trains students in character, sincerity, effort, etiquette and self-control.
Who may learn Taekwon-do? Classes are open to men, women and children. All can learn and participate together. The degree of progress for any student is based on the individual's co-ordination and attentiveness.
Martial Arts training has survived for more than 1500 years not because it is the ultimate fighting system but because it provides society today with the same benefit it provided the Buddhist monks in the 4th century; the ultimate system of mental and physical conditioning. Better than any modern system of aerobics, martial arts training develops both internal cardiovascular system as well as external muscles. The movements are scientifically designed and executed for maximum efficiency and development so students of any age or sex will receive total benefit.