What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo(태권도) is a Korean martial art that has been developed scientifically over many centuries. It is a martial art that utilizes the mind, the body, and the spirit. It is a discipline which, when practiced diligently, helps the student in all areas of his/her life. It may be practiced by people of all ages. It cultivates a feeling of self-control and physical fitness. Taekwondo is perhaps one of the best all-around exercise programs because it consists of stretching, toning, calisthenics and cardio-vascular development. Though the student learns self-defense and becomes physically fit, the ultimate goal of Taekwondo is to help develop, holistically, a person who will become a better person and be able to help make the world a better place.
Taekwondo is an action philosophy. It is the Korean art of self-defense. Literally translated, “Tae” means foot, “Kwon” means hand, and “Do” means art. It is much more than the image of the martial arts’ physical aspect. It is designed as a non-violent art and system of complete body exercise, as well as being a way of life. It includes physical techniques, mental disciplines, and a deep philosophy. By practicing Taekwondo, one can benefit in these ways:
1. Physically - one can develop good coordination, gain strength, increase flexibility and improve cardiovascular conditioning. From all of these physical practices, one can have a strong body.
2. Mentally - one can build self-confidence, gain better judgement and improve self-control. From all of these mental disciplines one can have a sound mind.
3. Philosophically - while developing a strong body and a strong mind, it is appropriate to learn the valuable philosophical tools and lessons in life offered by taekwondo philosophy.
*among these lessons:
•the way to be honest, always standing for justice.
•how to respect and help others.
•the meaning of loyalty and courtesy.
Incorporating these three aspects into one’s life will develop for them the ability to be strong, to be humble, to be gentle and to maintain self-respect. Taekwondo philosophy emphasizes good health, happiness, generosity and a sense of value of freedom, harmony, and peace. All of these inspire both independence and coexistence.
Taekwondo is an art for humanity. It is a guide for the formation of outstanding character. It is practiced as a modern world sport. It is useful as a contemporary universal philosophy.
Taekwondo is the most practical, most beautiful and greatest martial art in the world.
Taekwondo is a bare handed military art form and sport that uses the hands and feet for attack and defense. The focus of Taekwondo is on training the mind along with the body, and for those learning the martial art it plays four different roles.
First, Taekwondo as an Exercise
Taekwondo is a good exercise for children who are still growing as well as a good way for grownups to increase their physical endurance. Taekwondo's movements require extensive use of the joints, which increases the limberness of one's body. and because there is kicking, jabbing, and shouting involved, it's also a great way to relieve stress.
Second, Taekwondo as a Bare Handed Martial Arts Form
Taekwondo attacks the opponent with bare hands and feet. What sets it apart from other martial arts forms are the powerful and various leg movements involved, and that is what has enabled it to become a worldwide martial art. Taekwondo's attack is aggressive, but at the same time the focus is more on the defense aspect. This can act positively for modern people wanting to learn Taekwondo as a way of self-defense.
Third, Taekwondo as a Sport
Taekwondo is an official competitive category in major world sporting events such as the Olympics, World Championships, panam Games, Asian Games, All American Games, and South American Games, etc. Competitive Taekwondo
involves safety gear and set attacks and defense, as to limit the amount of damage possible. This way, competitive martial artists can enjoy the thrill of competing with less of the risks.
Fourth, Taekwondo as an Educational Method
Taekwondo trains the body, but does as much to develop the mind. The objective of learning Taekwondo is to foster growth in both areas in order to become a more mature human being. Taekwondo's disciples receive repeated etiquette lessons along with the attack and defense skills to build fine character.