“The utmost purpose of Taekwondo is to eliminate fighting by discouraging the stronger’s oppression of the weaker with a power that must be based on humanity, justice, morality, wisdom, and faith, thus helping to build a better and more peaceful world.” – General, Choi Hong Hi, Founder of Taekwondo
Taekwondo teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing spirit and life through training our body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained international reputation, and stands among the official games represented in the Olympic Games.
Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of the word Taekwondo. It is composed of three parts, as is frequently shown in the English spelling, though it is one word in Korean. “Tae” means “foot,” “leg,” or “to step on”; “Kwon” means “fist,” or “fight”; and “Do” means the “way” or “discipline.” If we put these three parts together, we can see two important concepts behind “Tae Kwon Do”.
First, Taekwondo is the right way of using Tae and Kwon ‘fist and feet, or all the parts of the body that are represented by fist and the feet. Second, it is a way to control or calm down fights and keep the peace. This concept comes from the meaning of Tae Kwon ‘to put fists under control’ (or ‘to step on fist’). Thus Taekwondo means: “the right way of using all parts of the body to stop fights, and help to build a better and more peaceful world.”
There are open and closed hand strikes and blocks, straight line and circular techniques, hard and soft techniques, holds and grappling techniques. Of course, there are the kicks, and some of this kicks are simply amazing!. Taekwondo is best know for its fantastic kicking style: Stationary, spinning, jumping and flying kicks, that come from all angles and all speeds. Almost all martial arts today have borrowed the Korean style of kicking and added them to their own.
Taekwondo has something to offer to everyone. There are forms or Poomses (choreographed patterns), self defense, grappling and holds, hand techniques, breaks, and of course awesome kicking techniques. Taekwondo is for the young and not so young, the competitor, the fitness buff, the person looking for self defense, the parent looking for a good disciplined environment, and especially, for the family looking for a great group activity to participate, they all can find something in Taekwondo.
For more information, you can search Taekwondo on the web, but be prepared for thousands of hits, since Taekwondo is America’s most popular martial art.