If you do not know what taekwondo is then you have come to the right place. We are going to tell you all you need to know about taekwondo today.
First to begin let us give you a simple description of what taekwondo is actually is in brief. To put it in simple words, taekwondo is a kind of Korean martial arts.
It is revolved around punching and kicking. Kicks are very important in taekwondo. It involves head high kicks, fast kicks, jumping kicks and even spinning kicks.
If you are going to literally translate the word taekwondo then you can get ‘punching’, ‘kicking’ or ‘the art or way of’.
It originated in and from Korea. But now it has spread to all the different parts of the world and people tend to really like this martial art.
It originated back in the 1940s and we have to say that from that point taekwondo has evolved and developed a lot.It is also a sport played in the Olympics.
What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a kind of martial art that developed in Korea and then took a global outlook after spreading to different countries.
The important thing in taekwondo is that it requires the user to wear a uniform when they are participating in the sport. The uniform is called dobok.
It was developed back in 1940, if you think about it that’s a long time ago. It was developed by martial artists who excelled in martial arts of different styles like-
Karate, Chinese martial arts and some indigenous Korean martial arts like Subak, Gownbeok, and Taekkyon.
Yes we know that the names can be a little hard to be pronounce if you do not speak Korean. It was developed in the 9 original kawns or the original martial arts school in Korea.
The International Taekwon-Do Federation founded by Choi Hong Hi in 1966. It is the main international organizing body of taekwondo.
There is also the kukkiwon founded in 1972 and the World Taekwondo in 1973. They were formed by the Korean taekwondo association.
When taekwondo is played as a sport in the Olympics then the governing body of this sport is World Taekwondo.
We must always look into the history of any sport if we want to know more about it. After the end of the Second World War, the martial arts school called kawns started to open in Korea.
They were established or opened by martial artists who specialised in Japanese and Chinese martial arts.
Each of the martial arts school or kawns to be perfect were practising their individual kind of martial arts.
It is said that the taekwondo fighting style began back in the 1940s, although that might be true, the term was coined much later in the years.
In the year 1952, the President of South Korea witnessed a martial arts demonstration by Nam Tae Hi and Choi Hong Hi.
He mistook the fighting style as Taekkyon and urged on that the martial arts style should be included in the army.
By 1955, the different leaders of the kawns or Korean martial arts school started to discuss the unification of all the styles under one umbrella of Korean martial arts.
The name taekwondo was suggested by Choi Hong Hi. Everyone was a bit slow to catch on to the name but it did prevail and now we know this all over the world.
At that time the taekwondo fighting style was also incorporated into the military as suggested by the President.
In 1959 the Korea Taekwondo Association was formed. There was a bit of conflict during the unification of all the styles under the different kawns.
All of them wanted their influence of the maximum input. This was to be expected. Finally Choi broke out of the association and then formed his International Taekwondo Federation in 1966.
He got his support from both the South Korea and North Korea. This resulted in some influence from the North Korea fighting style too. He located this federation in Canada.
Soon the South Korean Government removed any support they were providing, but the federation still existed as an independent organization.
The kukkiyon and the World Taekwondo was also formed in South Korea. They unified all the styles of the different kawns or Korean martial arts school.
Since 2000, this martial art has been included in the Olympics. In 2010 it was also accepted as a commonwealth games sport.
The reach of taekwondo is growing each and every day. The fact that you are here looking it up is proof enough that more and more people are interested in Taekwondo now.
Ranks, Belts, and Promotion
The ranks of Taekwondo can be a bit confusing to understand since they vary from different style to style. However we will provide a standard version of the ranks in taekwondo.
They usually classify their practisers as junior and senior sections. They are also known as the coloured belts and the black belts respectively.
The Juniors or the coloured belts – The variation in colour also show the difference in the ranks of the groups. The white belt is the lowest of them all.
The red or brown comes next (it depend and varies from style to style of practicing taekwondo).
There are typically 8-12 kinds of ranks in the junior section. Each rank here is known as keup.
The Seniors or the black belts – Each of the rank is known as dan. They include 9 ranks with in the senior section.
If you are an absolute master of the taekwondo then only you can get black belt. But we guess that you must have figured that out by now.
To get yourself promoted from one rank to other, you need to give promotional exams and pass them.
The exams can be a bit difficult but there is no way you can climb the ladder through a short cut.
You need to work hard to pass those promotional exams. As you keep on passing you achieve higher ranks in taekwondo.
The promotional exam varies from school to school. One has to perform their test in front of a single teacher or a panel of judges.
One can be asked to showcase a number of techniques according to their rank. The proficiency in specific sequences can be judged by the judges.
Sometimes sparring and self defense is also tested. Like we said it differed from school to school. It totally depends upon what the judges will base the exam on.
Sometimes they like to test both the tactical style and the strength of the contestant. Physical fitness tests can also be included in these promotional tests.
They can ask an individual to do push ups or sit ups to see and test their physical strength. The judges can also ask questions to them to test out their technical knowledge of taekwondo.
For the higher dan exams, students also have to take a written exam other than the practical exam.
These promotional tests can be hold rapidly in some schools while the gap is a little long between some.
From basic to advance level of training, the journey is a spectacular one. The promotion of the geups can be termed relatively faster and easier.
However it almost takes years to promote from one dan to the next. It obviously gets harder as one advances the stages or levels.
However we are just providing a standard version. Please keep in mind that the rule differs from one institution to other.
We hope that you have learned a lot from this article. We know that this is a long article but we needed to tell you everything about the basics of the art. We mean martial art.
It is extremely interesting to know about these and we are glad that you decided to give this a read. We hope that this article has been up to the mark to satisfy your little curiosity.
We do not know that if you searched this for some research on the subject because you are interesting in getting into taekwondo yourself or if you just have selected this topic as your term paper.
Whatever it may be, we do not really care about the reason, we are just happy that we could pass some information to the world.
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