What is Taekwondo now and what Taekwondo was originally is a better question as the Korean Martial Arts of Taekwondo has changed over the years, some say “Evolved.” But that usually suggests something has changed for the better.

Translated literally,

  • “TAE” means jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the Foot;
  • “KWON” is to punch or destroy with the hand or Fist and
  • “DO,” means art or “The Way”.

Taken collectively, Taekwon-Do means Foot, Fist, Art.

You will also see the English or Romanise word Taekwondo written in several different ways:

  • Taekwondo
  • Taekwon-Do
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • TKD

Tenets Of Taekwondo

Taekwondo was taught as an art of unarmed combat that followed the traditions of Oriental code of Honour and Humility.

The Tenets of Taekwon-Do are:

  • Courtesy
  • Integrity
  • Perseverance
  • Self Control
  • Indomitable Spirit

To the serious student of Taekwon-Do, it represented a way of thinking and life, particularly in installing a spirit of discipline and developing self-confidence, not just the skilful use of foot and hand.

Today, violence and intimidation are everyday occurrences, Taekwon-Do was a way for the gentle, the meek and bullied to defend themselves. Through training, the student develops self-confidence, self-discipline, physical fitness, co-ordination and self-defence skills.

Taekwon-Do should be taught as an art of self-defence, for use in defending justice or the weak. Not only for the strong but also for any person wishing to be taught the art; young or old, male or female, big or small.

Used wrongly, Taekwon-Do could be a lethal weapon. Therefore, mental training must always be stressed to prevent the student from misusing it and to promote a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. But the instructor must also help develop humility in the Dojang (Korean for training hall). Obviously the Instructor and senior students must possess these attributes.

When Was Taekwon-Do Created?

Taekwon-Do was officially recognised as a Martial Art on 11th April 1955, its founder being General Choi Hong Hi, Black Belt 9th Dan
and Grandmaster of Taekwon-Do. He was a Major General in the Korean Army and was responsible for the spreading of Taekwon-Do to the Korean forces. It is a National Sport in Korea and is taught in many of the Universities and Schools in Korea.

On 22nd March 1966, the International Taekwon-Do Federation with General Choi Hong Hi as President, having associations in
Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, West Germany, USA, Turkey, Italy, UAR and Korea.

The World Taekwon-Do Federation (WTF – Olympics) was formed until 1973.

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