What is Tae Kwon Do?
The Korean Martial Art of Tae Kwon Do is designed to develop the mental and physical aspects of the individual to their highest potential. Tae Kwon Do, which literally means “foot-hand-way” has a long history. Although the name Tae Kwon Do was coined in 1955 by General Choi Hong Hi at the International conference of Korean Master Instructors, its history stems from the ancient kick-fighting art of TaeKyon, which began more than 1400 years ago in Korea.
In the 6th century A.D., the Silla Dynasty ruled the smallest of the three kingdoms of Korea and was under constant attack from its neighbors. During the reign of the twenty-fourth king of Silla, the young aristocrats and warriors formed an elite corps called the Hwa-Rang. The Hwa Rang warriors became known for their courage and skill in battle, gaining respect from even their bitterest foes. From their victories, the Korean Peninsula was united.
Tae Kwon Do warriors were taught to keep their minds and bodies in balance. They were taught to read and write. They studied literature, painting, sculpture, dance, and musical instruments. The national examination for military officials, known as Moo Kwa, consisted of an actual martial arts contest and tests covering theory and strategy. Tae Kwon Do artists were known to be the community members with the greatest skill and knowledge. They were expected to dedicate themselves to continuous training of the mind, body, and spirit.
Today, Tae Kwon Do is practiced in over 150 countries and has more than 30 million practitioners throughout the world. Tae Kwon Do is clearly recognized as the most widely practiced martial art in the United States and one of the top three internationally. Tae Kwon Do is extremely popular for several reasons: (1) it combines centuries of thought with modern physics and scientific studies to establish an outstanding system of mental and physical development; (2) independent academic research has demonstrated that Tae Kwon Do is capable of significantly improving the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of its practitioners, even individuals who have suffered from heart-attacks and strokes; (3) it enhances the individual’s mental capabilities by improving concentrations skills, increasing self-control, developing self-discipline, encouraging the individual to respect authority, and exposing the student to a variety of ways to relax the mind and body; and (4) has distinguished itself with its highly developed combination of kicking, blocking, and hand techniques as the best method of self-defense currently available.
The Tae Kwon Do environment provides an excellent opportunity for families, couples, and individuals of all ages to enhance their mental and physical abilities.
The attitude and behavior of the TaeKwon Do student is governed by the Art’s Tenets:
Courtesy – Respect for self and others
Integrity – Honesty with self and others
Perseverance – Tenacity to continue efforts to a logical conclusion
Self-Control – Capability to maintain a stable and positive attitude and behavior
Indomitable Spirit – Striving to reach one’s full potential and living one’s principles