What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is most commonly known as the Korean martial art of self-defence with its origins dating back centuries ago when the fighting form that existed was known as Tae kyun as Taek Kyon. With some of its techniques rooted in Karate and other forms of martial arts and it is sometimes referred to as Korean Karate in Japan and other parts of Asia. Translated Taekwondo refers to the use of the hand and foot. Tae means the use of the ‘feet’ and Kwon means the fist or use of the hand and Do is the way of life or the art itself. Taekwondo was first used as a military form of training during the Korean War. Taekwondo is both traditional and modern in its teachings and continues to attract more and more students each year.


To understand the history of Taekwondo is to understand the history of Korea. When Korea was invaded by Japan in 1910, all forms of Korean culture was prohibited including its martial arts. Different styles of Kwans emerged after the end of world war 11. In 1955 Korean Martial Arts Masters decided to establish a movement and it was there that Taekwondo was birthed. The Korean Taekwondo Association founded the World Taekwondo Federation in 1973 and became recognised in 1980 by the International Olympic Committee. Its first demonstration games were held in 1988.


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