In simplistic terms it is a Korean self defence art that utilises the hand and the foot through kicks and punches. Taekwon-Do’s beginnings are quite confusing and there is a lot of conjecture around its origins. Have a read of the book “A Killing Art” by Alex Gillis if you want an historical perspective. Many other books have been written on the art as well with the most significant being the Taekwon-Do Encylopedia by General Choi Hong Hi, there’s also a plethora of information on the web to wade through, but to keep it all really simple (which it isn’t) here’s Taekwon-Do in 60 seconds:
- Officially ‘invented’ in 1955
- The International Taekwon-Do Federation was formed in 1966
- General Choi Hong Hi is the Founding Father of the art as it stands today
- Since the death of General Choi Hong Hi many ITFs have emerged
- There are various styles, namely: WTF – Olympic, ITF – our style 🙂 self defence and competitive, plus various others (that may or may not be very good)
- 10 colour belts – starting at white and progressing through yellow, green, blue and red with tips in between
- 9 Black belt ranks beginning at 1st degree or 1st dan
- There are 24 patterns in total
- Taekwon-Do has 5 tenets: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit
- It is more than just an unarmed combat for self defence
- It’s scientific in its use of the body
- Tae means kick, Kwon means fist and Do means art or way, hence the art of the hand and foot.
- Taekwon-Do is a way of life
- It is as much mental as it is physical
- Taekwon-Do uses the Theory of Power – Reaction Force, Concentration, Equilibrium, Breath Control and Mass, Speed and Reflex
- Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha was the best ever student of General Choi Hong Hi and the first grand master (His son Master Andrew Rhee has classes in Sydney with ITFA)
- There are over 3000 techniques
- Taekwon-Do is practised all over the world
- You become an ‘International Instructor’ at 4th degree and a ‘Master’ at 7th degree
- You train in a white suit called a dobok
- Your training hall is called a dojang
Taekwon-Do is made up of 5 main components:
- Fundamental Movements – Basic Training
- Dallyon – Maintenance of your equipment, your body and mind
- Patterns – Predetermined movements that relate to tactics
- Sparring – Simulated Fighting
- Self Defence – Actual Combat
Obviously there is so much more to Taekwon-Do and its history and the ITF than just the above and I encourage you to take up the Martial Art and discover it all for yourself. It will change your life and save your soul.
The most important aspect of Taekwon-Do training is the Do, the Art, the Way. The way you live your life when you leave the Dojang is the most significant thing.
If you are looking for classes, send us a message and we will let you know who to get in contact with in your local area.