Taekwondo: The ‘Sport’ of Mastering Self-Control
The first bit of wisdom to pass along about the fascinating and almost absurdly intricate Korean martial art of taekwondo is this: It’s pronounced TAY-kwon-dough. Not TIE-kwon-dough. TAY.
Taekwon-Do literally translates as Fist and Foot Art. It is a Martial Art that was founded in Korea by a man called ‘Grandmaster General Choi Hong Hi’ – a General in the Korean Army – in April 1955.
General Choi was a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate before he decided to take what he knew and use this knowledge to create the Art we know today as Taekwon-Do.
Taekwon-Do is primarily known as a ‘Kicking Art’, due to the vast number of kicks it has to offer, however, when studying Taekwon-Do properly, the practitioner will discover that there is a lot more to it than just some fancy kicks. It incorporates many different disciplines; pattern, sparring, special technique, power breaking and self-defence. These can be practiced in a practical sense as well as in a sporting environment through competition based activity.
In comparison to other Arts such as Kung-Fu, Karate, Sumo and many others, Taekwon-Do is classed as a ‘modern Martial Art’ as it was not developed thousands of years ago in ancient times. It is the only Martial Art that has been scientifically developed through extensive research and study, incorporating elements such as ‘sine wave’, to ensure that the practitioner can develop the maximum amount of power in each technique through utilising the body in the most effective way possible.
“A true Grandmaster is a person who starts the arts at a very young age and continues it until their body will no longer allow it. Then they still contribute mentally to the art.” – General Choi Hong-Hi