History of Basketball and Taekwondo
An integral part of any culture is sports. It is a competition between opposing teams or individuals with governing rules and regulation to reach a specific or set of goal/s. Asia and the United States are two different culture often contrasted on the distinctions when it comes to its location and culture. But both civilizations have developed its distinctly unique sports that are both enjoyed today globally. A great example of this is basketball, developed in the United States and taekwondo, developed in Korea.
James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. Naismith responded to creating indoor winter sports through the request of Luther Gulick, chairman of the physical education department at the School for Christian Workers in Massachusetts. The game consists of two competing team with nine players and thirteen set of rules to guide the game with the goal of making the most basket. During the elementary years of the sports, two peach baskets and a soccer ball where used as game equipments. As basketball gained popularity, various improvements were made beginning with the “baskets” and the ball. The peach basket which was closed at the bottom was replaced with metal rim. This provides less hassle of having to remove the ball on the basket each time a player shoots a ball. In 1906 a net that hangs below the metal rim was soon added to let the ball fall within. And during 1942, a special molded ball, solely for the use in basketball was made for better grip, bounce and durability that enhances the players’ performances.
Wide-acceptance of the game necessitate additional rules and changes to improve the flow of the game. Penalties for “fouling” were added to the rules. In 1894 the concept of free throw was developed via awarding it to a player when fouled; the free throw will depend on the type of foul committed by the opposing team player. And in 1908, a player who made five fouls will be removed from the game.
Taekwondo is a Korean sports that means "the art or way of the hand and foot". This martial art makes use of the individual's hand for punching and blocking, and the foot for smashing and kicking to destroy things or defeat an opponent. The earliest records date back taekwondo to 50 B.C. prevalent to the three kingdoms of Korea—Silla, Koguryo and Paekche as a style of fighting off invaders and pirates. Hwarang or masters of taekwondo are comparable to Japanese’ Samurais. Ergo, Hwarangs are elite warriors and taekwondo are only known to these few elites. But in the Yi dynasty (1300 to early 1900), a book about taekwondo was extensively supplied around Korea to be available to the general public. However, political debates ensued of the usefulness of taekwondo in the military after its dissemination to the public. In the latter part of the dynasty, taekwondo evolved to be more of a recreation and physical fitness type of martial arts. Taekwondo today is a combative sport that utilizes the various martial arts skill found all over Korea to defeat an opponent (Morris, “The History of Taekwondo”).
As an integral part of any culture, sports are uniquely developed through time based on the country’s culture, people, and technology. Variation and modification were experienced by basketball and taekwondo not just to improve on the way the game is being played but also to respond to various challenges posed by the method of the game. Another is to address the loopholes of the original set of rules and regulation. Lastly, is to further promote the safety of each player by new technology for sports equipment. After all, sports are designed to be a friendly competition to promote socialization.
History-of-basketball.com. (n.d.). History of Basketball. Web. Retrieved on 24 August 2009
Morris, G. R. (1994) The History of Taekwondo. World’s Martial Art Academy. Web. Retrieved on 24 August 2009