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Tae kwon do - A Basic Introduction to Taekwondo

Updated on October 8, 2010

Taekwondo Sparring

Taekwondo - Modern Sparring Sport
Taekwondo - Modern Sparring Sport

Taekwondo - An Introduction

Taekwondo, also spelled Taekwon-do, is a popular modern martial art. Taekwondo is the ancient Korean art of self-defense. The Korean word "Taekwondo" is literally translated as "foot, hand, way". These words infer a lot about the art and sport of Taekwon-do.

The first word, foot, in the literal translation of this ancient self-defense sport denotes the use of the foot as the primary fighting style. The foot is the primary arsenal for the Taekwondo enthusiast and is the primary weapon for self-defense for kicking. It has been said that the foot and corresponding kicking techniques constitute up to 70% of the forms used in Taekwon-do.

The word 'hand' infers the use of the hands for punching, chopping, strikes and/or finger jabs, which is estimated to make-up the remaining 30% of the practitioner's self-defense fighting arsenal.

The word 'do' means 'way', which inherently implies that Taekwondo is more that just a self-defense sport but also a way of life. The 'way' transcends the physical compents of the sport of Taekwon-do - such as kicking, punching, breaking boards or competition - but also encompasses a mental and spiritual component. Taekwon-do is more about self-discipline of the mind, body and spirit - it is a philosophy.

Properly incorporating the mental, behavioral and spiritual components of Taekwondo will definitely ensure that all participants of this great ancient sport enjoy the vast mental, physical and spiritual benefits of Taekwon-do.

All the Best,

Daniel Tetreault

Daniel Tetreault writes topical articles on a variety of sporting activities. Daniel obtained his Bachelor's of Science Degree at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, Canada. He is a registered Kinesiologist with the BCAK and a Taekwondo enthusiast with the WestCoast Taekwon-do club in Victoria, BC.

The Philosophy and Ideals of Tae Kwon Do


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