What is Taekwondo? An ancient Korean martial art, Taekwondo is a means of self-protection, a way of strengthening the mind and body, and a path towards self-development. In addition to keeping the body conditioned through its system of kicks, punches, sweeps, and throws, Taekwondo training emphasizes mindfulness, keeping the mind clear, confidence, self-control, etiquette, integrity, and respect for oneself and others.
Literally, the name Taekwondo is derived from: “tae”, meaning foot, “kwon,” meaning hand, and “do,” meaning art. The name “dojang,” where Taekwondo training takes place, is derived from: “do,” meaning path or way, and “jang,” meaning place. Together you get: The place where one practices the way of hand and foot.
Taekwondo Principles and Tenants
The following Taekwondo principles are axioms that students are encouraged to live according by:
- Indomitable Spirit
The latter refers to the spirit one develops through taekwondo training – that spirit within that never gives up, that keeps going even when things are rough, and that courageously faces and overcomes fears.
Benefits of this popular form martial arts include:
- Keeps the body conditioned and the mind clear
- Builds strength and stamina
- Increases balance and flexibility
- Improves focus
- Enables deep concentration
- Develops discipline and self-control
- Boosts confidence
- Enhances self-esteem
- Helps one face and conquer fears or obstacles
- Develops inner calm
Taekwondo for Kids
Children benefit greatly from Taekwondo training, as it emphasized not only self-defense but moral development as well. Benefits of Taekwondo for children include:
- Better concentration
- Improved self-restraint and self-discipline
- Respect for self and others
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
- Maintenance of a sound mind and body
- Development of a positive mental attitude
- Ability to overcome fear, self-doubt, laziness, jealousy, anger, and negative habits
- Improved grades as kids learn to focus on objectives and work towards achieving goals
- Mindset that allows children to resist peer pressure
World Taekwondo Federation
In 1975, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) was established as the international governing body for all aspects of Taekwondo. Today the WTF numbers 120 member countries. Taekwondo is now an international Olympic sport and is considered the most practiced martial art in the world.