The art of Taekwondo can date back as far as 50 B.C. and was initially known as “Taek Kyon”. Over the many years, this style started out as a way for a fighter to protect themselves during battle, then it almost became a lost art, but now is a thriving part of many Martial Arts studios.
Taekwondo originated in the country of Korea and evidence of this style can be found in cave drawings. The drawings usually depict two men in a fighting stance, but this has led to some people believing that these drawings are just two men dancing.
During that time, there were three major kingdoms that were at battle, and eventually, Silla was the one to unify the three kingdoms. The Hwa Rang Do was a group of noblemen who led this unification and followed an honor code. It is this honor code that is still the fundamental beliefs of Taekwondo. After this unification, the fighting ceased and was replaced with art, peace, and self-expression. Between 1392 A.D. and 1910 A.D., is when the Yi Dynasty emerged and the main religion turned from Buddhism to Confucianism. It is taught in such religion, that Martial Arts was for the “common man” and noblemen were to practice arts, poetry, and music.
If you practice Taewkondo, you will find that this style is influenced by all other forms of Martial Arts. In the year 1910, Japan infiltrated Korea and attempted to rid the country of all Korean culture and arts. After WWII, Korea was liberated and became independent once again, and several different kwan-styles became popular. Eventually, in 1957, the name Taekwondo was largely used by a lot of masters because of its similarity to the original name, Taek Kyon.
In 1965, The Korean Taekwondo Association which later turned into the World Taekwondo Federation in 1973. Not until2000, is when Taekwondo was recognized as an official sport in the Olympics. There are several different governing bodies in place explained as, “The Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) is the National Governing Body (NGB) for Taekwondo in the Republic of Korea (ROK), just like the United States Taekwondo Union (USTU) is the National Governing Body for Taekwondo in the United States of America. The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) which was formed in 1973, is made up of Taekwondo NGBs. These NGBs are members of the WTF, and not individuals. Individuals may be affiliated to the WTF through their NGB, but individuals cannot join the WTF directly.”
Different governing bodies practice slightly different styles, but what holds true is the rich history. Taekwondo, like most Martial Arts, originated as a style of fighting and turned into an art form.
There are many fundamental movements in Taekwondo, but we boiled it down to five very important moves. You will definitely want to have a punch, block, strike, and kick in your arsenal.
The straight punch is a powerful attack with the rear hand. It lands heavier than a jab, which comes from the front hand, because of the momentum coming from the body.
This block is known as the most basic found in Taekwondo. One arm comes down to block an opponent’s kick and if used with enough force, it can be used as an attack as well.
The key to this movement is to utilize it as a surprise attack. It should follow a missed punch from the opponent.
This movement is initiated by the knee driving up first and angling towards the opponent. The stationary leg pivots so the shin of the kick leg lands perfectly on the target, once the leg is extended.
This movement is also known as a “high block” and used to defend against an opponent. One arm is hooked to the hip and bent at the elbow. The other is raised, bent at the elbow overhead, and the palm of the raised fist if facing forward.
California is known for a lot of popular Taekwondo studios such as:
Taekwondo Spirit in La Mirada, California
Jun Chong Tae Kwon Do in Los Angeles, California
Lion’s Taekwondo Academy in Sherman Oaks, California
Minnesota is known for a lot of popular Taekwondo studios such as:
Classic Taekwondo Studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Master Moon’s TaeKwonDo in Shakopee, Minnesota
United Jiu Jitsu in North Saint Paul, Minnesota
New York is known for a lot of popular Taekwondo studios such as:
T Kang Taekwondo in Brooklyn, New York
Professional Taekwondo in New York, New York
Yang Taekwondo in New York, New York
Visiting any of these studios soon? Be sure to post a selfie post-workout and tag us on social!