Taekwondo (also spelled tae kwon do or taekwon-do) is a martial art and combat sport originating in Korea. Taekwondo is one of the most popular forms of martial arts in the world. Similar to other familiar names such as Karate, Judo, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jui-Jitzu, and Muay Thai, Taekwondo is a combination of combat technique, self-defense, sport, exercise, entertainment, and philosophy. Taekwondo is the national sport of Korea and Shihap Kyeorugi, a type of Taekondo Sparring, is an Olympic sporting event.
In Korean, tae (跆) means to “kick or strike with the foot,” kwon (拳) means “fist or to strike with the hand,” and do (道) means “way.” Hence, taekwondo is loosely translated as “the way of the foot and hand.” Developed in post-imperial Korea, Taekwondo is a blending of aspects from Japanese Karate and Chinese Kung Fu with native Korean Martial Arts. Taekwondo’s unique style places an emphasis on kicking, particularly high (chest or head-height) kicks, including jumping and spinning kicks. Taekwondo also teaches several aspects of self defense, punching and blocking, sparring, and meditation and breathing techniques.
In our school, as with many schools, progress and skill are measured by promotion tests. Students are evaluated on their knowledge and mastery of Poomsae (“forms” or a series of choreographed movements), self-defense techniques, weapons (nun-chuck) technique and forms, and other skills. At the sucessful completion of each test, students receive the next belt color, to indicate their rank and progress.