Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and Olympic sport known for its emphasis on high, fast, and spinning kicks. It involves two competitors fighting in a ring, aiming to score points by landing kicks and punches on their opponent's torso and head. Points vary based on the technique and the area struck, with more points awarded for advanced techniques like spinning or jumping kicks. Essential skills in Taekwondo include flexibility, speed, accuracy, and strategy. Competitors wear protective gear, including a head guard, chest protector, and arm and shin guards.
Taekwondo is popular in countries like South Korea, the United States, Iran, and Turkey, with major competitions including the Olympic Games, World Taekwondo Championships, and various national and international tournaments.
Taekwondo originated in Korea, with roots in various Korean martial arts. It began to take its modern form in the mid-20th century, combining elements from different martial traditions such as Taekkyon and Karate. The name "Taekwondo" was officially adopted in the 1950s, symbolizing a unified approach to Korean martial arts. The sport rapidly gained international popularity, leading to the formation of the World Taekwondo Federation in 1973. Taekwondo made its Olympic debut as a demonstration sport in 1988 and became an official medal sport in 2000. Over time, its focus has shifted more towards sportive elements with an emphasis on speed, agility, and high-flying kicks.
Taekwondo is evolving with an emphasis on global outreach and technological integration. Efforts to promote the sport worldwide have resulted in a growing number of practitioners and increased participation in international competitions. The inclusion of Taekwondo in various multi-sport events like the Olympics continues to elevate its profile. Technological advancements in scoring systems and protective gear are enhancing the accuracy and safety of competitions.
Additionally, there's a growing focus on developing youth talent and creating more opportunities for women in the sport. The adaptation of Taekwondo training methodologies to incorporate fitness and self-defense aspects is broadening its appeal beyond traditional competitive settings. These trends reflect Taekwondo's dynamic nature and its enduring appeal as a martial art and sport.
Taekwondo derives from the Korean words “Tae” which means foot, “Kwon” which is fist, and “do” which is translated to way of. Together Taekwondo means “the way of the foot and fist”. The name started in the year 1955, but roots back to 2,300 years ago in Korea.
There are 10 Geups (degrees) of belts which all of the belts have their special meaning during their training. From the first belt to the final belt: white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, blue SR., brown, brown SR., red, JR. black, and black.
Taekwondo teaches many physical and mental traits. Mentally, it can teach student cooperation, devotion, and loyalty from the training. Physically, abilities in self-defense and awareness are taught from using your feet and fists for striking and defending your opponent.