Tae kwon do is a martial art and combat sport originating in Korea. It aims to achieve modesty, perseverance, self control and indomitable spirit. Through devoted training one can gradually attain mental and physical fitness. By practicing and repeating each step to perfection, we become more patient. Self-confidence is attained through the power of one’s body and the knowledge of how to use it at any place and in any situation. Sparring helps us build humility, courage, alertness, and accuracy and develops self-control. By doing patterns, we increase our flexibility, grace, balance and co-ordination. Through discipline and interaction with others, we learn co-operation and mutual respect. Prejudices are not welcome and we soon learn that racial barriers only stand in the way of our training. Along with developing a healthier, leaner and more flexible body, we also increase endurance through a typical training regime. The health-related effects of training are numerous.
Taekwondo has been under constant evolution for over several thousand years. However, it was not until the 1950s that Taekwondo was standardized and organized by Gen Choi Hong Hi and the sport was brought outside the Korean borders, at first to Vietnam and the US, and later to the rest 紋眉 of the world. Today, Taekwondo is organized in three international federations: the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), with headquarters in Seoul, Korea; the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), with headquarters in Austria; and the Global Taekwondo Federation (GTF) with headquarters in Korea. Taekwondo has recently been declared an official Olympic sport with the first competitions held during the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000
WTF Tae kwon do is a full contact sport where it is allowed to kick to the head (throwing punches to the head are not allowed), it is not very dangerous to practice Tae kwon do. During competition, full protection is used to protect the competitors. To avoid head injuries, a competitor is not allowed to participate in a competition for three months if one was knocked out by a kick to the head. If the same incident happens again after these three months, you’re not allowed to participate for half a year. Another K.O. to the head after this half year period results in a permanent exclusion of competitions. ITF Tae kwon do is so-called semi-contact. It is not allowed to attack the head with full force. However, it is allowed to throw punches to the head, by using the so-called “killing-blow”, stop just an inch before the target. To avoid injuries, ITF uses gloves at sparring-competition.
Tae kwon do is known for its dramatic flying and spinning kicks. The player should learn the fundamentals of tae kwon do through choreographed sequences of combative moves, the breaking of boards or other materials, and two-person controlled sparring. They also receive instruction in principles such as courtesy, integrity, perseverance, and self-control.