Translated literally "Tae" stands for the foot or to kick with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist or to punch with the fist. "Do" means an art or way.
Thus taken collectively "Taekwondo " indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defense as well as health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid defeat of the moving opponent or opponents. The aspect of art denotes self control and thought coupled with the other movements.
Taekwondo is primarily a kicking art which makes it very exciting to watch and practice and is one of the reasons why Taekwondp is so much fun to learn!
Objectives of our Taekwondo
Develop an appreciation for Taekwondo as both a sport and an art
Achieve physical fitness through positive participation
Improve mental discipline and emotional balance
Learn self-defense skills and their uses with an emphasis on responsibility for one self and others
Training for Taekwondo
There are many reasons why people start practicing a martial art and many reasons why people stick with their training. That being said, we try to balance the different aspects of a students training between forms, traditional basics and sparring. All of these areas are beneficial and students must be exposed to them in order to be a more capable practitioner.
We also heavily emphasize physical fitness as a means to improve the effectiveness of a student's techniques (self defense against another person), a healthier body (self defense against illness) as well as increased energy (self defense against laziness).
The four disciplines of Taekwondo
A Tae kwon do Form is comprised of various stances, blocks, and strikes with different parts of the body. Forms grow in complexity as a student advances in rank and each form has characteristics which are often played out throughout the pattern. The practice of forms allows a student to sharpen their mind and body through repetition, focus, memorization and self improvement of basic skills. Forms are often called “moving meditation”
Sparring is the application of techniques (kicking, punching, blocking and evading) learned against a live partner. Sparring however is not “fighting”it is actually far from it. Each match begins and ends with a bow to show mutual respect and appreciation because sparring partners are there to “help”each other, not “hurt “each other. Students will begin learning to spar with very light contact so that they may become comfortable with the idea of trying to hit their partner while trying to avoid being hit. Safety equipment is always used with sparring and as the student progresses in belts, more equipment is used so that more intense contact may take place between partners.
Self-defense (Ho Shin Sohl)
All techniques learned during Tae kwon do training are useful in some way or another for self defense. However, students are taught techniques that can be very effective when used the right way. One Step Sparring is set self defense combinations that are practiced against someone punching or kicking. Other variations may include combinations of techniques against being grabbed or held
Breaking is a way for students to test the effectiveness of their techniques with accuracy, speed, proper form, power and courage. There are different types of materials that may be used for breaking; pine boards (most common), cement slabs, roofing tiles, ice slabs, and bricks. Different techniques may be used and vary in difficulty. Breaking is very safe if done with proper supervision/guidance and can help build confidence in one’s abilities.
It is the combination of these four disciplines that make the art of Taekwondo.