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Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. It was developed during the 1940s and 1950s during the Japanese occupation. Taekwondo is combining and incorporating the elements of various martial art like Karate or Chinese Martial Arts. Furthermore, it is also adding some indigenous Korean martial arts traditions like Taekkyeon, Subak, and Gwonbeop.

The harmony of the body, soul, and spirit

First of all the word Taekwondo have a meaning. “Tae” means foot, “Kwon” means fist and “Do” means the way, the discipline. It is an unarmed martial art which allow you to use your whole body. Moreover, it includes many different skills and technics. What characterized Taekwondo is its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and other fast kicking techniques. It combines attack and self-defense.
More than physical body strength itself, this is a martial art based on speed and agility. In other words, speed and agility are more important than size regarding generating power.

Taekwondo

About History : Birth of Taekwondo

Thanks to historians report, we know that Korean used martial art early as a sport or as self-defense. During Goguryeo era (37 BCE –668 CE), martial arts which are closer to the Taekwondo we know appeared on the Korean peninsula.

But it is during the Three Kingdoms of Korea Era and more precisely in Silla Kingdom (57 BC – 935 AD) that martial arts peaked. Thanks to Hwarangdo, Silla Kingdom unified the peninsula in 668. This educative, military and social organization created by King Chinhung and composed of young noble devoted to their country. Still, Hwarangdo is at the origin of the Taekwondo we used to know. Also, its code of honor dictates a devotion to the country, loyalty to your friend, wisdom when it comes to fighting or even the respect of the defeat enemies. Understanding this way of thinking is crucial if you want to practice Korean traditional martial arts.

Later, under the Chosun dynasty (1392 – 1910),Confucianism spread all around the country. According to its principles, combat sports were kind of underrated.

The Japanese occupation (1910-1945) was even worse for Korean martial arts. The colonial government banned all form of Korean culture, and martial arts were on the first line. At that time, they wanted to destroy Korean cultural heritage. But Korean continued to practice it secretly, like a silence rebellion.

After the liberation, Korean martial arts were under the spotlight again. In 1952, the president Lee Seung-Man wanted to merge the different schools. Then the leaders of those schools get together to create a unique one: the Taekwondo.

The Taekwondo today

In 1971, the president Park Jung Hee declared Taekwondo as the National Korean sport.  It is different from other martial arts by its spirit. It is probably the reason why it is so popular all around the world now. Many Korean masters traveled the world and established themselves in foreign countries to share their knowledge.
There are almost 60 million people in 180 countries, who practice Taekwondo.

The Kukkiwon

Also known as World Taekwondo Headquarters (WTF), and home of the World Taekwondo Academy, it is the official governing organization. The South Korean government established it in 1973. Moreover, the International Sports Division of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism supervised Kukkiwon activities. In 1973, the International Olympic  committee recognized the WTF. But in 2000 it is the internalional consecration, Taekwondo was recognized as an Olympic discipline.

Taekwondo Olympics

 

If you want to experience Korean martial art, here is a link to our tour.

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