A Korean martial art, Taekwondo is a combination of self-defense and combat skills. It is used as a form of defense and makes use of the whole body. It includes skillful application of techniques like dodges, blocks, kicks, and punches. For Taekwondo masters, the art is more than just a way to defend themselves when required. It is a way of life, which requires them to be completely dedicated to the art. It is more than just learning the fighting techniques, but more about developing their inner self with strict discipline. If you are interested in learning the powerful martial art that requires controlling both the mind and the body, search for Taekwondo schools, masters, styles and much more on Go2Taekwondo.com.
How did Taekwondo evolve?
Taekwondo is a combination of martial arts, most of which originated in Korea. Among the oldest disciplines, some of which are over 2,000 years old, that influenced the development of Taekwondo are Taek Kyon, Tae Kwonpup, Tae Kwon, T’ang-su, and Kwonpup. Use of circular hand movements influenced by Chinese martial arts can also be clearly seen in Taekwondo. It has also drawn inspiration from popular martial arts like Kung-fu (kicking techniques), Judo, and Karate (linear, abrupt movements).
The earliest mention of Taekwondo on record dates back to the time when Korea was divided into three kingdoms – Silla, Koguryo, and Paekche, around 50 B.C. Paintings of unarmed people from this period following modern day Taekwondo techniques are evidence of the origin of Taekwondo. The earliest known form of Taekwondo, Tae Kyon, is a self-defense art that uses kicks, hand strikes, throws, and joint locks.
Though Taekwondo was first practiced in the Koguryo kingdom, the credit of spreading the art form all over Korea goes to the Hwarang warriors belonging to Silla. From 668 A.D. To 935 A.D., Taek Kyon (which was later renamed as Subak) served as a system to promote fitness among the soldiers. However, it was later developed into a fighting art. Though the defense form was allowed to be taught to the public during the rule of Yi dynasty, it failed to generate enough interest and was practiced only in a few parts of the country.
Revival of the art
The interest of Koreans in Subak renewed when the country was invaded by the Japanese. When the Japanese banned the practice of military arts in Korea and banned Korean books as well as languages, Korean patriots formed groups and started practicing Subak along with other self-defense forms. Karate, Judo, and Kung-fu were introduced officially to the public in 1943. By 1945, Korea developed several variations of Subak. The first school to teach Taekwondo was said to have started in 1945 in Seoul. Though the U.S. first saw the glimpses of Subak in the 1950s, the U.S. Taekwondo Association was formed in 1967. It was later turned into the U.S. Taekwondo Federation. The American Taekwondo Association was founded in 1969 by Haeng Ung Lee, who premiered the Songahm
style of Taekwondo in 1983. The World Taekwondo Federation, founded in 1973, is an organization recognized as the official international Taekwondo governing body by the Korean government.