About TaeKwonDo (태 권도)
In Korean, tae means “to strike or break with foot”; kwon means “to strike or break with fist”; and do means “way” or “method”; so “taekwondo” is loosely translated as “the way of the foot and fist” or “the way of kicking and punching”.
Today, Taekwondo is famous in almost every country in the world. If we look at its popularity, then it is hard to believe that this art is more than 2,000 years old.
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. It involves a mix of the linear movements of Karate and the circular patterns of Kung-fu. This combination was then mixed with Korean kicking techniques. When put together, Taekwondo is the original Mixed Martial Art (MMA).
The oldest records of this sport have been found to be from 50 B.C. In that era, Korea was divided in three parts which were governed by three different kingdoms. These kingdoms were Goguryeo (Koguryo) in the northern part, Baekje, and Silla.
The earliest proof of this art is found in Muyong-chong which is a tomb of Koguryo dynasty. The paintings on the ceilings of this tomb are depicting an early form of Taekwondo which was known as Tae Kyon. In those paintings, unarmed people are shown to be using different techniques that look quite similar to the techniques used in Taekwondo today.
The warriors of Silla dynasty spread these techniques and also developed it further. During the period of the Silla Kingdom from 668 A.D to 935 A.D., Taek Kyon was mostly used as a sport and recreational activity. Taek Kyon’s name was renamed as Subak. During the period from 935 A.D. to 1392 A.D., King Uijong of Koryo Dynasty developed Subak as a fighting art.
The first book on Taekwondo was written during Yi dynasty that ruled Korea until 1907 A.D. This book was the first attempt to teach Subak to civilians. During the later years of Yi dynasty, Taekwondo was again popularized as a recreational sport.
In 1909, when Japan attacked Korea and got a hold on the country for the next 36 years, all Korean military arts were banned. But the ban renewed the interest of locals in Subak. Many Koreans practiced in secret during this time. After Korea’s liberation in 1945, Subak came up in a whole new style. At was because of the influence of many other martial arts like Judo, Karate and Kung-fu.
In 1952, at the height of the Korean War, there was a martial arts exhibition in which the kwans (original Korean Martial Arts Training Centers) displayed their skills. In one demonstration, Nam Tae Hi smashed thirteen roof tiles with a forefist punch. Following the demonstration, South Korean President Syngman Rhee instructed General Choi Hong Hi to introduce the martial arts to the Korean army. General Choi stated he combined elements of taekkyeon and karate to develop a martial art that he called “Taekwon-Do” which means ” foot, hand, art”, or “the art of hand and foot” and it was so named on April 11, 1955.
Currently, taekwondo is practiced in 188 countries with over 70 million practitioners and 4 million individuals with black belts throughout the world.
Chidoryŏk TaeKwonDo (our Style) was so named to reflect the true intention of the training that our students receive. Chidoryŏk is literally translated “the skill of Leadership”. While producing good “kickers” and “punchers” is important, developing real leaders is what we are all about. Each training session presets a unique experience for the student. You will never do the same class twice.
Training sessions could include:
Reality based self defense
Basic Kicking, Punching and Blocking drills
Forms Training (Patterns or Hyungs)
Touch Sparring (intermediate and advanced students only)
Leadership Development Talks