Taekwondo

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Taekwondo is a martial art form from Korea. The name consists of three words; Tae (foot), Kwon (hand) and Do (the way/training). Therefore, one can say that Taekwondo stands for ‘The way of the hand and foot’.

However, where the use of hands is pivot to the sport, conversely, emphasis lays on the use of one’s feet conjoined with and the performance of a variety of kicks.

Taekwondo can be distinguished between three aspects; the style, sparring, and breaking exercises. Firstly, the style refers to the performance of correct and precise ‘walking’ of sequences of moves called Poomsae. The poomsae are comparable to the Kata’s from other martial arts such as Karate and Jiu-Jitsu. Secondly, sparring refers to the competition aspect of Taekwondo; where two fighters compete in a fight earning point for hitting one another in different ways (full contact conjoined the use of sparring armor). Lastly, the breaking tests refer to the breaking of different objexts (often pieces of wood) by usingthe aforementioned movements from the Poomsae. However, where the use of hands is pivot to the sport, conversely, emphasis lays on the use of one’s feet conjoined with the performance of variety of kicks.

History

Taekwondo has its roots in the Josean culture of ancient Korea. However, over the years the martial art was exposed to different influences from other cultures and their ways of fighting. In short, Taekwondo as we know today has elements of traditional Korean forms of practice called Taekkyeon and Gwonbeop, Karate and a variety of Chinese fighting arts. After japanese occupation during World War 2, Koreans established schools in Hongkong where many of these influences came togehter. In 1955, many of these forms were merged into one national korean sport and soon thereafter, the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and Kukkiwon (national academy of Taekwondo), and World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) were established. Lastly, in  the 2000s, Taekwondo was introduced to the Olympic Sport, second to Judo.

Belts

Taekwondo has a variety of different belts that a participant of the sport can achieve through examinations. Below are the belts conjoined by their meaning in hierarchical order (low-high)

BeltMeaning
White BeltInnocence
Yellow BeltEarth
Green BeltA growing plant
Blue BeltAir ~ The plant has matured into a tree
Red BeltDanger
Black BeltMaturity

*Note: between the aforementioned belts, so-called ‘Tips’ can be achieved corresponding to the next belt in the hierarchy, for example a white belt with yellow tip.

Examination

Examination is done in order for people to move up the hierarchy of belts. The examination process is done through one’s teacher where the participant has to perform their techniques in front of the teacher. This is done twice every year. The exams consists of the following parts; a verbal examination about the theory and a practical examination of the students performing the required techniques in front of the examiners. The practical exam consists of the following parts:

  1. The Poomsae ( 2 per belt)
  2. One-step sparring
  3. Sparring
  4. Self-defence
  5. Break practice (from blue belt onwards)

Are you ready for your next belt? Find out what you need to know for your next belt.

Taekwondo Sports Federation

As briefly mentioned before, Taekwondo consists of two major distinguishable types of Taekwondo:

 

 

World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)

International Taekwondo (ITF)

 

 

The size of both are assumed to be the same and contain a relatively large amount of overlap. However, one can distinguish the two by looking at the excessiveness in sparring and style forms. WTF calls the forms Taeguks (Teh-Guk) whereas the ITF calls calls them Tols. Furthemore, WTF is full body contact and the sparring rules are more strict unlike ITF’s sparring. Lastly, the ITF also allows wearing gloves unlike the WTF.

The Taekwondo Foundation ( Taekwondo Bond Nederland, TBN) follows the rules as suggested by the World Taekwondo Federation. Thus also, V.A.S. Arashi. TBN membership is required when one wants to participate in competitions.