Taekwondo means the art of hand and foot fighting. “Tae” means to kick or smash with the feet. “Kwon” means fist or to punch. “Do” means art or the way. Taekwondo is the modern form of fighting arts developed over the past two thousand years in Korea. The World Taekwondo Headquarters is the Kukkiwon, based in Seoul, South Korea. The WTF is responsible for competitions, and is affiliated to the General Association of International Sports Federations and recognised by the International Olympic Committee. The T. K. Loh Taekwondo Schools are members of the TTA (Traditional Taekwondo Association).
Taekwondo is synonymous with spectacular kicking techniques. There is an emphasis on using the legs because they require intensive training to bring them up to the same level as the arms. When achieved this will give the Taekwondo practitioner an advantage in self-defence.
Taekwondo is not a discipline for the few but for everybody, young and old, male or female. Gradings are relative to a person’s actual capability. WTF Taekwondo has been recognised as an Olympic Sport and made its full debut at the 2000 Sydney games.
Taekwondo was first developed around the 1st Century AD during the time of the Koguryo dynasty and was then known as Subak. Over the centuries the art developed, most notably after the Second World War when practitioners returning to Korea introduced many different influences. The new martial art, Taekwondo, whose name seems to be derived from an earlier art called “Tae-kyun,” was used to build national pride and act as a unifying force after South Korea’s liberation. The rough translation of the word Taekwondo is “the way of the hand and foot”. Today there are 147 countries affiliated to the “World Taekwondo Federation”, with more than 55 million members worldwide of which approximately 3 million are black belts!
Tenets of Taekwondo
All Taekwondo students and instructors are expected to adhere to the Tenets and Oath of Taekwondo.
- Indomitable Spirit
- I shall observe the tenets of Taekwondo
- I shall respect the instructor and seniors
- I shall never misuse Taekwondo
- I shall be a champion of freedom and justice
- I shall build a more peaceful world