Taekwon-do is pretty young martial art based on the principles of the modern physics. Taekwon-do was officially founded by the general Choi Hong Hi in 1955 in his native Korea. For the decades he had been studying the legendary martial art of the ancient Korea, making the single techniques according to the principles of the modern physics and thinking up new techniques, after finishing it he called his new art Taekwon-do. This name can be divided into 3 words:
TAE - stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot
KWON - denotes the fist - chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist
DO - means an art or way - the right way built and paved by the saints and sages in the past
The general Choi Hong-Hi created Taekwon-do as the way of self-defense with the intention to protect the peace and the justice in the world. Taekwon-do is created for those who want to do something for themselves, who want to defend themselves and who has pure ideas. Neither age nor sex is important. Those who practice Taekwon-do are the evidence. Taekwon-do is practiced also by handicapped people who present very good results.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Since childhood Choi-Hong-Hi has devoted himself to martial arts - ancient Korean art Taek Kyun he had studied with his calligraphy teacher Han Il Dong. Then during his studies in Japan he studied karate under Gichin Funakoshi. After years of hard training he focused on idea of developing new modern Korean martial art based on the principles of physics. Even after his imprisonment during WWII for desertion from Japanese army he never stopped developing and thinking of new techniques in a certain level of morale. After the War he kept creating this art, so that all areas were balanced powerful. He finished up the system of his art 11.4.1955 and he named it Taekwon-do. With the time Taekwon-do has become very popular and some people started using it politically, commercially and as sport. General Choi was very disappointed with such development because he wanted Taekwon-do to have also a spiritual level. Thus he moved to Canada also with ITF (international Taekwon-do federation, founded by Gen. Choi in 22/3/1966) headquarter. In 1983 Choi-Hong-Hi with help of his closest colleagues published a 15-volume encyclopedia of Taekwon-do, where he describes everything what has something to do with Taekwon-do such as philosophy, history, techniques and its physical effects, the patterns – tuls and also hints and principles of free sparring and self-defense.
Another important date is 15/6/2002. This was unfortunate time for taekwondoists all over the world, because General Choi Hong Hi passed away, seriously ill by cancer. He was 83 years old.
Presidentship was gained by Prof. Chang Ung (North Korean member of international Olympic committee) after passed General. Technical supervisor is Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha (IX. Dan), who is the first holder of highest technical degree given by general Choi.
SYSTEM OF TECHNICAL PERFECTION
Everyone who practices the exercises regularly improves and learns something new all the time. The level of maturity in Taekwon-do is defined by a system of evaluation, so that it is apparent who is student and who is the master. The beginners wear the dobok (dress) with colored belt, the masters wear black belt and according to their maturity black borders.
More precisely: (kup = level of color belts, dan = level of black belts):
Students - belt
- 10th kup - white
- 9th kup - white-yellow
- 8th kup - yellow
- 7th kup - yellow-green
- 6th kup - green
- 5th kup - green-blue
- 4th kup - blue
- 3rd kup - blue-red
- 2nd kup - red
- 1st kup - red-black
Masters - black belt
- 1st - 3rd dan - assistant of instructor
- 4th - 6th dan - instructor
- 7th - 8th dan - master
- 9th dan - grandmaster
TENETS OF TAEKWON-DO
- Courtesy (Ye Ui)
- Integrity (Yom Chi)
- Perseverance (In Nae)
- Self-control (Guk Gi)
- Indomitable spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)
STRUCTURE OF TAEKWON-DO
Taekwon-do is formed by 5 parts:
- Fundamental movements
- Patterns (tul)
- Sparring (matsogi)
- Self-defense (hosinsool)
- Exercise (dalyon)
We can imagine the structure of Taekwon-do as a circle - everyone starts learning fundamental moves which are then connected into patterns. Patterns (tuls) are groups of techniques which were developed for practicing all hand and foot techniques without opponent. The practice then continues by simulated fight - sparring. Finally it comes to the self-defense that is to the real fight. If one wants to improve self-defense, he has to return to the basics that are to the fundamental moves. And of course, to succeed in training one must develop strong body through hard training (dalyon).
Taekwon-do has also the form of competition. The competitors are divided into different groups by achievement and age. The competition runs in 5 disciplines:
- Tul - technical patterns, pre-defined technique sequences
- Matsogi - sport sparring with protectors according rules to get points
- T-ki - special techniques, cutting of desk which is up on high over 250 cm
- Wirok - power breaking, breaking of few 2cm wide plastic desk
- Hosinsool – self-defense, prepared demonstration of Taekwon-do techniques