Taekwondo is a modern Korean martial art, characterized by fast high, jumping, spinning kicks and quick footwork. It is an all-around program that offers self-defense training, physical exercise, and artistic expression- all taught by an experienced professional instructor. Children who train regularly have better self-control and are more courteous and respectful outside of class as well.
Today it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, and stands among the official games in the Olympics. It is the most widely practiced of all martial arts, with over 150 million practitioners in 160 countries. Developed over 2000 years ago in Korea, it is a dynamic sport, which can be practiced at any age.
Tae = ‘To strike or block with the foot’ or ‘to kick’; it also means ‘jump’
Kwon = ‘Fist,’ ‘to strike or block with hand’
Do = ‘The way of’ or ‘art’
Taekwondo Belts and Belt Tests
Colored belts signify the position/rank of each student in the dojang hierarchy. The higher the belt/rank, the higher the position, and the more respect deserved. After years of studying and training, a student may reach the top of the belt/rank hierarchy. Belts also help an instructor properly manage a training class.
In WTF Taekwondo there are 10 Gups, starting from the 10th Gup (White Belt) and ends with a 1st Gup (Red-Black belt.) The term “Gup” means degree; the term “Dan” means phase. There are 9 Dan degrees, starting with the first and ending with the 9th, all Dan-degrees are represented by a black belt.
Belt tests offer the instructor the chance to formally evaluate the progress of the student and reward their hard work and skills by advancing them to the next level in the program. For the parent, it is an opportunity to observe what your child has learned and practiced in the past months and offer them encouragement and praise. Please feel free to bring family and friends (and of course cameras!) to these events.
Poomsae is the Korean word for forms (patterns) and is essentially a routine to improve balance, sense of direction and concentration. It is a combination of block and attack techniques performed consecutively while moving in certain directions. There are a series of poomsaes designed to correspond with each learning level from beginner to advance. See videos of all forms.
Taekwondo competition is conducted by two contestants, Chong (blue) and Hong (red). Only punching and kicking techniques performed on the front part of the body are allowed. Punches are not allowed when attacking the face. Hits below the lower abdomen are forbidden. All vulnerable parts of body are covered with protectors, such as headgear, trunk protector, forearm and shin guards, groin guard and chest guard to prevent injuries during competition.