What is Tae Kwon Do?
DEFINITION OF TAE KWON DO
Tae Kwon Do is a modern martial art, characterized by its fast, high and spinning kicks. There are multiple interpretations of the name Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do is often translated as “The Way of Hand and Foot.” Our definition of the name Tae kwon do is:
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”
Put this together and Tae Kwon Do means: “The Art of Kicking and Punching” or “The Art of Unarmed Combat”.
Tae Kwon Do is primarily a fighting art that uses most parts of the body for defensive and offensive moves. Techniques consist of many different moves practiced and joined together for maximum efficiency in fighting. These different moves include: basic stances, kicking, punching, striking, blocking and combinations of these moves form prearranged attacks and counter attacks. Some of the moves are to develop basic speed and coordination, and others apply to actual fighting.
Modern Tae Kwon Do is a physical science in which different moves are perfected and joined together as one to form a systematic procedure. The techniques are always competitive. There are rules and regulations of control, and a point system for free fighting was devised for limited areas of striking in order to measure ones skill. The training requires the muscular exercise of the whole body and provides the best means of physical fitness. The art as a self-defense has a powerful effectiveness and each body movement is designed for combat readiness. Mental discipline, self-confidence and self-control give the trainees the best in determination and stability of both mind and body. The principles of Tae Kwon Do have been accepted throughout the world and support will continue to grow because the essentials and traditional philosophy have provided the foundation for it to flourish.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF TAE KWON DO
There is significantly more to Tae Kwon Do than merely keeping fit and learning offensive and defensive techniques. One who concentrates solely on the technical aspects may become quite proficient in Tae Kwon Do, but never reach the stature of a true martial artist. To become a martial artist, it is necessary to recognize and practice the more profound philosophical aspects of Tae Kwon Do. Only those who consider its philosophical character can hope to elevate them to the Mastery that makes Tae Kwon Do an art rather than a mere assortment of physical techniques.
The trinity of Tae Kwon Do consists of the three major aspects of Tae Kwon Do: the Body, the Mind, and the Spirit. In order for an individual to develop into a complete and well-rounded person, they must cultivate each aspect of Tae Kwon Do. If only one or two of the aspects are developed, then a person, no matter how hard he/she trains, may never become a true Master of the art – Tae Kwon Do.