Taekwondo originated in Korea some 20 centuries ago as a training program, based upon mutual prosperity, for an elite Royal Korean military guard known as the Hwarang. In today's society mutual prosperity is a good and practical value, however, 2,000 years ago this concept as applied beyond one's immediate family, was quite novel. So it was that the Hwarang protected the Royal Court and the Royal Court took care of the Hwarang. Hwarang Do - the way of the Hwarang - became the basis of the Korean martial arts collectively known today as Taekwondo. A unique fusion of tradition, art and militaristic-like discipline, the martial arts are, ideally, steeped in an interlocking foundation of mutual prosperity between students, teachers and masters.
Taekwondo is a free-fighting, self-defense art which is characterized by its distinctive use of the practitioner's hands and feet to defend against and counter attack an enemy. Taekwondo is self defensive in nature - never to be used antagonistically. Historically, Taekwondo served to improve health, physical balance, agility and poise of its practitioners.
Taekwondoists are self-confident individuals. The practitioner of Taewkondo strives to achieve not only physical strength but also mental discipline. The instructor gages each member's abilities and sets obstacles for the student to overcome. As each obstacle or challenge, be it a physical or a mental test is overcome, the student grows in confidence. Done artfully by the instructor, the student may not even be aware of a 'test' until after the fact. By using mind and body together to develop effective methods of self-defense, the practitioner achieves the confidence and discipline necessary to set and attain their goals in the art as well as in life. For a Taekwondoist, their entire body is a weapon, and they easily are able to ward off an aggressor with their intelligence or if necessary with their hands, fists, elbows, knees, feet or any other part of their body.
The most important fact about Taekwondo as a martial art is that it is not only an excellent training regiment, but it adds remarkable bon sence to its practitioners. Self-confidence makes people generous in their attitudes toward others - especially those who are weaker or less capable than they are. They can stand equally against any opponent, but their code forbids unfair assaults or unnecessary use of force. The Taekwondoist possesses an attitude of confidence and modesty supported by a backdrop of quiet strength. The virtues of modesty and generosity fundamentally based on self-confidence provide for benevolence.
It is obvious that a healthy mind and body makes one strong. Such mental and physical self-confidence is beneficial to the life of Taekwondoists, their families, neighbors, and their nation.
A Taekwondo "poomse" or form comprises various individual, coordinated movements and stances, each serving a particular purpose yet feathering into the other. A "poomse" consists of about two dozen movements in-stance. Blocking, punching, striking, thrusting and kicking are incorporated into Taekwondo forms. These attacks and blocks are directed to vital target areas of the body while the stances change between forward stance, back stance, cat stance and horse-riding stance, etc. as the situation requires. This prepares the practitioner for Ja Yu Dae Ryun (free sparring).
Taekwondo has two styles of sparring competition; Point (light to not contact) and Olympic (full contact) style. Tournaments offer competitive events such as Ja Yu Dae Ryun (free sparring), Poomse (form) and occasionally Kyuk Pa (breaking) and weapons.
Taekwondoists develop great mental concentration, through which its practitioners produce incredible displays of power. It is impossible to exercise the developed power against fellow students without the risk of inflicting serious injury or death. Such destructive power is tested and directed against non-living objects such as wooden planks, roof tiles, bricks and the like.
Anyone may practice Taekwondo because anyone can properly develop and control the latent power within him or her. No special place is needed to practice Taekwondo. During any free time individuals can practice and develop Taekwondo techniques at home, work or play.
The Taekwondo uniform is neither expensive nor luxurious. It is designed to allow the practitioner unrestricted movement. The white color of the uniform signifies the purity and innocence of the practitioner, whereas the color black signifies 'Living Dignity' and knowledge. The following packet of information illustrates the formal requirements for promotion including terminology, rules of etiquette and rank structure.
As you will learn, our formal curriculum only begins with the art of Taekwondo. We incorporate elements of Judo and Hapkido in order to provide a comprehensive study of practical and effective martial arts.
Judo is "The Gentle Way" where throwing, breakfalling and ground techniques are practiced and refined. Practitioners, regardless of relative physical size to their opponents, use these techniques in situations where TKD kicks and punches are not practical.
Hapkido, or "The Way of Coordinated Power," builds further upon the Judo resulting in surprisingly effective, practical and advanced hand-to-hand self-defense techniques and the introduction of weapon training.