What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a Martial Art based around self-defence, and its literal translation is “the way of kicking and punching” or “the way of the foot and fist”. Its origins are in South Korea, where it was known as one of the world’s oldest forms of Martial Arts. Taekwondo began to grow around the world in the 1950, where in 1955 the modern form of the sport was formed by Grandmaster Choi Hong Hi, who was a Major General in the South Korean Army.
Taekwondo made its first appearance at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul as a demonstration sport, before being a full-medal sport in 2000 at Sydney. Along with Judo it’s one of just two Asian Martial Arts included in the Olympics, and today the sport is now practiced by tens of millions of people globally – making Taekwondo one of the most popular Martial Arts in the world.
Why should I go to Taekwondo classes?
Taekwondo is a Martial Art that focuses on kicks (particularly jumping and spinning kicks), punches and emphasizes speed and agility. The sport has a good degree of intensity at all levels, which means there are plenty of benefits for children and adults to get physically fitter and mentally healthier. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- A great method of all-round exercise
- Improved strength, stamina as well as muscle tone, particularly in the lower body
- Teaches transferrable stress management techniques and mental disciplines
- Results in boosts to self-esteem and confidence – for children as well as adults
- A chance to socialise and meet new people
- Learn self-defence skills
- For children, it will enhance their personal and physical development
- Children will also benefit from learning valuable life skills, such as focus, concentration and listening
What will I learn from Taekwondo classes?
Taekwondo classes teach a range of different principles some of which are related to physical techniques, others that teach mental disciplines too. The physical techniques are based around an understanding of kicking and punching, and will teach balance, movement and control, as well as developing strength and flexibility. Mental disciplines include improved focus, better self-discipline and the ability to meet training goals in order to progress through the different belts.
What are the Taekwondo belts?
The different colour Taekwondo belts represents different levels of progression, going from a white belt which is a beginner through to a more advanced black belt. They include:
10th White Belt
9th White with Yellow Stripe
8th Yellow Belt
7th Yellow with Green Stripe
6th Green Belt
5th Green with Blue Stripe
4th Blue Belt
3rd Blue with Red Stripe
2nd Red Belt
1st Red with Black Stripe
Black belts split into Dan ranks, which go from 1st Dan up to 10th Dan.
Who can take up Taekwondo classes?
Taekwondo classes are available to anyone and everyone, no matter what your background, age, gender or fitness levels. For younger children, lessons can start from as young as 3 years old, and there is no upper end to the scale. You don’t have to have and prior experience either – most Taekwondo clubs will accept people with no experience whatsoever. So even if you consider yourself very unfit, and haven’t tried a sport in years, then you’ll be welcomed at your local Taekwondo club.