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Development of
Taekwondo is a martial art independently developed over 20 centuries ago in Korea. Over the
many years it has become a popular international sport. The main feature of Taekwondo is that it is a free-
fighting combat sport using the bare hands and feet to repel the opponent. Taekwondo literally means
the way of kicking and punching. It consists of sharp strong angular movements with free-flowing circular
movements to produce a balance of beauty and power. With the addition of Taekwondo's trademark
kicking techniques it is a complete system of self defense and personal improvement. All of its activities
are based on the defensive attitude that originally developed for protection against enemy attacks.

The most important fact about Taekwondo is that it is not only a superior art of self-defense, but
of the mind as well. It gives its practitioners self-confidence that provides an advantage over weaker
opponents. This mental characteristic along with the physical ability is beneficial to the mental life of
individuals as well as to their families and friends. With its practical means of self defense, its complete
regiment of physical conditioning, and its aid to improved concentration and mental performance,
Taekwondo offers a total fitness program integrating mind, body, and spirit.

Today Taekwondo is the most recognized Korean Martial Art. Taekwondo first came to be
recognized as a system of self-defense in the 1950's when a group of leading Korean martial artists came
together and unified their various art forms under a single style of hand and feet fighting. They named
their style Taekwondo, and in the last 30 years have developed it into one of the most effective styles of
unarmed self-defense in the world today. The popularity for Taekwondo is not only here in the U.S, but
internationally as well. Its evolution and development as an international amateur sport have grown

Internationalization of
November 30, 1972 - Construction of Kukkiwon was completed.
May 25, 1973 - The first World Taekwondo Championships were held (biannual event).
May 28, 1973 - The World Taekwondo Federation was established.
October 18, 1974 - The first Asian Taekwondo Championships were held (biannual event).
October 5, 1975 - The World Taekwondo Federation became an affiliate of the General
Association of the International Sports Federation (GAISF).
April 9, 1976 - CISM (Counseil International Sportive Militaire) Executive Committe adopted
Taekwondo as an official sport.
July 17, 1980 - The World Taekwondo Federation was granted recognition by the International
Olympic Committe (IOC) at its 83rd General Session in Moscow.
July 24, 1981 - Taekwondo was one of the primary events in the World Games (non-Olympic
events) held in Santa Clara, California.
February 5, 1982 - Taekwondo was adopted as a demonstration sport for the 1988 Seoul Olympic
Games at the IOC Executive Board Meeting.
September 28, 1984 - Taekwondo was formally adopted as a Demonstration Sport in the 1988
Olympic Games at the 90th session and Executive Board of IOC held in Berlin.
July 3, 1986 - The First World Cup Taekwondo Championship was held in Colorado Springs,
September 30, 1986 - The 10th Asian Games Taekwondo Tournament was held in Seoul with 17
participating nations.
November 29, 1986 - First World University Taekwondo Championships were held.
August 9, 1987 - Taekwondo was included in the 10th Pan-American Games held in Indianapolis,
October 7, 1987 - The first Women's World Taekwondo Championships were held in Barcelona,
August 14-17, 1991 - Taekwondo was included in the 11th Pan-American Games held in Havana,
August 3-5, 1992 - A Demonstration Sport for the second straight Olympiad, in Barcelona, Spain.

Objectives of
1. To develop an appreciation for Taekwondo as a sport and as an art
2. To achieve physical fitness through positive participation
3. To improve mental discipline and emotional equanimity
4. To learn self-defense skills
5. To develop a sense of responsibility for one self and others.
Nature of Taekwondo
The Nature of Taekwondo as Physical Education Physical education is the systemized attempt to
integrate man's intelligence, emotion, and will through physical action. Taekwondo's technical, artistic
and philosophic ideology abound with educational values. Developing the physical body is the domain of
technique, developing a concentrated spirit the domain of art, and achieving a harmony between mind
and body as well as an understanding of, and cooperation with nature is the realm of Taekwondo
philosophy. The philosophic objective of perfecting the human being through Taekwondo is identifiable
to the philosophic objectives of physical education thus defining Taekwondo as a methodology of physical
education's principles. Taekwondo had not been altered or exploited as a "new", modern form of physical
training, but instead has always embodied the values of physical education. The essential values of
Taekwondo which begin to be formed through the technical ideal at the inception of training and which
come to maturity at the philosophicorifto (AC) stage correspond with the nature of physical education
which exists to develop an ideal human being through a physical training regime.

The Nature of Taekwondo as a Competition Competitions of strength are an expression of man's

natural instincts. Historically competitions of parents. The nature of Taekwondo's development as a form
of competition has been that of a competition of strength which relies on skill for its proper expression,
Man naturally desires to prove that he is superior to his opponent in competition, this desire combined
with the resultant values derived from sincere efforts to develop technically and all shape the taekwondo
competition. These experiences and lessons together with other factors such as pleasure and recognition
have led to the development of the concept of Taekwondo competition Historical. Taekwondo developed
as a "hoe" or game, therefore, Taekwondo as a martial art has a historical relationship with the values of
competition. The competitive ideals of Taekwondo are power, quickness, and accuracy. The embodiment
of these ideals in the training and competition process gives Taekwondo its unique identity as a modern

Five Principles/Tenets
of Taekwondo
Courtesy (Korean – Ye Ul) – To be courteous is to show excellence of manners and social
conduct and to exhibit polite behavior. Examples in Taekwon-Do might be to distinguish instructor from
student, senior from junior and elder from younger, and to maintain the appropriate etiquette at all times,
both within and outside the dojang (training hall 도장).
Integrity (Korean – Yom Chi) – To adhere to moral and ethical principles and to be able to
define right from wrong. A Taekwon-Do instructor who misrepresents himself and his art by presenting
improper techniques to his students because of a lack of knowledge, or a student who ‘fixes’ breaking
materials before a demonstration, would show no sign of possessing integrity.

Perseverance (Korean – In Nae) – A steady persistence in a course of action, in spite of

any difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. In Taekwon-Do, one must set a goal and then constantly
persevere to achieve this.

Self-Control (Korean – Guk Gi) – The ability to control or restrain oneself, or one’s actions
or feelings. This is one of the most important of the Taekwon-Do tenents both inside and outside the
dojang. A loss of self-control in the dojang can prove disastrous for both student and opponent, and
likewise outside the dojang during daily life.

Indomitable Spirit (Korean – Baekjul Boolgool) – An attribute shown when a

courageous person and his principles are pitted against overwhelming odds. If confronted with injustice,
the Taekwon-Do student will deal with the belligerent without any fear or hesitation at all, with
indomitable spirit, regardless of whosoever and however many the number may be.

Benefits of
Building Fitness. A typical Taekwondo class involves dynamic punching and kicking drills, blocks, core-
strengthening exercises and stretches. You'll build stamina and strength through such active movements.
For younger children, learning and practicing the poomsaes specific patterns of defense and attack
movements leads to better motor skills and body control. A 2014 study published in Sports Medicine
noted that Taekwondo athletes demonstrate high peak anaerobic power, flexibility especially in the legs
and hips high dynamic upper- and lower-body strength and good core endurance.

Learning Respect. Respect and honor are tenants of Taekwondo. You respect the discipline, the dojo
— or studio — and your teacher. You're expected to come neatly dressed in a clean uniform and adhere
to the rules of the gym. At the beginning and end of class, you bow to your teacher. Higher belt athletes
also hold some authority in the studio as they've demonstrated the discipline and physical fortitude to
achieve their status. You learn to respect them and their commands. This respect for cleanliness, discipline
and people of authority translates to space outside of the dojo, whether that be school, work or home.

Practicing Self-Discipline. In addition to building respect for authority, Taekwondo teaches

athletes to respect themselves. Advances in the belts builds self-confidence. The discipline required in
learning forms and specific punching and kicking techniques builds confidence and mental focus. In
children, you might notice grades and behavior improve as Taekwondo builds their confidence and
enhances their attention.

Engaging in Self Defense. At its core, Taekwondo is about learning to diffuse situations. The
practice is defensive, rather than offensive. What you learn in Taekwondo training can prevent you from
becoming a victim in threatening situations.

Increasing Concentration. Taekwondo also involves unifying the mind with the body. The
concentration required to learn and practice the forms (poomsaes) gives you better control of your
punching and kicking, which leads to harmony within your body. When your body works in harmony, you
can translate this to the entirety of your life and how you operate in society.

Fundamental Skills in
 Straight Punch. The fist starts from a chamber on the hip, and is then thrust straight forward. Impact is
made on the two big knuckles. According to the 14 basics, it should be performed from the horse stance
and front stance. (All of these punch combinations make up 3 of the original 14 movements.)
 Low block. This is the first block you learn in Taekwondo. Put your fist to your opposite shoulder, then
sweep it downward in front of the pelvis, stopping on or just bast the same-side leg of the blocking arm.
 Front Kick. The front kick is the foundation of every kick in Taekwondo. Just about every kick begins with
the front kick chamber. All the major kicking principles are learned here.
 Knife Hand Strike. Yep, this is the karate chop. It can be down towards the outside, with the palm
facing down. Or it can be done towards the inside, with the palm facing up. You make impact on
the “meat” or “knife” of the hand. Usually targets the trachea, side of the neck, or temple.
 Back Fist Strike. Bruce Lee loved it. It’s quick and it works. It can be an outward movement to the
head, or flipping movement to the philtrum beneath the nose.
 Inside block. An inward sweeping motion to protect the body by hitting attacks off to the side.
 Side Kick. The staple of Taekwondo. People will judge your overall ability in Taekwondo based on
this ONE kick. Performed off the back leg, as a “simple” forward kick, the side kick requires you to
bring the leg all the way to your side, then to thrust it straight forward.
 Hand-blade / Double Forearm Block. An iceberg of a technique, and quite often misunderstood.
One hand block while the other is ready actually, in transition for a follow-up strike. It can be used
as a fighting guard as well as a block.
 Face Block. Shoot your arm up at an angle, stopping it just over your brow. It should look like a
roof or a church steeple. This makes strikes glance off and protects your head. Good for weapon
 Round Kick. Arguably the most popular kick of all martial arts. Very quick and super useful in
sparring. Taekwondo has a unique method of executing the round kick.

Rules in Taekwondo
 Taekwondo matches should be contested by competitors of the same sex and in the same
classified weight category.
 The competition area is a mat that measures 8 meters squared.
 Taekwondo matches are contested over 3 x 2-minute rounds with a rest of 1 minute between
 Each fighter attempts to knockout their opponent or score points by landing blows on their
opponent’s torso or head. Kicks are allowed to both to the torso and head, whilst punches are
only allowed to the body. Below the waist is not a permitted target.
 If a fighter and their coach think that a point has been missed or that a mistake has been made,
they can make a protest. A video replay is then looked at by judges and a decision is made.
 Fighters can lose points by the way of penalties. These can be incurred by actions such as:
 Punching to the face
 Attacking with the knee
 Attacking below the waist
 Stepping out of the ring with both feet
 Turning your back on your opponent
 Pushing, holding or grabbing your opponent
 Feigning injury
 The match is won by the fighter who knocks their opponent out or who has the greater number
of points at the end of the three rounds.
 If the match is a draw, a golden point round is fought, with the fighter landing the first scoring
point being declared the winner.


Scoring in a Taekwondo match is simple. A player gets:

 One point for a basic attack to the opponent’s torso

 Two points for a spinning kick to the opponent’s torso
 Three points for a kick to the head

In major competitions, electronic scoring systems are used that are placed within each player’s chest
protector and are adjusted to take into account of the weight category of the fight. For head kicks (and
fights where electronic scoring is not used), a panel of 4 judges push a button when they see a scoring
point. When at least 3 judges agree, then a point is awarded.

Winning the Match

Once a Taekwondo match is over (at the end of the 3 x 2-minute rounds), the winner is the fighter that
has the most points. If both fighters have the same amount of points, then an extra round is fought
called the golden point round. In this round, the first fighter to score a point is declared the winner.
Taekwondo matches can be won earlier if one fighter knocks the other out or if one fighter is
disqualified for a rule breach.


Southwick, R.A. The History of Taekwondo. Retrieved from:


Brule, Terry. Taekwondo History. http://www.napaTaekwondo.com/tkdhistory/.

Chun, Richard. Taekwondo: The Korean Martial Art. New York: Harper Collins, 1976.

Kim, Daeshik. The Ku Ki Won's Taekwondo. Seoul: NANAM Publishing House, 1994.

Kim, Sang H., trans. Muye Dobo Tongji. Hartford: Turtle Press, 2000.