Taekwondo, Taekwon-Do or Tae Kwon Do (Korean: 태권도/跆拳道) is a Korean form of martial arts. Taekwondo is a combat sport and was developed during the 1940s and 1950s by Korean martial artists with experience in martial arts such as karate, Chinese martial arts, and indigenous Korean martial arts traditions such as Taekkyon, Subak, and Gwonbeop.
The literal translation for Tae Kwon Do is “kicking,” “punching,” and “the art or way of”, characterized by punching and kicking techniques, with emphasis on head-height kicks, spinning jump kicks, and fast kicking techniques. Taekwondo is a kind of martial arts in which one attacks or defends with hands and feet anytime or anywhere, with occasional use of weapons. The physical training undertaken in Taekwondo is purposeful and fosters strength of mind through mental armament.
Taekwondo practitioners wear a uniform, known as a dobok (Korean: 도복). For the amateur Taekwondo, you need to have a Taekwondo uniform and a Taekwondo belt. For competitive Taekwondo, one needs to have headgear, chest guard, mouth guards, forearm guards, hand protectors, shin guards, foot protectors, and groin guard also. Of course WT and ITF Taekwondo have different equipment. (read our article of Taekwondo Equipment).
KTA, WT and ITF Taekwondo
The oldest governing body for Taekwondo is the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), formed in 1959 through a collaborative effort by representatives from the nine original kwans, or martial arts schools, in Korea. The main international organisational bodies for Taekwondo today are the partnership of the Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo (WT, formerly World Taekwondo Federation or WTF), founded in 1972 and 1973 respectively by the Korea Taekwondo Association, and the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), founded by Choi Hong Hi in 1966.
Taekwondo Belts, Ranks
Taekwondo ranks vary from style to style and are not standardized. Typically, these ranks are separated into “junior” and “senior” sections, colloquially referred to as “color belts” and “black belts” (read our arciel of Taekwondo Belts Ranking).
Taekwondo In Olympic
Initially restricted to Asia, the art of Taekwondo reached global prominence after the 1988 Olympic Games held in Seoul, South Korea. Since the 2000 Sydney Olympics it had been an official Olympic event. The governing body for Taekwondo in the Olympics and Paralympics is World Taekwondo.