Way of life

What Is TaeKwon-Do?

Taekwon-Do is a version of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defence. It is more than just that, however. It is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defence; a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive physical and mental training.

Though it is a martial art, its discipline, technique and mental training are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. It is this mental conditioning that separates the true practitioner from the sensationalist, content with mastering only the fighting aspects of the art.

This is one of the reasons that Taekwon-Do is called an art of self-defence. It also implies a way of thinking and life, particularly in instilling a concept and spirit of strict self-imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral rearmament.

Translated literally "Tae" stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist-chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist. "Do" means an art or way. Thus taken collectively "Taekwon-Do" indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defence as well as health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the moving opponent or opponents.

Taekwon-Do definitely enables the weak to possess a fine weapon together with confidence to defend him or herself and defeat the opponent as well. Of course, wrongly applied, Taekwon-Do can be a lethal weapon. Therefore mental training must always be stressed to prevent the student from misusing it.

As for women folk, they will undoubtedly find Taekwon-Do an invaluable asset in tackling and driving away "wolves", so to speak. When one is informed of the many instances where frail women effectively protected themselves, they may sound unbelievable. But really, they have been able to do so because they are well versed in the art of self-defence. Incessant training is essential to keep oneself in top form and physical condition. In training, all the muscles of the human body will be used. From the use of one's muscles, it will be possible to harness all available power generated by every muscular contraction. It will then be necessary to deliver such power to the human target especially to where the most vulnerable points or vital spots of one's opponent are located, in particular when the opponent is in motion.

At this point it is necessary to remind the students of Taekwon-Do that this art of self-defence is specially designed for swift retaliation against the moving aggressor. Hours spent on training will not be wasted; for surely you will reap a rich reward in the form of speedy reactions and deadly blows to rain down upon your enemy or in any case to save life if and when a need arises. Even if Taekwon-Do is practiced for the sake of exercise alone, the enjoyment derived will justify the time invested and spent. As an exercise, it is equally suitable for the old and young, male and female.

Words of the Young

Some young students, aged 6-8 years, from Kingsbury TaeKwon-Do were asked to write a short essay on TaeKwon-Do. They then read these to the class and instructors at their grading. Being able to stand in front of so many showed the character and confidence TaeKwon-Do has helped develop. Their essays are below.

TaeKwon-Do is great fun for kids and grown ups. TaeKwon-Do is where you can learn blocks, kicking, punching and ducking. You can also learn dodging and counter shield. You can be a white to start and then when you get better you move on to yellow belt, then green, blue, red and the mystery belt is the black belt. We listen and participate in TaeKwon-Do,.If you don't listen and be lazy you geet sent out of the club, so you should listen and stand straight and don't be lazy so you stay in the club.

Dilan, 10th Gup

TaeKwon-Do makes you fit. If you listen, you will learn more things than if you mess around, you will learn less things. When you start you become a white belt. After your theory test you will become a yellow belt, then green, then blue, then red, then you will become master in TaeKwon-Do and a black belt. It is also very important to respect my instructor.

Orin Ofori, 10th Gup

Why I would like to be a blue belt

I would like to be a blue belt because TaeKwon-Do is fun to do. You do lots of different patterns and train to become a black belt. When I pass it's a challenge to go to the next belt. TaeKwon-Do keeps you fit and healthy. I want to beat my dad because he is a brown belt in Karate. My friends do TaeKwon-Do also. Two of them are blue belts and one green belt blue tag, the same as me. It's cool for people to break bricks and bamboo so I want to try. In TaeKwon-Do I like breaking boards. My sister Jasmine will be doing TaeKwon-Do too so I want to show her and practice with her. My teacher's wife is Korean and she knows people that do TaeKwon-Do. Some are black belts. I also have a penpal in Korea who does TaeKwon-Do. He is a black belt too.

Matthew Leslie, 5th Gup