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Taekwondo is the national sport of Korea, and it is potentially one of the most popular martial art sports in the world.
Taekwondo, alongside Judo, is the only two martial arts to be featured as an Olympic sport. As a combat sport, Taekwondo emphasizes mostly on kicks instead of punches.
Taekwondo is currently practiced in more than 200 countries globally! Among this number, millions of practitioners have black belts. Taekwondo has a lower injury rate as compared to other mixed martial arts! However, the practitioners of Taekwondo are more injury-prone than basketball, hockey, and soccer players.
The largest Taekwondo tournament association is the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), headquartered in South Korea. This association also administers the Olympic Taekwondo Competition. The Olympic Taekwondo Competition officiates the martial art sport according to the rules made by the WTF.
In the United States, Jhoon Goo Rhee is known as the 'Father of American Taekwondo' because of his contribution to Taekwondo, after he opened the first American School in 1962 in Washington DC.
Taekwondo originated more as a sport than a self defense art. Learn more about the sport with the history and origin facts:
The combat sport Taekwondo is believed to have originated in Korea, and the martial arts style of this sport dates back to the 40s and 50s. The sport was designed by martial artists who were trained in other martial arts styles like Judo, Chinese martial arts, Karate and Taekkyon.
The sport is believed to originate over 2,000 years ago, with the earliest mentions found around 50 BC when Korea was under the rule of dynasties such as the Koguryo, Silla, and Paekche.
The sport features hand strikes, throws, joint locks and kicks.
The sport was first practiced as Taekyon or Taekkyon by the Koguryo kingdom; however, it also rose to fame under the Silla kingdom thanks to it being used by their Hwarang soldiers.
Taekwondo students are expected to understand Korean language as this language is often used for commands or prompts.
Taekwondo became an organized sport in 1955 after Korea managed to push out Japan from the country. The Japanese introduced their martial arts and cultures in the country from 1909-to 1945, but Koreans wanted their martial art identification which led to the creation of Taekwondo in 1955. Taekwondo is now the national sport of Korea.
Taekwondo has several levels of expertise which are portrayed through the use of belts to categorize students and their skill level. These facts about Taekwondo belts will help you learn more:
It is believed that Taekwondo only had one belt in its ranks for the first 2,000 years of its long history. Today, Taekwondo students can work their way to the top by obtaining the white, yellow, green, blue, red, and black belts in ascending order of rank.
The white belt is used to symbolize purity and to give a clear picture to the students who aim to reach higher levels.
The black belt is the amalgamation of all the belt colors and is an important part of the sport as it helps students to show their mastery of this self-defense-based martial arts. The black belt is also seen as a new chapter, where students are allowed to use the techniques that they had learnt over years of training.
Generally, a white uniform is provided to a taekwondo student. These white uniforms are used in ceremonies like promotion and belt tests.
National, international, and even regional Taekwondo competitions are held according to the age group and skill level (belt color) of the fighter.
Taekwondo has become popular in both the Olympics and the silver screen! These famous Taekwondo fighters facts will amaze you:
Steven Lopez, a US Taekwondo player, is considered to be the world's best. He has won six world championships throughout his Taekwondo career. Lopez has won gold medals in Taekwondo at the Olympics of 2000 and 2004 and a bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Previously, Hwang Kyung-Seon from South Korea was considered to be the most successful. As of 2021, Iran's Hadi Saei, South Korea's Hwang Kyung-Seon and USA's Steven Lopez all have two golds and one bronze medal.
In the world of martial art movies, actors such as Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, and Jean Claude Van Damme are well-known students of Taekwondo.
Jackie Chan is completely proficient in Taekwondo alongside TV personalities like Joe Rogan and Sarah Michelle Gellar!
Taekwondo, compared to other martial art sports, depends mostly on kicks and leg techniques. Learn more with these technique facts:
Taekwondo blends combat techniques and self-defense for sport and exercise.
This martial art sport is more than just punches and kicks, and it relies heavily on combat philosophy, physical fitness, and self-defense. The Tenets of Taekwondo are features that Taekwondo students are predicted to incorporate into their daily lives.
Taekwondo training consists of a learning system of punches, kicks, open-handed strikes, and blocks. In addition to this, physical techniques and skills are also an important part of this martial art.
The use of kicking techniques as a major part of the sport differentiates it from other martial arts such as Judo, Kung Fu and Karate.
The basic of Taekwondo training requires you to control your breathing by exhaling when executing a move and inhaling in between. Taekwondo training also requires you to harden your body through repetitive practice of various defense and attack forms.
The South Korean military makes use of Taekwondo in its daily activities. The martial art was developed to educate Korean soldiers on the many self-defense methods that can be applied through Taekwondo training.
With all that out of the way, learn more about the sport with some random facts about it.
The area within the school where Taekwondo is practiced is known as a 'dojang.' It is often translated as gymnasium, but it is just a common word for the Taekwondo school.
Most dojangs have padded flooring covered in blue and red patterns to reflect the colorful symbol of Taekwondo. Dojangs are also decorated with banners, belts, flags, and instructional materials.
Taekwondo was featured as a demonstrative sport in the 1988 Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea. Taekwondo gained the official status of an Olympic sport at the Sydney Games in 2000.
Taekwondo students who are under 16 years of age are not permitted to participate in destruction testing by the International Taekwondo Federations because the hard impact during the test can damage bones in their hands, feet, or wrists.
The minimum requirement to be a Taekwondo Master requires the sixth-degree black; however, only candidates who are invited can become a master of this martial art sport.
Q: What do you call the Taekwondo uniform?
A: The Taekwondo uniform worn by practitioners during training and events is called a Dobok.
Q: Is there a brown belt in Taekwondo?
A: No, there is no brown belt in taekwondo. Black belts are the highest achievable ranks.
Q: What does Tae mean in Taekwondo?
A: The word 'tae' in the Korean language translates to 'foot' or 'leg,' hinting at the use of feet in the various combat techniques associated with the sport.
Q: How many belts are there in Taekwondo?
A: There are six belts in Taekwondo - white, yellow, green, blue, red and black.
Q: Who created Taekwondo?
A: Choi Hong Hi is acknowledged as the creator of Taekwondo.
Q: How many people are practicing Taekwondo?
A: An estimated 70 million people globally practice Taekwondo as a martial art.
Q: What are the five rules of Taekwondo?
A: A hit on the chest guard is awarded one point, a regular kick on the chest guard is awarded two points, a spinning kick on the chest guard is awarded four points, a regular kick to the head is awarded three points, and a spinning kick to the head is awarded five points.
Q: What are two historical facts about Taekwondo?
A: Taekwondo gained prominence in South Korea post World War II; Taekwondo is only the second martial art to feature as an Olympic sport, alongside Judo.
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