Taekwondo is number one Korean martial art. It is an unarmed combat form that entails the use of the whole body. Tae" means to kick or destroy with the feet, "Kwon" means to punch or smash with the hand or the fist, and "Do" means the way or method. All put together, Taekwondo is often translated as "the way of kicking and punching".
But as with many traditonal martial arts, Taekwondo is a combination of self-defense, sport, exercise, philosophy and moral guidance. Steeped in thousands of years of history and tradition, the philosophy of Taekwondo is embodied in five universal tenets: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.
Technically, what separates Taekwondo from other martial arts are its numerous, varied and powerful kicking techniques: front, side, turning, reverse turning, sliding, spinning, and jumping kicks, often used in combination. Practitioners also learn blocking, stricking with the hand, closed or open, as well as take downs, sweeps, throws and joint locks.
Kibon - Basics
Kibon or basic techniques are the building blocks, the basis of Taekwondo. They are composed of stances, kicks, strikes and blocks. A regular and honest practice of Kibon helps students develop their overall skills, speed of execution, balance, focus, accuracy and effectiveness.
Poomsae - Forms
Poomsae are series of moves combined with both offensive and defensive techniques representing self-defence against multiple imaginary attackers, with increasing degree of complexity and difficulty that corresponds to the different levels of skill. With the practice of Poomsae, students develop mental discipline, focus, balance, power and coordination.
Kyeorugi - Sparring
Kyeorugi is the actual sparring against one or multiple opponents, applying offence and defence techniques that one has learned. Coming in a number of different forms from the pre-arranged no contact form to the full contact competitive free form, Kyeorugi is an important element of Taekwondo which helps students develop the physical and emotional control necessary to sharpen their skills.
Kyeokpa - Breaking
Kyeokpa is the art of breaking solid objects such as wooden boards, bricks or tiles. Kyeokpa demonstrates the ability of raising maximum power and/or accuracy in a single moment at one specific point. Mind control, focus and proper technique are required to break successfully without injury.
Hoshinsul - Self-Defense
Hoshinsul is the original purpose of Taekwondo martial art. Students learn to defend themselves against a variety of attacks, grabs and holds. Beginners learn self-defense by applying basic strikes, kicks and blocks. At more advanced levels, students learn escapes,throws, falling, defence against weapons, locks and finishing holds.