Taekwondo is the art of self defense that originated in Korea. It is recognized as one of the oldest forms of martial arts in the world, reaching back over 2,000 years.

The name Taekwondo literally translates as the way of the foot and the fist. TAE means to break or attack with the foot, KWON means to break with the fist and DO translates as the art or way.

Taekwondo first gained acceptance as an Olympic sport when it appeared as a demonstration event in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Taekwondo became a full medal sport competition beginning in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics.

Taekwondo is characterised by the use of powerful kicks. Using the legs allows athletes to have a greater reach and power to disable the opponent from a distance. In sparring, turning and back kicks are most often used.

The five tenets of Taekwondo

  • Courtesy (Ye Ul) - To be courteous is to show excellence of manners and social conduct and to exhibit polite behavior.
  • Integrity (Yom Chi) - To adhere to moral and ethical principles and to be able to define right from wrong.
  • Perseverance (In Nae) - A steady persistence in a course of action, in spite of any difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.
  • Self-Control (Guk Gi) - The ability to control or restrain oneself, or one's actions or feelings. This is one of the most important of the Taekwondo tenents both inside and outside the dojang.
  • Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool) - An attribute shown when a courageous person and his principles are pitted against overwhelming odds.