Tae Kwon Do
TAEKWONDO?? What's that?
Literally Means "the way of foot and hand".
It is the world's most popular traditional martial art & bases it's origins from Korea over 2,000 Years ago. And although many denomonations exist, the most commonly known is governed by the WTF- World Taekwondo Federtion & its headquarters, the Kukkiwon. Developed in 1972, it is a non-profit, non-governmental entity that is recognized by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) as the sole governing body of Taekwondo in the Olympics. The sport of Taekwondo, which differs from the art, resembles boxing in its fast simultaneous exchanges & chess-like strategies using faints & counterattacks from superior angles.
Taekwondo is known best for its captivating kicking techniques, which are the backbone of every Taekwondo Player. While the blocking concepts were borrowed from Karate stemming from Japan's occupation of the Korean Peninsula, Taekwondo has continued to differentiate itself as a true Korean system. The sport as well as the values it breeds are what separate it from the other Martial Arts.
Taekwondo is a way of life, much like having a job, raising a family, fighting for a cause, or any one of numerous necessary activities. What makes Taekwondo different from these is that it is an activity for survival in extremely antagonistic situations. One must always overcome the enemy that is trying to cause harm. But simply winning a fight is not enough to guarantee one's safety, because the enemy may recuperate & attack again. Moreover, there may be many other enemies than the one that was just defeated. One cannot ever feel safe unless one gains permanent peace.
To attain this, one needs unity. This is what Taekwondo aims for. Otherwise Taekwondo would be no different from any other street-fighting skill.
Taekwondo pursues harmonious growth & improvements of life through its unique activities. This is why one could say Taekwondo is a way of life. To ultimately enable ourselves to lead more valuable lives, we would do well by finding the guiding principles deeply hidden in Taekwondo.
It was a demonstration sport in the 1988 Seoul &1992 Barcelona Olympics. It became an official Olympic sport in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, only the second martial art to do so. In 2012, Taekwondo instituted electronic scoring in its matches which registers points automatically without the need of judges, making matches more transparent.
The rules are made to maintain a high pace & reward high quality & often higher risk techniques yet also to protect the competitors. By making safety the key issue, it allows fighters to be more realistic without threat of serious injury.
This allows Taekwondo to use full-contact sparring to abdomen and limits head contact for younger ages. There is absolutely no hitting below the belt as well as no punching to the face. One point is awarded for punching to the chest guard perfectly with proper force. Two points are awarded for a kick to the body. Three points are awarded for spin kicks to the body as well as head kicks, although as stated before students under 12 years old are not allowed to kick to head or to do so with good control. An additional point is rewarded for spinning techniques to head area. Only black belts 15 &older can kick to face with full contact.