WHAT IS TAEKWONDO?
The martial art of Taekwondo has its origins in Korea, and has become one of the fastest growing martial arts in the world today.
Taekwondo literally translates as “The Art of hand and foot,” with ’Tae’ (태) meaning foot, ‘kwon’ (권) meaning fist and ‘do’ (도) meaning martial art.
Taekwondo is a martial art not just for fighting or self-defence, but one that aims to develop essential qualities of self-control, will power and determination alongside humility, loyalty, and respect, while also improving fitness, flexibility and coordination.
The discipline of the sport also improves self-confidence and aids in a student’s ability to cope with situations of stress.
One of Taekwondo’s greatest advantages is that it offers all of the benefits associated with being both a traditional martial art and a martial art Olympic sport. At White Tiger Korean Martial Arts, we offer both traditional Taekwondo and sport Taekwondo.
The Olympic sport of Taekwondo is an excellent vehicle for developing a student’s fitness and athletic ability; however it can also serve to reinforce personal qualities such as perseverance and assertiveness that are essential for true martial arts development. For many students, the challenge offered by sports Taekwondo is too tempting to resist.
However traditional Taekwondo is a highly versatile, effective and rewarding style to study, whether as a hobby or as a way of life. Taekwondo is more than a mastery of physical techniques – it embodies the traditional spirit and philosophies that are the difference between a martial artist and a street fighter. We encourage the traditional values of respect, loyalty, courage and integrity, while also emphasising realistic approaches to self-defence situations. Students should find a balance between discipline and accomplishment, through which they can embrace challenges and enhance their self-respect.
Traditional martial arts are all about responsibility. Instructors have a responsibility to be fully qualified and to teach their students to their upmost ability and integrity. It is the role of the instructor to instil in the student a sense of respect for what they are learning and a full understanding of the student’s responsibilities as a martial artist.
Among the recognised benefits of practicing traditional Taekwondo are physical benefits, such as fitness, self-defence, increased physical coordination, and attaining new skills and techniques.
Yet many of the more valuable assets of a traditional martial art are felt to lie in the realm of character development: determination and dedication, increased self-esteem and self-confidence, focus and concentration skills, discipline and, above all, the cultivation of a sense of self-respect and respect for others.
Through the hard physical training imposed on us, initially by our instructors, and later by ourselves, we cultivate toughness of mind, courage and determination – the indomitable martial arts spirit.
Of course, one of the prime benefits of any martial art is the fun and enjoyment that comes of studying something challenging and rewarding within a friendly and encouraging atmosphere.
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