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exactly is Taekwon-Do?
simply, Taekwon-Do, or the ‘Art of Hand and Foot’ is a Korean martial art
which utilises scientifically devised hand and foot techniques to provide
a unique system of unarmed self defence. Taekwon-Do was originally
developed using a combination of techniques from Japanese Karate and the
ancient Korean arts of Taek Kyon and Soo Bahk Do. The founder of
Taekwon-Do, General Choi Hong Hi, refined and developed these movements
and through extensive scientific research and development, Taekwon-Do has
evolved into one of the most effective martial arts in the world.
worldwide governing body for the art, the International Taekwon-Do Federation
(ITF) was established in 1966. The art was introduced to Ireland
in 1968 by Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha and in 1972, the Republic of Ireland
Taekwon-Do Association (RITA) was set up as the National Governing Body
for ITF in this country.
Taekwon-Do has become one of the most popular martial arts in the world
because anyone, regardless of age, sex, and size, can benefit from it’s
training, and the RITA instructors are proud to continue to teach authentic
Taekwon-Do as taught by the founder.
outlined below, Taekwon-Do offers a wide array of physical and mental benefits
for both young and old.
today’s society, the ability of a young person to defend him/herself is
very important. But far more important are the tools the young person
will need to develop into a well-rounded adult. Therefore, children
learn respect, courtesy, and self-control while participating in a good
exercise programme. As students of Taekwon-Do, they build self-confidence
and self esteem while they progress in the art. Each of these characteristics
improves attitudes and it has been shown time and again that children who
train in Taekwon-Do tend to improve in their studies due to the concentration
and self discipline that is developed. Our objective is to help young
people improve in all facets of their lives. As they successfully
accomplish and reach for new goals, their confidence level grows, their
self-esteem is enhanced and the need to be self disciplined becomes an
accepted standard as part of their training.
are visible rewards as well as these intangible benefits for students.
The visible rewards include different coloured belts that are symbols of
ever increasing proficiency in Taekwon-Do, the encouragement to continue
when things seem difficult and the verbal acknowledgement of goals achieved
and awards earned. Each of these enhances the young person’s character
and contributes to his/her self worth as well as promoting a sense of responsibility
people believe that the martial arts are just for children. This
could not be further from the truth. Because of it’s origins in the
Orient, Taekwon-Do is based on the principles of integrity, humility, respect,
patience, perseverance, and loyalty. This philosophy is the cornerstone
of the conduct indicative of a genuine Taekwon-Do practitioner.
Taekwon-Do is much more than an effective method of self defence, offering
many physical and health benefits as outlined below, and also providing
a way to relieve the stresses of modern life. Psychologists recognise
that where stress is concerned, a change is better than a rest and many
are recommending martial arts as an antidote to the problem.
way to relieve the pressures that regularly occur is needed. The
total concentration employed while in a Taekwon-Do class effectively ‘blows
away the cobwebs’ giving the student a complete break from the worries
and tensions which gradually sap people’s energy and drive. Students
commonly arrive for class feeling drained after a tough day and leave feeling
refreshed and revitalised.
Benefits of Taekwon-Do:
well as the self-defence aspect, Taekwon-Do also promotes general health
and well being. The training helps to strengthen and tone the muscles
of the body without producing large bulky muscles. The high repetition-low
resistance movements develop a longer, leaner, and more flexible musculature.
As well as increasing cardiovascular fitness, the training serves as an
invaluable tool for improving flexibility, co-ordination, sharpening reflexes
and controlling weight. Since the body sets it’s own limits, injuries and
strains are rare and the student’s physical condition paces himself/herself
automatically. The entire muscle system of the body from the fingers
to the toes is brought into play.
provides the student with an excellent method of self-defence. It
enables them to defend themselves against an attacker from a distance as
well as at close range. By using the many kicking techniques available,
the Taekwon-Do practitioner can prevent the attacker from grabbing or striking
them. If the attacker is able to grab them, then there are a variety
of close range techniques, which include joint locks, releases, pressure
points, throws, and takedowns that the student can use.
a well-trained student will feel confident and prepared to defend himself
or herself in any situation.
are a series of pre-arranged blocks, kicks, and strikes, against imaginary
opponents. The purpose of patterns is to develop technique, balance,
breath control, co-ordination, and power. In these patterns lie the
true beauty of Taekwon-Do – combining power and grace. There are
twenty-four patterns in Taekwon-Do which range from 19 to 72 movements
each. The novice learns one pattern at each colour belt level while
black belts learn up to three at each degree stage.
are many different forms of sparring in Taekwon-Do, including pre-set,
semi-free, and free sparring. They all place students against each
other with the purpose of improving distance, timing, balance, speed, and
strategy in a controlled environment. The students are allowed to
execute a wide variety of attacking and defending techniques against each
other. Contact in sparring is not permitted due to the power developed
in the techniques.
purpose of breaking is to enable the student to develop confidence, focus,
power, and concentration while properly executing a technique. Breaking
also allows the student to see the amount of power that they are capable
of developing through training in Taekwon-Do. The more advanced breaks
demonstrate the beauty and difficulty of the flying and kicking techniques
that separate Taekwon-Do from other martial arts.
Taekwon-Do is primarily a martial art, there is also an optional sporting
side to the art. The RITA runs regular local and national tournaments
are held each year, catering for all ages and grades, and the highlight
of the year is the National Championships. At black belt level, the
opportunity is available to compete in the ITF European and World Championships.
promotes peace, harmony, and ultimately a better society. Unfortunately,
many people believe that the martial arts spawn violence. When properly
and responsibly taught, this is not true. The Taekwon-Do student
is trained to avoid conflict at all costs and only to use their skills
when all other measures have been exhausted. The philosophy of the
art can be summed up by the 5 tenets of Taekwon-Do:
is an extremely enjoyable activity, and the classes are not only great
fun, but Taekwon-Do is a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
hope that the above information has given you a better understanding of
Taekwon-Do as taught at our school. Whether your reasons for learning
are for self-defence, physical fitness, stress release, or for pure enjoyment,
our instructors will provide you with the best possible guidance and training.
all up to you - Take the first step towards a positive future!