In Korean, tae means “to strike or break with foot”; kwon means “to strike or break with fist”; and do: means “way”, “method”, or “path”. Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as “the way of the hand and the foot. The name taekwondo is also written as taekwon-do, tae kwon-do, or tae kwon do by various organizations, based on historical, philosophical, or political reasons.
Taekwondo is a martial arts approach, which recently invested more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing our spirit and life through training our body and mind. Day has become a worldwide sport that has international appeal and a secure Olympic Games.
First, Taekwondo is the enlightened way to use the “Tae” and “Kwon” which is their “fist” and “m”, or part of your body that represents the fist and foot.
Second, Taekwondo is a way to control the combat situation, which is due to a peaceful situation. This idea comes from the importance of Tae Kwon “to put fists under control”. Thus Taekwondo means “the right way to use all parts of the body to stop fighting and to help create world peace.”
Taekwondo has developed along the Korean history and has been performed in various labels throughout its history. Korea, Taekwondo began defense martial art called “Taekkyon” or “Subak” and create a way that challenges the body and mind in the ancient kingdom of Koguryo as “sunbae. In time it became the backbone of Shilla hwarangdo focuses on producing leaders in the country. Today, Taekwondo is the national sport of South Korea.
Taekwondo today is similar to the arts in other Asian countries and to combine concepts and ideas with them, because throughout history has incorporated a variety of styles, which are the countries that surround them, such as Japan and China.
But Taekwondo is different from many oriental martial arts, in some respects.
1. Physically very dynamic with active movements that include a mirage foot skills.
2. The physical movement in accordance with the thoughts and life in general.
3. A dynamic Poomsae (see Poomsae in martial arts) from another angle. Taekwondo can be characterised by unity: the unity of body, mind and life and Poomsae unity and confrontation.
When you participate in Taekwondo, you just have to think and synchronize your mind with your movements, and spread this harmony to your life and society. Thus the principle of physical movements, the principle of mind training, and unity in life to be intact.
I shall observe the tenets of Taekwon-Do.
All students must swear to carefully observe, acknowledge and live by each one of the taekwon-do tenets. Here is a brief and basic explanation of each:
I shall respect the instructor and seniors.
A student vows to respect their instructors and those senior to them (both in age and rank). An instructor must also act respectfully to all students and persons in order to be respected and therefore not misusing Taekwon-Do.
I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do.
One will never misuse Taekwon-Do to harm other, for their own personal gain or for any other manner that is unjust (this one is particularly important in any martial art, not just Taekwon-Do, as a trained martial artist could easily kill a person in unarmed close combat).
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
The 4th line, “I shall be a champion of freedom and justice” can apply to many areas of life and although many may think one would have to do something amazing to achieve this, this part of the oath can be respected by even the littlest things in ones daily activity. If one becomes more open-minded to understanding others ideologies or the way others go about their lives instead of being quick to judge, then maybe the world would be a more understanding and accepting place. Thus allowing people to have the freedom they deserve. By accepting this belief one is bringing justice to this world and therefore being a champion of justice. As we often see, conflicts can occur over common misconceptions of information. One must understand the full story and have all the facts before he can truly make a proper judgement.
I shall build a more peaceful world.
The final line of the oath is “I shall build a more peaceful world”. One can also easily obtain this goal by going about their daily lives in a more peaceful manner. If everyone did this, the world would obviously become a more peaceful place. As we often see, conflicts can occur over common misconceptions of information. One must understand the full story and have all the facts before he can truly make a proper judgement. However, this does not mean a student cannot defend themselves against aggression directed towards themselves as that would defeat some of the purpose of Taekwondo, an art of unarmed self-defence. That does not mean though however a student can provoke aggression towards another individual, as that would breaking the oath. As we often see, conflicts can occur over common misconceptions of information. One must understand the full story and have all the facts before he can truly make a proper judgement.
There are five tenets defined in the ITF.
1. Courtesy: Showing courtesy to all, respecting others, having manners as well as maintaining the appropriate etiquette at all times, both within and outside the dojang (??) (designated training area).
2. Integrity: Although it may be similar, this form of integrity takes on a more wider role then defined in the common dictionary. In Taekwondo, integrity means not only to determine what is right or wrong but also having the conscience to feel guilt if one has done wrong and to have the integrity stand up for what is right.
3. Perseverance: One will persevere time and time again until they have achieved a result which is adequate towards what one was trying to achieve.
4. Self-control: This means to not only have control over one’s physical acts, but also their mental thoughts and actions.
5. Indomitable spirit: To have indomitable spirit means to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what odds you are up against, and to always give 100% effort in whatever you do.
Ranks, belts, and promotion:
Taekwondo ranks are typically separated into “junior” and “senior,” or “student” and “instructor,” sections.
The junior section typically consists of ten ranks indicated by the Korean word geup (also Romanized as gup or kup). The junior ranks are usually identified by belts of various colors, depending on the school, so these ranks are sometimes called “color belts”. Geup rank may be indicated by stripes on belts rather than by colored belts. Students begin at tenth geup (often indicated by a white belt) and advance toward first geup (often indicated by a red belt with a black stripe).
The senior section is typically made up of nine ranks. These ranks are called dan, also referred to as “black belts” or “degrees” (as in “third dan” or “third-degree black belt”). Black belts begin at first degree and advance to second, third, and so on. The degree is often indicated on the belt itself with stripes, Roman numerals, or other methods; but sometimes black belts are plain and unadorned regardless of rank.
To advance from one rank to the next, students typically complete promotion tests in which they demonstrate their proficiency in the various aspects of the art before a panel of judges or their teacher. Promotion tests vary from school to school, but may include such elements as the execution of patterns, which combine various techniques in specific sequences; the breaking of boards to demonstrate the ability to use techniques with both power and control; sparring and self-defense to demonstrate the practical application and control of techniques; and answering questions on terminology, concepts and history to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the art. For higher dan tests, students are sometimes required to take a written test or submit a research paper in addition to taking the practical test.
Promotion from one geup to the next can proceed rapidly in some schools, since schools often allow geup promotions every two, three, or four months. Students of geup rank learn the most basic techniques first, and then move on to more advanced techniques as they approach first dan. Many of the older and more traditional schools often take longer to allow students to test for higher ranks than newer, more contemporary schools, as they may not have the required testing intervals.
In contrast, promotion from one dan to the next can take years. The general rule is that a black belt may advance from one rank to the next only after the number of years equivalent to the current rank. For example, a newly-promoted third-degree black belt may not be allowed to advance to fourth-degree until four years have passed. Some organizations also have age requirements related to dan promotions, and may grant younger students poom ? (junior black belt) ranks rather than dan ranks until they reach a certain age.
Black belt ranks may have titles associated with them, such as “master” and “instructor” but taekwondo organizations vary widely in rules and standards when it comes to ranks and titles. What holds true in one organization may not hold true in another, as is the case in many martial art systems. For example, achieving first dan ranking with three years’ training might be typical in one organization, but fast in another organization, and likewise for other ranks. Similarly, the title for a given dan rank in one organization might not be the same as the title for that dan rank in another organization.
In the International Taekwon-Do Federation, instructors holding 1st to 3rd dan are called Boosabum (assistant instructor), those holding 4th to 6th dan are called Sabum (Instructor), those holding 7th to 8th dan are called Sahyun (master), and those holding 9th dan are called Saseong (grand master). This system does not, however, necessarily apply to other taekwondo organizations.
Since taekwondo is developed in several different kwans, there are several different expressions of taekwondo philosophy. For example, the tenets of the ITF are said to be summed up by the last two phrases in the ITF Student Oath: “I shall be a champion of freedom and justice” and “I shall build a more peaceful world.” Many forms of Tae Kwon Do, however, are based on what are called the “Five Tenets of Tae Kwon Do”. These tenets are: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, and Indomitable Spirit.