What Is Tae Kwon Do?

Tae Kwon Do is a martial art founded in Korea, which has become popular all over the world. The definition of Tae kwon Do is:

  • Tae – “To strike or kick with the foot”, it also means to “jump”
  • Kwon – “To strike or block with the hand”, It also means “fist”
  • Do – “The way of” or “art”

All together, Tae Kwon Do means: “the way of the hand and foot”, or “the art of foot and hand fighting”.


Tae Kwon Do Disciplines

The art of Tae kwon Do is comprised of four disciplines:

  1. Forms (Hyungs)
  2. Sparring (Dae Lyun)
  3. Self-defense
  4. Break-test

Development of all four disciplines is necessary to be successful in Tae Kwon Do. Each discipline is described more fully in other sections.


Objectives of Tae Kwon Do

  1. To develop an appreciation of Tae Kwon Do as an art
  2. To achieve physical fitness through positive participation
  3. To improve mental discipline and emotional equanimity
  4. To learn self-defense skills
  5. To develop a sense of responsibility for oneself and others


Ethics of Tae Kwon Do

Hwa Rang Do Code of Honor

Tae Kwon Do is a military art, and is strongly influenced by the ancient beliefs of the Hwa Rang Do:

  1. Serve your lord with loyalty
  2. Serve your parents with filial piety
  3. Trust your friends
  4. Never retreat from battle
  5. When taking life, be selective

The Hwa Rang Do code of honor is alive in modern Tae Kwon Do Training.


Tae Kwon Do Training – “Code of Honor”

These elements are used as a guide for the moral development of students and the art:

  1. Loyalty to one’s Nation
  2. Filial piety to one’s parents
  3. Righteous obligations between teacher and students
  4. Trust between friends
  5. Discretion in killing
  6. Put into practice what is preached
  7. Tae Kwon Do courtesy
  8. Cultivation of capability


Tenets of Tae Kwon Do

  • Courtesy (Ye Ui) – To be thoughtful and considerate of others. Tae Kwon Do practitioners (both students and instructors) should be polite, and show consideration for others.
  • Integrity (Yom Chi) – Integrity describes how you should interact with others. To be honest and good, earn respect and trust.
  • Perseverance (In Nae) – Internal drive. Challenges allow us to improve ourselves and, therefore, should not be avoided.
  • Self-Control (Kuk Gi) – To have control of your body and mind. A Tae kwon Do student should practice controlling his actions and reactions.
  • Indomitable Spirit (Baekjool) – To have courage in the face of adversity. A tae Kwon Do student should never be dominated by, or have his spirit broken by another.


Elements of Tae Kwon Do Training

There are ten elements of Tae Kwon Do training:

  1. Gaze (Shi Sun)
  2. Yell (Ki Hali)
  3. Shift of weight (Balance)
  4. Accuracy in attack and defense
  5. Control of distance
  6. Control of breathing
  7. Flexibility of body
  8. Confidence
  9. Coordination in rhythm of strength (balance/power/speed)
  10. Spiritual strength

A student cannot advance and succeed without the development of these elements.