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Taekwondo

The Martial Art of Taekwondo

Taekwondo do is a korean martial art that was developed around the 1940s and 1950s after World War II and durring the Korean War. It has its roots in traditional korean martial arts that were practiced in ancient korea by warriors training for combat. It was developed as a modern day combat training and gained popularity in the 1960s when the International Taekwondo Federation was established. It was recently added into the Olympic Games in the 2000 olympics as well.

Basic Concepts

Taekwondo is a striking oriented martial art which is known for its kicking techniques under the presumption that the leg is the strongest weapon on the body. It also puts emphasis on speed, precision, and balance durring striking rather than pure strength.

Also having its roots in traditional asian martial arts Taekwondo practices relaxation and mediation along with breathing techniques to maintain balance and focus. Also there is a focus on mental discipline, a sense of justice, and self-confidence which are all meant to provide mental training along with the physical, conquering mind and body.

Stances

Stances are the foundation of this martial art and provide its users with a versatile striking arsenal.  There are numerous stances which can be used each with its own advantages and disadvantages allowing for different kinds of strikes or blocks. A variety of stances are practiced by a taekwondo student allowing him to be comfortable striking from anywhere. For a list of various stances click here.

Punches or Hand Strikes

Taekwondo teaches a variety of hand striking techniques, some more oriented towards regular punching and some more irregular and precise strikes. A very powerful knockout punch taught in this martial art is the spinning back fist. Although they are banned in  lot of taekwondo competitions they are legal in mixed martial arts and have been used in the highest level of competition as a strong, unexpected knockout blow.

There are also specialized strikes like the knife fist which is a karate chop like strike, the fingertips are used fo pressure point strikes, and open palm strikes are taught too. There are also the more powerful eagle strike which is an upward wrist strike to the bottom of the jaw and the tiger claw which is generally a neck strike.

Kicking Techniques

Kicking techniques taught in taekwondo are extremely well known for their combined speed and power At first the basic kicks are taught then spins and combinations are learned from there. These kicks become extremely fast and precise in the hands of an expert taekwondo user. Simply explaining these kicks wouldnt do them justice but this video should be able to do a better job

Breaking Things

A taekwondo practitioner uses a hand strike to crack a brick.

As a martial art taekwondo also focuses on the art of breaking inanimate objects to demonstrate the strength, accuracy, and speed of their striking techniques. The objects broken depend on the technique being implied to break them but include boards, ice, bats, and bricks. There are also speed breaking or power breaking for practicing different techniques. This practice of breaking objects is necessary because practicing full power strikes like these could easily injure an opponent in any fighting situation. Therefor this practice proves to be necessary as well as demonstrative of this martial art’s power.

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