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Taekwondo is a popular Korean martial art with a huge following around the world dedicated to teaching all ages from all backgrounds with tried and tested instruction techniques that is now an Olympic sport. To join and try Taekwondo find a club in your area.
And always remember that meditation has traditionally been the cornerstone to any good martial art.
Taekwondo means "Art of kicking and punching". Modern taekwondo adopted linear karate style attacks, circular movements from Kung fu along with traditional Korean kicking techniques, and is a combination of the traditional korean arts of hyung, taekyon, subak and kata's from the Okinawan karate style of Shuri and Nana.
Taekwondo uses hand techniques but is more inclined to focus on kicking which is the taekwondo martial art trademark.
Because taekwondo is mostly a kicking martial art, when students start a class the warm up focus is on stretching the legs, hips and back whilst using wide, long stances to strengthen the thighs.
History (one possibility)
Martial arts in Korea was usually passed down from father to son until 1909 when the Japanese annexed Korea and banned the practice of all martial arts training in the country for 36 years during the Japanese occupation until 1945, when Korea gained independence once more.
During the martial arts ban men would train in secret at remote Buddhist temples learning from monks and then teaching martial arts to fellow Koreans in undergroud martial arts clubs. Some Koreans went to China or Japan to work or study and whilst in these counties practiced Kung fu, karate and any other martial art that was on offer.
The native Korean style of taekyon was being secretly practice by Duk Ki Song and ll Dong Han, keeping the style alive.
In 1943 the Japanese relaxed the overall martial arts ban and allowed Japanese karate, judo and Chinese kung fu to be practiced until Korea was liberated from Japanese control in 1945.
In January 1946 Choi Hong Hi a Korean army lieutenant started to teach taekyon to the army and some american soldiers.
After 1945 a resurgence of native Korean martial arts that were combined with judo and karate, a kind of synthesis of styles had started to emerged as a Korean martial art, with Korean hybrid martial arts schools known as kwans opening up right across the country.
There were 5 major original kwans (schools) up till around 1953 when another 3 kwans opened, and in the early 1960s at least 4 more kwans opened their doors to martial art enthusiasts.
In 1949 Choi Hong Hi now a lieutenant colonel gave a public display on American soil of the taekyon style of Korean martial art, this being the first display of Korean martial arts in America.
In 1952 the Korean president ordered that the army should learn Korean martial arts as part of their formal training.
April 11 1955 saw all the kwan master and taeyon promoters meet at a conference, agreeing to standardize the Korean martial arts styles to form what is now known as tae kwon do. All of the kwans now taught the same style of martial art with all the same rules to abide by. In 1961 any kwans that did not teach the standard taekwondo style were ordered by the government to conform, this is when the Korean Taekwondo Association (KTA) was created. Taekwondo was starting to spread across the world and the president of the KTA (now) General Choi Hong Hi formed the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), since then the taekwondo martial art has grown to clubs all over the world with 10's of thousands of people learning and practicing taekwondo everyday.
Ap chagi (front snap kick)
Ap miro chagi (front push kick)
Yop chagi (side kick)
Dollyo chagi (roundhouse kick)
Dwit yop chagi (turning back kick)
Huryeo chagi (hook kick)
Naeryo chagi (axe/downward kick)
Half moon kick (spinning axe kick)
Bandai chagi (crescent kick)
Bituro chagi (dragon kick)
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Famous Martial Artists
Some of the more well known kung fu artists that are world famous come from being on film or television, such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan (wiki - Youtube), Jet Li (wiki - Youtube), Michelle Yeoh (wiki - Youtube) Chinese Kung Fu film and Television stars and the Wing Chun master that these martial some artist studied at one time Ip Man. American and European include Chuck Norris (wiki - Youtube), Lucy Liu (wiki - Youtube), Elvis Presley (wiki - Youtube), John Saxon (wiki - Youtube), Jason Statham (wiki - Youtube), Dwayne Johnson (wiki - Youtube), Jean Claude Van Damme (wiki - Youtube) and David Carradine (wiki - Youtube) to name but a few.