Taekwondo is a scientific, traditional martial art, which originated in Korea. Its lessons go far beyond physical fighting techniques. It also demonstrates ways to enhance the human spirit and life by training the mind as well as the body. Today, this sport is highly recognized across the world, including at the Olympic Games. As it grows in international fame, more people are incorporating Taekwondo into their daily workout regimen.
The Origin of the Word
If you deconstruct the word “Taekwondo,” you will have three parts: “Tae,” “Kwon,” and “Do.” If translated, “Tae” means “foot,” “leg,” or “to step on,” which is the first part of the word. The second part of the word “Kwon” means “fight” or “fist,” and the last part, “Do” means “discipline” or “way.” Together, it encompasses the concepts behind Taekwondo. Understanding the origin of the word helps distinguish between the two forms of practicing Taekwondo. One is by using “fists and feet,” and the other is by using your actions to control and calm down, maintaining peace and tranquility. By using both techniques, you would be embodying the full martial arts practice, which is to use all parts of your body to cease fights and create peace.
History of Taekwondo
While it has been called several different names over centuries, Taekwondo has been in existence for approximately 5,000 years in Korea. Its original names were “Subak ” or “Tawkkyon,” which started as a defensive martial art, and then the practice morphed into a way of mind and body training. This was first witnessed in the ancient kingdom of Koguryo, and later in the Shilla period, it turned into the foundation of Hwarangdo—which assisted in producing leaders in Korea.
Practicing Taekwondo Today
During current times, Taekwondo appears very similar to other styles from Japan and China because its influence has been widespread. However, Taekwondo does differ from other Asian martial arts. Its physical movements are very active and dynamic, including multiple foot movement variations, which are in sync with the mind and life as a whole. When you practice Taekwondo, the goal is to make your mind enter a peaceful state with your movements, extending harmony to your own life as well as the community which you inhabit.