What is Tae Kwon Do?


Tae Kwon Do is a fantastic activity for the entire family.  Regardless of age and ability, students of Tae Kwon Do will enjoy improved physical fitness, flexibility, and strength while reducing stress.  All sports teach their athletes different lessons.  However, Tae Kwon Do strives to teach core character building philosophies or tenets through movement, discipline, and hard work.

What is Tae Kwon Do?

origin2Tae Kwon Do, translated as “The Way of the Hand and Foot,” is a Korean martial art characterized by fast, high and spinning kicks.  There are five main objectives in Tae Kwon Do:

  1. Develop an appreciation for Tae Kwon Do as a sport and an art
  2. Achieve physical fitness through positive participation
  3. Improve mental discipline and build confidence
  4. Learn self-defense skills
  5. Develop a sense of responsibility for oneself and others

In the practice of Tae Kwon Do, there are four main disciplines studied, each playing an important role in developing a well-rounded and well-trained artist:

  • Poomsae (Forms): A series of movements for offense and defense techniques designed to express the style of conduct in which mental strength, Tae Kwon Do spirit, and physical refinements manifest.
  • Sparring: The sport of engagement in which athletes test their physical, mental and spiritual limits while attempting to achieve the highest number of points in a full-contact match.
  • Self-defense: Attaining the confidence and technical skill to defend oneself in the most antagonistic of situations.
  • Board Breaking: The physical expression of mental strength and breaking down barriers

When learned together, these disciplines teach the student valuable skills in technique, focus, patience, perseverance, self-control, and self-confidence.

Tae Kwon Do in the Olympics

Tae Kwon Do made its first appearance on the Olympic stage as a demonstration sport in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and again in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.  It became an official Olympic sport in 1994 and was accepted as an official medal sport for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and has continued to be so ever since.

In Olympic-style Tae Kwon Do, athletes spar as individuals in “rings.”  Athletes attempt to accumulate the most points by landing kicks on the targeted chest gear (hogu) and head.  Higher points are scored per kick based on technique difficulty.

“Tae Kwon Do represents sport in its purest form – an individual display of speed and skill.
It is safe, fun and accessible, positioning itself as a truly global sport.”

– World Tae Kwon Do Federation