ABOUT TAE KWON DO
What is Tae Kwon Do?
Although you may be entertained by the smashing of boards and the spectacular jumping and spinning kicks which characterise Tae Kwon Do, the goal of Tae Kwon Do is actually to improve and enhance the people who practice it.
Tae Kwon Do brings physical well-being, as it is one of the most aerobic styles of martial arts and has an emphasis on flexibility. The aim of Tae Kwon Do is to gain fluidity in motion; grace and precision in movement. Power derives from physical harmony, timing and placement.
Practice brings self-strength, self-knowledge, self-confidence, and self-control.
Tae Kwon Do History:
There was an ancient Korean martial art called taekkyeon, which was banned under the Japanese occupation of Korea 1910-1945. Japanese karate called kongsudo or tangsudo was introduced to Korea just after liberation from Japan by Koreans who had learned in Japan. After these first schools became established, Korean nationalism led to the development of a new art that was clearly Korean. It was influenced by memories of past Korean martial arts, Japanese karate and by a desire to create an art that could be practiced as a competitive sport.
By the end of the Korean War, nine schools of martial arts had emerged, and South Korean President Syngman Rhee ordered that the various schools unify under a single system. The Korean Taekwondo Association (KTA) was formed in 1959 to facilitate the unification, and shortly thereafter, Tae Kwon Do made its debut worldwide. Tae Kwon Do was adopted by the Korean military - hence its focus on fitness and flexibility. General Choi Hong Hi (who had a black belt in Shotokan karate) was the author of the first English Tae Kwon Do syllabus book published in 1965. General Choi is regarded by ITF Tae Kwon Do practitioners as the founder of Tae Kwon Do. In 1972, the Korea Taekwondo Association Central Dojang was opened.
As with all martial arts Tae Kwon Do has numerous splinter organisations. The largest groupings are the three International Taekwondo Federations "ITF" (based in Canada and two in Austria), the World Taekwondo Federation "WTF" and the Korean Taekwondo Association "KTA".
The first World Tae Kwon Do Championships was held in 1973. In 1980 The WTF was granted recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the 83rd General Session in Moscow. Tae Kwon Do was a demonstration sport in the Olympic Games of 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 - finally being granted full Olympic sport status for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Great Britain has not yet won a medal at Olympic level, but both the men's and women's teams are highly regarded.
Tae Kwon Do is one of the most popular martial arts in the world. Although competition has always been a significant feature of Tae Kwon Do, many practitioners study Tae Kwon Do for personal development, to learn self-defence, or for a combination of reasons. Our club ethos is to regard Tae Kwon Do as a pathway for personal development rather than a sport.
Tenets of Tae Kwon Do:
The Tenets of Tae Kwon Do are at the foundation of the Art, which is concerned with the positive development of the total individual. The intention is to develop a person who is both a positive influence on those around them and the community.
The Tae Kwon Do Student Oath:
Although somewhat cheesy in the cynical world of today, the oath is intended to remind students of their responsibilities as they learn a fighting art.
I shall observe the tenets of Tae Kwon Do
I shall respect all instructors and seniors
I shall never misuse Tae Kwon Do
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice
I shall strive to build a more peaceful world
Tae Kwon Do Etiquette:
Traditional Tae Kwon Do Dojangs (training halls) have a strictly hierarchical and complex etiquette designed in a military fashion to inculcate obedience, respect and courtesy. These are our simplified rules of etiquette reflecting our small class sizes and our ethos of friendly, co-operative learning.
Upon entering the Dojang students shall bow at the door and then to the instructor if he is in the training area. If the class has already begun before you enter, you will, after bowing, wait for the instructor's acknowledgment of your bow and his permission to join the class
When class is to officially begin, the instructor will clap his hands, at which time all students in the training area will stop what they are doing, face the instructor in the position of attention, and bow to the instructor. The instructor will return the bow, and ask students to form up. Students will line up according to rank and seniority, the highest ranking member to the front right as they face the instructor
Should the Head Instructor enter the Dojang, the presiding instructor (or highest ranking member), will call the class to attention, have them turn and face the Head Instructor, and bow. The Head Instructor will return the bow and either have them resume their training or instruct the class on what they are to do next
If it should be necessary for a student to leave the Dojang before the class is over, he must get permission from the Head Instructor, unless he received permission prior to the class
No one is allowed to wear shoes in the Dojang. No one is permitted to chew gum or smoke in the Dojang. There shall be no food or drinks in the Dojang training area
Students should exercise care to keep their uniform clean and pressed at all times. Students would must respect and take care of their own bodies and keep themselves clean. Fingernails and toenails should be clipped and kept short to help prevent injuries to oneself and other members. No metal of any sort, except eye glasses or a wedding ring, should be worn during class. No head-bands or other articles of clothing should be worn, other than the Dobok (Uniform) and Dee (Belt)
The training place must always be kept clean and empty of any distracting items. Members should, without having to be asked, help keep the Dojang clean. Every student is responsible for their valuables
Warm-up exercises before training and loosening-up exercises after training must be practiced by every participant in order to prepare the body and mind. Failure to do these exercises could result in pulled muscles and a lack of concentration on the part of the participant. When training, participants must be in proper physical condition and have focused concentration. Failure to do this could lead to serious injury
At the end of class, students will again line up according to rank and seniority. The students stand will turn toward the Instructor, and at the instruction "Charyot" and "Kyung Ye" bow to them. The participants should, turn 90 degrees to their right, adjust their uniforms and belts, turn to the front, and bow to the instructor. The second most senior will call the class to turn and face the most senior member of the class. Second belt will call attention stance with "Charyot", and bow "Kyung Ye". The senior belt will say "Tae Kwon" and the second belt will call "Class Dismissed"
Never ask to learn advanced techniques or the next teul (pattern). The instructor will teach you what you are qualified to learn at your level. It is disrespectful to ask for additional training when you may not yet have perfected what you are presently working on.
Instructors should be addressed as Mr followed by their last name (Mr Davis, Mr Marsden, Mr Edwards, Mr Holweger, Mr Richards.). Masters, (7th Dans or above) should always, whether in or out of the Dojang, be addressed as Master. Grandmasters (9th Dan) must be addressed as "Grandmaster". Masters should NEVER be addressed by their first names. It is a sign of disrespect.