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What is Tae Kwon Do?

BarryTae Kwon-Do is a version of an ancient form of unarmed combat practised for many centuries in the Orient, perfected in its present form in Korea.

Translated from Korean, ‘Tae’ literally means to jump, kick or smash with the foot. ‘Kwon’ means to punch or destroy with the hand or fist. ‘Do’ means art, way or method. Tae Kwon-Do indicates the technique of unarmed combat for self-defence, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks, dodges and interception with the hand, arms and feet to the rapid destruction of the opponent.

To the Korean people Tae Kwon-Do is more than a mere use of skilled movements. It also implies a way of thinking and life, particularly in instilling a concept and spirit of strict self-imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral re-armament.

In these days of violence and intimidation, which seem to plague our modern societies, Tae Kwon-Do enables the weak to possess a fine weapon to defend himself or herself and defeat the opponent as well. When wrongly applied it can be a lethal weapon.

The history of Tae Kwon Do and the TAGB

davosTae Kwon do originates from fighting arts that were around more than 20 centuries ago, such as Taek Kyon and The Hwa Rang Do. It developed through Korea’s struggle after the Japanese invasion from influences such as Shotokan Karate, Soo Bakh Do and Tae Soo Do.

In 1955 General Choi Hong Hi founded Tae Kwond Do officially and formed the ITF style (international Tae Kwon Do Federation) and it was introduced to the UK in 1967. In 1980, WTF style (World Tae Kwon Do Federation) was formed which is the style that is best known as “Olympic Tae Kwon Do” which is much like a sport.

There were many attempts to unite these two federations, however these were unsuccessful due to political reasons. It was due to this that in 1983, it was decided to form, in the UK, an organisation far more democratic than that of the two current federations (ITF & WTF). This has become the basis of the Tae Kwon Do Association of Great Britain (TAGB)

At Lewes Tae Kwon Do, we therefore practice the “ITF” style, but under the TAGB. We have different patterns (katas/forms) and sparring rules than that of WTF.

Come along to find out more!