Martial Arts Classes in Your Local Area
NSW – SYDNEY SUBURBS
United Taekwondo has locations across New South Wales, ACT, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Whether you’re in Darwin, Toowoomba, Canberra, Tamworth or Macarthur you can find a United Taekwondo class near you. Kids and adults of all ages are welcome and we will provide you with expert training to help boost your confidence and physical fitness. Contact United Taekwondo today for a free trial lesson. Contact Us
Taekwondo arose following the end of the occupation of Korea by Imperial Japan. New schools, called Kwans, were opened by Korean martial artists who had studied in Japan. Taekwondo as it is known today did not really exist at this time; each Kwan taught its own techniques. These varying techniques were subsequently adopted by the South Korean military and began gaining popularity among civilians.
Impressed by a military demonstration, South Korean president, Syngman Rhee, declared that the Kwans contrasting styles be unified into one form, which later became known as Tae Soo Do – tae meaning to stomp, su meaning hand, and do meaning way or discipline.
South Korean Army General, Choi Hong Hi, proposed the name be changed to Tae Kwon Do, replacing Su, meaning hand, with Kwon, meaning fist. And in 1959, the Korean Taekwondo Association (KTA) was formed to solidify the unification of Korean Martial Arts. Followed by the establishment of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) by General Choi Hong Hi in 1966, a standard form was introduced worldwide.
To avoid North Korean influence on Taekwondo during the Cold War, South Korea withdrew its support for the ITF in 1973. The ITF continued to operate independently and published the Encyclopaedia of Taekwondo in 1987. The ITF now operates as three separate federations.
Also in 1973, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) was established to promote the sport worldwide. And Taekwondo is now one of only two Asian martial arts to become an official Olympic event – the first medal being given out just a few kilometres from Macarthur, at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Taekwondo is a martial art form that emphasises striking techniques, particularly head kicks, jumping and spinning kicks. In competition, more points are awarded for the use of spinning kicks. The base stance of Taekwondo is different to other styles because it employs a narrow stance for fast kicking techniques rather than a wide stance which provides more balance.
Much of Taekwondo’s teachings are founded in what’s known as the Theory of Power. This theory, popularised by General Choi Hong Hi, suggests that the power of a strike is increased exponentially by the speed of the strike, rather than the mass of the person throwing the strike. Therefore, speed is more important than size.
Choi was also a proponent of the relax/strike principle – meaning practitioners should allow their muscles to relax in between striking and blocking – and tense only when throwing techniques at the opponent. This also helps to conserve energy.
Unlike other martial arts, ranks vary depending on the style of Taekwondo that is taught. Ranks can be separated into junior and senior belts. These belts range in colour from the lowest rank of white to the higher ranks of red or brown. How many belts there are is dependent on the style.
The senior ranks are known as the black belts and can vary in “dans” or “degrees” e.g. a third degree black belt is equivalent to a third dan. Black belts typically have stripes to indicate which degree black belt you are, you must ‘earn your stripes’ to advance to a higher degree.
To advance to the next highest rank, you must demonstrate your skills in front of your teacher which can include the execution of patterns, a demonstration of power and technique e.g. board breaking, sparring, physical fitness and answering questions about the art to demonstrate your knowledge. Improving your rank can take anywhere from months to years to accomplish.
To learn how United Taekwondo can help you develop physically and mentally, contact United Taekwondo today for a free trial lesson. Contact Us