When it comes to Taekwon-Do, people think of it as the martial art which only incorporates kicks into their fighting system and kicks only. Unfortunately, the truth is far from it. Let me tell you why.
What is Taekwon-Do?
Taekwon-Do is an unarmed form of combat which utilizes both arms and feet to neutralize an opponent. The word Tae means kicking or flying, to break or smash with foot. “Kwon” denotes chiefly the fists; to punch or destroy using the hand or fist. “Do” means the art or the way. Collectively it means the way of the feet and hands. From the definition, itself you can get a clear picture of what this martial art is about.
Don’t you think a martial art where they only use their legs for everything sounds a bit odd? How do you block those kicks then?
Taekwon-Do is renowned for its devastating kicks! Taekwon-Do is the only scientific martial arts that uses the laws of physics. Some martial artists being able to generate over 1000 kg of force in some of the kicks, that is more than enough to break or crack some ribs, in some cases can even cause death. These kicks aren’t the only thing Taekwon-Do is known for. It incorporates many forms of punches and strikes specifically designed to hit specific places. The art itself is completely scientific incorporating Newtonian laws and other branches of science such as Biology for the human anatomy.
This art was founded by General Choi Hong Hi in Korea, when Korea was unified back then. You can learn more about the history form ITF’s official website here.
Some of the hand techniques from Taekwondo
Why is it that we only see kicks in Taekwon-Do?
There is always a reason. There are two major forms of Taekwon-Do. Two of them are represented by two different federations. ITF, International Taekwon-Do Federation and WTF, World Taekwondo Federation.
Source: Men’s Health Magazine
ITF Taekwon-Do is known as the Korean Martial Arts of Self Defense whereas WTF Taekwondo is considered an Olympic sport. I’ll not speak of the reason for separation of federations or style in this post since its long history lesson and it is not pretty. Due to soaring popularity of Olympic events the mass population has come to known Taekwon-Do as an Olympic sport. Now you know better!
ITF Taekwon-Do is known as the Korean Martial Arts of Self Defense whereas WTF Taekwondo is considered an Olympic sport.
In ITF tournaments punching is allowed to the face and torso (chest and stomach, above the belt) whereas in WTF tournaments punching to the face isn’t allowed and only 10% of attacks can be punches. This is the origin of the no hand rumor. Although ITF Taekwon-Do and WTF Taekwondo both teaches hand strikes, but in WTF Taekwondo due to is sports based nature; hand strikes are completely eliminated, and in many schools’ students are not even introduced to the huge arsenal of hand strikes Taekwon-Do is armed with. It’s really sad if you ask me! Difference between ITF style and WTF will be discussed in another post.
WTF Taekwondo due to is sports based nature; hand strikes are completely eliminated, and in many schools’ students are not even introduced to the huge arsenal of hand strikes Taekwon-Do is armed with.
Which style do I follow?
I follow ITF, International Taekwon-Do Federation.
So, the burning question you might be having, which style do YOU choose?!
Answer is up to you. If you want to pick up Taekwon-Do up for sports you can join WTF schools or if you want to learn the martial art for self defense and use your powerful kicks to really do some damage you can join ITF school. If ITF schools aren’t available go join the schools that are available to you. Martial arts still save lives. Ask the army!
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