Taekwon-Do is, despite what most people think, a relatively new martial art. Developed over a lifetime and unveiled to the world by General Choi Hong-Hi on the 11th April 1955.
Korean in origin Taekwon-Do is famous for it's spectacular high kicks and it's code of ethics. Taekwon-Do aims not only to develop the student physically, but mentally too, creating an all round better person. To achieve such an effect General Choi Hong-Hi included in his art the 5 tenets - Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomnitable Spirit. By making these five elements a regular part of one's personality, General Choi believed a person could become a better member of society.
Today, original Taekwon-Do has spanwned, as do many original things, many imitators. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is definately not so with Taekwon-Do. As groups stray from the original path of Taekwon-Do their techniques and claims upon tradition become questionable. This is why it is important to maintain the high standards laid down by General Choi Hong-Hi and the International Taekwon-Do Federation.
Through the continued practice of Taekwon-Do a student can expect to achieve many physical benefits. Strenght - repetative excercises using the arms and legs greatly incease the strenght of the limbs and in turn their tone. Endurance - all of the elements of Taekwon-Do help build up a stronger body and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Flexibility - as Taekwon-Do features many high kicks, flexibility is important. This is not something that everyone has naturally, it comes through long hours of hard work. Improved flexibility will lead to less injuries and better technique. Weight loss- constant kicking and punching is a great cardio workout. You will find your weight dropping, couple this with the other benefits and Taekwon-Do will seem a much better option than sweating over machines in an over priced gym.
As a student develops in Taekwon-Do they can aspire to achieving ultimate use of their facilities. By this we mean, a student can learn how to defend him or her self using only the facilities their God has given them. Confidence in the limbs you have forged into weapons through constant practice will serve you much better than any sword or gun. Weapons may give confidence to the carier, but what happens when the weapon is taken away?. With Taekwon-Do you aim to make yourself the weapon, and so the confidence never leaves you.
Taekwon-Do is what's know as an empty hand martial art. By this we mean weapons are not used. Defence against weapons is often taught, but a student of Taekwon-Do, well versed in the art of self defence, should have no need of them. In todays modern society, possesion of a weapon could land you in jail. Unlike the feudal era in the orient, you will not be attacked on the street with a sword, spear or nunchuks. Todays weapons are more likely to be broken bottles, needles and knifes.
By practicing Taekwon-Do you will not only improve your health, make new friends and enjoy yourself, but you will also arm yourself with the means needed to defend yourself, if necessary, in an increasingly violent society.