It is “the art of striking with the feet and hands”, whose philosophy is based on five principles: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control and Indomitable Spirit.
Taekwondo is a martial art of Korean origin that stands out for the variety and spectacularity of its kick techniques ((chagui)), it also includes hand and fist techniques (chirugui, chigui and chumok), elbow, foot and even the knee (for example, for breaking boards, bricks or other objects).
Taekwondo is also composed of very varied personal defense techniques such as grabs, locks, dislocations or sweeps.
Their movements make it a very effective martial art in the standing fight, and especially in long and medium distance, where it is best to take advantage of the strength and speed in the legs developed by its practitioners.
With just over 50 years old, it is one of the best known martial arts, practiced in more than 144 countries, estimated at more than 30 million people.
It was an exhibition sport in the Olympiad 24 held in Seoul in 1988 and in the 25 Olympic Games held in Barcelona in 1992. Finally, during the 103rd Session of the International Olympic Committee held in Paris, France, on September 4, 1994, it was agreed to the incorporation of Taekwondo as an official sport in the Olympic Games.
It made its official appearance as an Olympic sport in the Olympic Games of Sydney 2000, where they fought combat competitions.
Characteristics of the different styles of taekwondo
The differences between both styles reside mainly in the way of practicing the martial art, the requirements demanded for the promotion of degrees, the forms and especially the sports regulations.
The forms are sequences of defense and attack movements that simulate imaginary combat with one or several adversaries. They are known as tulles in the ITF style and as pumses in the WTF style. They are the equivalent in Taekwondo to kata in karate. These forms are directly related to the grades (Kup or Dan), and are memorized and repeated in order to increase the balance, elasticity, speed, concentration and mastery of the different movements.
The degrees: They are divided into KUP and DAN. The KUP grades are associated with colored belts and follow an inverse numbering and the DAN degrees to the black belt. In each, there are 10 degrees, because the number 10 in Korean culture symbolizes perfection.
In order for a student to advance to a higher grade, he must take a test in which his skills are evaluated.
Equipment needed to practice taekwondo
To practice taekwondo, you need a Dobok (practice suit consisting of pants and jacket) and a Ti (the belt that indicates the degree of the practitioner).
The Dobok for KUP grades are completely white, usually with embroidery on the back and some logo on the chest or arm. The Dobok for DAN degrees (black belts) have black zones (the neck, the edges of the jacket or lines on the pants, depending on the federation).
In combat, the use of polypropylene gloves for the fists (called pads) is usually required, as well as protective boots of the same material for the feet. The use of a mouth guard and inguinal protector is also usually mandatory. Depending on the level of the participants, you can use protective helmet and breastplate, shin guards and forearm protectors.
Benefits for children when practicing taekwondo
The one who is capable of defeating others is not stronger, but the one who is capable of defeating himself.
Already considered as an Olympic sport, taekwondo has become for those who practice it seriously, in a way of life, an instrument to achieve physical and mental balance, resulting in happy, safe and successful people.
Taekwondo combines elements that lead to the realization of the human being in all senses. The principles on which this martial art is based, make it a fascinating and very beneficial disciple that is available to everyone, regardless of their age or sex.
Improving their quality of life, day by day, adults, youth and children practice it, resulting in people with the excellent physical condition, self-confident, self-disciplined and with high self-esteem.
There are hundreds of cases of children who, when practicing this sport, have shown positive changes in their behavior, both at home and at school and in the environment in which they usually develop.
This is because taekwondo tempers the character of children; for those who are very aggressive, they become calmer and more aware, while for introverted and very shy children it gives them more confidence, initiative and motivates them to learn to value themselves.
Other benefits you can get from taekwondo are
- Increase cardiovascular resistance
- Improves muscle strength and strength.
- Increase flexibility
- Power the knowledge of one’s own body.
- It helps to develop coordination skills better and faster.
- Provides control of a high level of basic movements that will allow in the future to perform optimal technical sports work.
Psychological and social benefits
- Your mind will develop the bases of concentration.
- Children become more disciplined.
- The security itself that is obtained with taekwondo, is because children realize they are able to dominate their body in the environment, also making their autestima rise.
- Through different tasks and varied exercises, the child is fostered and fostered by fellowship and teamwork, as well as the importance of each individual within the group.
- With the practice of taekwondo values such as honesty, loyalty, respect, humility, love of neighbor is fostered.
- The child obtains cultural teachings that will allow them to learn about customs, traditions and ways of thinking of another race, which makes them more tolerant and supportive.
- Parents should encourage sports at home, be aware that if children do not practice from now, they probably will not do so during their adult life.
- The taekwondo can be practiced from the age of 4, even you can also enroll in the practices, offer your children models with which they identify and avoiding so that their heroes are fictitious characters.
- It is very important that parents, once the child begins to practice this or another sport, highlight the importance of discipline, responsibility and honesty with their usual tasks, but above all who is happy with what they do and everything that surrounds him, that way he will put all his enthusiasm.
- Remember to parents that the basic training of taekwondo is preferably to defend themselves, not to attack. It is a channel in the management of aggression not to exercise violence.