Taekwondo is a martial art that in "todays" form of self defense has evolved by combining many different styles of martial arts that existed in Korea over the last 2,000 years (50 B.C.) and martial arts styles from countries that surround Korea.
From "Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts," written by Donn F. Draeger and Robert W. Smith; "Taekwondo is an empty-hand combat form that entails the use of the whole body. Tae means "to Kick" or "Smash with the feet," Kwon implies "punching" or "destroying with the hand or fist," and Do means "way" or "method." Taekwondo thus, is the technique of unarmed combat for self defense that involves the skillful application of techniques that include punching, jumping kicks, blocks, dodges, parrying actions with hands and feet. It is more than a mere physical fighting skill, representing as it does a way of thinking and a pattern of life requiring strict discipline. It is a system of training both the mind and the body in which great emphasis is placed on the development of the trainee's moral character."
Historically, it is the Silla's Hwarang warriors that are credited with the growth and spread of Taekwondo throughout Korea. Silla was the smallest of the three kingdoms and was always under attack by Japanese Pirates. During this time a few select Sillan warriors were given training in Taek Kyon by the early masters from Koguryo and became known as the Hwarang. The Hwarang set up a military academy for the sons of royalty in Silla called Hwarang-do, and studied Taek Kyon, history, Confucian Philosophy, ethics, Buddhist Morality, and military tactics. The guiding principles of the Hwarang warriors were loyalty, filial duty, trustworthiness, valor, and justice, the Five Codes of Human Conduct. Taek Kyon was spread throughout Korea because the Hwarang traveled all around the peninsula to learn about the other regions and people.
Today, The original Five Codes of Human Conduct have been updated...
- Indomitable Spirit
- Self Control
Why study Taekwondo?
My life...and the lessons I impart to my students are based upon these 5 Pillars or Codes of Conduct. Keeping these principles in focus allows me to live a Black Belt Life, empowering others, helping them overcome obstacles to accomplish their goals. I think that's a pretty good reason to study Taekwondo, don't you?
Look for my weekly blog every Monday providing insights on "Living a Black Belt Life" and please share this with your friends and family.