The definition of Taekwondo is to strike or break with the foot. This is a glimpse into the focus and foundation of this practice and the history of Taekwondo. Built with long and deep traditions all martial arts are deeper than just what you see. Never simply the physical movement there is a deep resonance to what lies at the heart and mind of this practice.
The basis for many of the martial arts was to give the military a hand to hand form of combat. However, the soldiers chosen to learn this art were special and given the name of Twarag. These individual excelled at strength and speed. Once they had these important basics down they morphed this practice into a way to survive.
To have the name Twarag meant that you developed more than just your body. It meant that your dedication to the power you had physically extended to the mind as well. They studied important subjects like history and philosophy to understand the mind of their competitor. Then they delved into the ethics to keep that evenness in their mind even when they were fighting. Learning horsemanship gave them an advantage in how and where they could fight.
The martial arts that Koreans practices changed with invasion. The Japanese moved into the country and strongly discouraged the Koreans from practicing this art. Instead the influence of the Japanese was assimilated into Taekwondo. As with many things, combining other strains can create a different and interesting new process.
The force that a leg can have as it swings a foot at you is impressive and can be savage. Since the Korean people believed that the hand was too precious to be wasted fighting, developing the legs was the first choice. The legs had to be more than simply strong. They needed to be powerful and have amazing abilities for balance. To be able to stand strong is as important as being able kick hard.
There are over three million black belts or dans. This martial art is observed in over one hundred countries showing the reach is far and the dedication is extraordinary. There are two main types of this practice the International Taekwondo Federation and their version and then Kukkiwon which is a sparring version. The Kukkiwon is the type seen in the summer Olympics. This is one of the most popular martial art practices by sheer number of people involved.
The dedication and training that made taekwondo a powerful hand to hand combat tool in the military is what makes many individuals practice the art today. The basis of this martial art is not just physical aptitude but mental acuity that class and the sparring gives a martial artist. The perfect pairing of mind and body, this is what attracts so many people to the craft.
The practice of being dedicated in the martial arts and doing more than becoming a powerful physical is what the history of Taekwondo is steeped in. The mind is as important as the body when you are practicing a martial art. The warrior knows this and uses this to their advantage.
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