WHAT IS TAEKWONDO
WELCOME TO IMPACT TAEKWONDO CENTER IN RIVERVIEW, FLORIDA
where learning Taekwondo goes hand in hand with learning skills for life
and where students learn to live a fulfilled life in accordance with the tenets
courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit
(Students at Impact Taekwondo train Olympic style Taekwondo under the guidelines of the
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). )
Taekwondo is a Korean word made up of three words: Tae, Kwon, and Do. When literally translated, it means “The way of the hand and foot.” Taekwondo is an unarmed from of martial art, that teaches powerful blocks and punches, that allow the student to apply those techniques not only during sparring exercises, but also use those skills for self-defense.
(the following is adapted from: Beyond the dojang: A phenomenological perspective on transferring the virtues of Taekwondo into daily life, by Dr. Petra Roesner)
Traditional martial arts are based on Eastern philosophy and ethics, are pacifistic in nature, and aim to teach practitioners values such as honesty, courage, and loyalty (Hendricks, 2001; Martin, 2006). Taekwondo is based on Taoist principles, which means that those who practice this sport should conduct themselves in a manner that is beneficial to others (Pawlett & Pawlett, 2008). Acting in this manner became a way of life for Hwa Rang Warriors, who engaged in a virtuous life, following their set colde, and thus led a principled life full of value. The positive character traits or virtues lived by the Hwa Rang Warriors included modesty, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit.
Those ancient values have not been replaced over time, as a matter of fact, they build the very foundation of the philosophical principles of today’s Taekwondo, which is reflected in the fact that students of this art are asked to live the tenets of Taekwondo, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit both inside and outside their dojangs, reflecting changes over time (WTF, 2009).
The peaceful nature of Taekwondo is reflected in the oath for Taekwondo students:
I shall observe the tenets of Taekwondo
I shall respect my instructors and senior students
I shall never misuse Taekwondo
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice
I shall build a more peaceful world.
According to the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF, 2009), the philosophy of Taekwondo is focused on change in human beings and movements, which are expressed in increasingly more complex patterns, following the principle of Taegeuk,, or change. Furthermore, Taekwondo is viewed as a way of life, whereas the focus in not on winning, but rather a personal quest of overcoming difficult situations, allowing students of Taekwondo to become life-long and ongoing learners who strive to reach their goals in all aspects of their lives.
Butler, S. Macuarie Dictionary
Hendricks, D.A. (2011). Taekwondo principles: guidelines for a balanced life. (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Montana, Missoula.
Martin, D. (2006). The psychological benefits of traditional martial arts training: what most instructors know but can’t articulate. (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from GreetingLine
Pawlett, M. & Pawlett, R. (2008). The Taekwondo Handbook. New York, NY: Rosen
Roesner, P.M. (2012). Beyond the dojang: A phenomenological perspective on transferring the virtues of Taekwondo into daily life. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertation and Theses (PQDT). (3545473).
World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). (2009). About Taekwondo. Retrieved from http://www.wtf.org/wtf_eng/site/about_taekwondo/taekwondo.html