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The Meaning of Taekwondo

Also known as Taekwon-Do and Tae Kwon Do, is a Korean martial art. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Taekwondo is also a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s as combination of Okinawan karate, Chinese martial arts, and the ancient Korean traditions taekkyeon and gwonbeop. The words Tae stands for jump, kick, or smash with feet, kwon stands for block,punch and strike or smash with hand and do stands for art and also a way of life

A Little History

Korean martial arts was initially prohibited during the Japanese occupation in Korea. However in 1946, shortly after the Japanese left, new martial art schools which were then called ‘kwans’ were opened in Seoul. The people that founded this were students who have studied martial arts in Okinawa and China during the Japanese occupation. The martial arts praticed and taught by the Kwans were of shotokan karate and chinese martial arts then.

Having witnessed a martial arts demonstration by the military in 1952, President Syngram Rhee of South Korea wanted the martial styles of  the kwans to be merged. Then later in 1955 the headmasters of the kwans began to discuss about the the possibility of unifying the style of Korean martial art.

The name Tae Soo Do was used to describe this notional unified style. Later then in 1957, Choi Hong Hi advocated the use of the name Tae Kwon Do, though that name was slow to catch on among the leaders of the kwans.

Modern Time Taekwondo

Korea Taekwondo Assocation (KTA) was established to facilitate the unification of Korean martial arts in 1959. Establishment of a unified style required several years of negotiation. Seven years later in, 1966 under the sponsorship of the KTA, the International Taekwondo Federation was establish as the governing body for the first unified style of taekwondo.

Since 200, taekwondo has been one of only two Asian martial arts other than Judo that are included in the Olympic Games. It became a demonstration event at the 1988 games in Seoul, and became on official medal event at the 2000 games in Sydney. In 2010 taekwondo was then accepted as a Commonwealth Games sport.

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