History of Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea
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What is Taekwon do

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "art All together Taekwondo means the way of the foot.

History of Taekwondo

The oldest Korean martial art was an amalgamation of unarmed combat styles developed by the three rival Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje where young men were trained in unarmed combat techniques to develop strength, speed, and survival skills. The most popular of these techniques was subak, with taekkyeon being the most popular of the segments of subak. Those who demonstrated strong natural aptitude were selected as trainees in the new special warrior corps, called the Hwarang. These warriors were instructed in academics as well as martial arts, learning philosophy, history, a code of ethics, and equestrian sports. Their military training included an extensive weapons program involving swordsmanship and archery, both on horseback and on foot, as well as lessons in military tactics and unarmed combat using subak. Although subak was a leg-oriented art in Goguryeo,Silla's influence added hand techniques to the practice of subak.

In spite of Korea's rich history of ancient and traditional martial arts, Korean martial arts faded into obscurity during the Joseon Dynasty. Korean society became highly centralized under Korean Confucianism and martial arts were poorly regarded in a society whose ideals were epitomized by its scholar-kings. Formal practices of traditional martial arts such as subak and taekkyeon were reserved for sanctioned military uses. Civilian folk practice of taekkyeon persisted into the 19thth century.

During the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910–1945), all forms of martial art practice was banned. During the occupation, Koreans who were able to study and receive rankings in Japan were exposed to Japanese martial arts. When the occupation ended in 1945, Korean martial arts schools began to open in Korea.

In the early 1960s, Taekwondo made its début worldwide with assignment of the original masters of Taekwondo to various countries. Standardization efforts in South Korea stalled, as the kwans continued to teach differing styles. Another request from the Korean government for unification resulted in the formation of the Korea Tae Soo Do Association, which changed its name back to the Korea Taekwondo Association in 1965 following a change of leadership. The International Taekwondo Federation was founded in 1966, followed by World Taekwondo Federation in 1973.

Since 2000, Taekwondo has been one of only two Asian martial arts (the other being Judo) that are included in the Olympic Games ; it became a demonstration event starting with the 1988 games in Seoul, and became an official medal event starting with the 2000 games in Sydney. In 2010, Taekwondo was accepted as a Common wealth Games sport.

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