Tae Kwon Do: The Way of the Foot and Fist

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Tae Kwon Do
The name Taekwondo is derived from the Korean word "Tae" meaning foot, "Kwon" meaning fist and "Do" meaning way of. So, literally Taekwondo means "the way of the foot and fist". The name Taekwondo, however, has only been used since 1955 while the arts' roots began 2,300 years ago in Korea. The earliest records of Taekwondo date back to 50 B.C. when Korea was divided into three Kingdoms known as Silla, Goguryeo, and Baekje. Although Taekwondo first appeared in the Goguryeo kingdom, Silla’s Hwarang warriors are credited with the growth and spread of Taekwondo. Because the small kingdom of Silla was constantly attacked by Japanese pirates, Silla requested help from the king of Goguryeo. Young Silla warriors were given training in Taek Kyon by the early masters from Goguryeo. The Taek Kyon trained warriors then became known as the Hwarang. The Hwarang studied Taek Kyon, history, Confucian Philosophy, ethics, Buddhist Morality, and military tactics. The essential principles of the Hwarang warriors were loyalty, filial duty, trustworthiness, valor, and justice. Today,Taekwondo is a form of self defense that has evolved by combining many different styles of martial arts that existed in Korea over the last 2,000 years and some martial arts styles from countries that surround Korea. Taekwondo is an empty-hand combat form that entails the use of the whole body. Taekwondo 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 not just a mere physical fighting skill, representing as it does a way of thinking and a pattern of life requiring strict discipline, but 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. In 1982 the General Session of the IOC designated Taekwondo as an official Demonstration Sport for the 1988 Olympic

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