Definition of Tae Kwon Do
“Taekwondo” Literally translated, the Korean word, “TAE” means “to kick with the foot.” “KWON implies “a hand or fist to block, punch, or strike.” “DO” means an “art” or a “way.” Thus, TaeKwonDo is kicking, punching and blocking. However Taekwondo is not merely a physical fighting skill; it is also a way of thought and life. Through disciplined training, Taekwondo improves both the mind and body, placing great emphasis on the development of personal character. Students are taught that self-control, self-discipline,kindness and humility must accompany their increased physical strength and ability.
Kyukpa is done to practice and illustrate the formidable power, precision and great mental concentration developed through Taekwondo training. Different materials, but most commonly pine boards, are broken. This area of practice develops internal and external strength derived from a confidence in one’s ability to overcome normal limitations.
Poomsae is a collection of Taekwondo techniques arranged in a pattern. The combination of movements represents a defensive response to imaginary opponents. As students progress in belt rank, the poomsae they learn become increasingly more complex and challenging. The performance of poomsae develops concentration, balance, coordination, and flexibility. A well executed poomsae is beautiful to watch, demonstrating both grace and power.
Gyorooki is live action spontaneous practice, with a partner. Protective gear is worn, and a strict set of rules and guidelines define acceptable methods of attack and defense. Through sparring, students improve their reflexes, speed, and understanding of how to apply each technique. As a form of sport, Taekwondo sparring is part of the athletic competitions around the world, including the Olympics.
Ilbo Gyorooki (one-step sparring)
Ilbo Gyorooki is a formal way of practicing self defense against a punch using a pre-arranged set of defensive skills. Because one step sparring is choreographed, techniques that are not permitted in competition can be practiced safely. one step sparring also develops cooperation and teamwork as both partners must help one another to practice effectively.
Ho Shin sool (self defense)
Ho Shin Sool is the practice of escapes and counter moves against an attacker’s grab or holds. Self defense incorporates not only Taekwondo kicks and strikes, but pressure points (areas of the body that when pressed will cause pain), joint locks and throws. As with one-step sparring, self defense drills require cooperation and communication between training partners to allow safe, beneficial practice.
Myoung sahang (meditation)
Myoung saang is performed at the beginning of practice to allow students time to focus on their training and their personal goals for the class. Meditation also improves students’ ability to visualize, and to induce mental practice. Through visualization, Taekwondoists can practice techniques that they are still learning or refining. The ability to stay focused also helps to relieve stress and to reduce some of life’s daily pressures.