About Taekwondo

TAE - Kicking or Jumping Feet
KWON - Punching or Hand Strike
DO - Method, Path, or Art of

Distinctive Spellings by Tae Kwon Do Versions (All TKD organizations not represented here)
Original/generic ~ "Tae Kwon Do"
ITF ~ "Taekwon-Do"
Songahm & Kukkiwon-WTF ~ "Taekwondo "

Tae Kwon Do as it was spelled in the mid 50's by the Korean Kwan (martial art school system) leaders has separated into several large bodies over time with varying priorities and method. Despite these differences the family root cannot be denied and the original value system has persevered in common with all. It should be stated these values may be worded in slightly different fashion, but universal concepts such as Respect, Integrity and Indomitable Spirit are the core philosophy.
It is the responsibility of each school head to ensure these values remain in focus.


Tae Kwon Do is a martial art form that evolved over many decades starting in Korea. It's method is primarily kicking, although various blows by hand, head, foot, knee, and elbow may also be applied. It has four main components of practice and demonstration: Form (Poomse), Free Sparring (Kyorugi), Self-Defense (Ho Shin Sool), Breaking (Kyukpa). Tae Kwon Do has developed into both a traditional Martial art and Olympic medal sport. Olympic sport rules limit blows by closed fore-fist and feet only. No punching above the throat base is allowed, although kicks to the face are legal. Today only sparring is demonstrated at the Olympic level.


Christened in 1955 as a new martial art, Tae Kwon Do eventually developed into an Olympic medal sport. The ITF (International Taekwon-Do Federation) had considerable success in bringing it to the world through the 60's and early 70's. They currently maintain millions of members in 120+ countries worldwide. Beginning in 1972-73, Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) became the first (1980) Tae Kwon Do organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).In 1987 Taekwondo was included as an official sport at the Pan Am Games and quickly became the first event to be sold out. In 1987 the first Women's World Taekwondo Championships were held. In 1988 and 1992 Taekwondo appeared at the Olympics as a demonstration sport. Taekwondo was adopted as an official medal sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and is a confirmed participant in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. At present Olympic rules for Taekwondo are derived from the WTF, headquartered in Seoul Korea. Although WTF currently recognizes only Kukkiwon certification, events sanctioned by the BC Tae Kwon Do Association do not discriminate nor restrict based on TKD style, focusing on access for all, introducing the Olympic rules to a larger audience. This concept is a constant in Olympic games and global sports in today's world.

Martial Arts ~ A definitive description, courtesy Wikipedia ..

(a word of caution, data at Wikipedia is not subject to verification as a condition of posting and some errors in fact are significant, please cross reference)
"Also known as fighting systems, are bodies of codified practices or traditions of unarmed and armed combat, often with the goal of developing both the character of the practitioner as well as the mindful, appropriate, controlled use of bodily force.

The martial arts, due to a century of exaggerated, exoticized portrayals in popular media (see orientalism), have been inextricably bound in the Western imagination to East Asian cultures and people, but it would be incorrect to say the martial arts are unique to Asia. Humans have always had to develop ways to defend themselves from attack, often without weapons, so it would not be correct to think that unarmed combat originated from East Asia. But what differentiates the martial arts from mere unarmed brawling is largely this codification or standardization of practices and traditions, many times in routines called forms (also called kata, kuen, tao lu, or hyung), and above all, the controlled, mindful application of force and empirical effectiveness. In this sense, boxing, fencing, archery, and wrestling can also be considered martial arts. More... "

Why is Taekwondo so popular?

Perhaps because it is so much more than self-defense skills. Joy in executing the motions, belonging and security in it's structure. It is a life-style of physical and mental training proven to develop the complete being - physical and mental, joined by an indomitable spirit. In today's world, the values taught in Martial Arts are a cherished weapon against the negative influences our children face each day. It is the individual Instructors and Students at the classroom level which have given it life above and beyond the promises the style holds.



Holders of Kukkiwon Dan/Poom certificate [as of April 2003]
Worldwide: 5.46 million
Korea: 5.15 million
Outside Korea: 0.31 million

Holders of Kukkiwon 4th Dan or higher
Worldwide: 71,812
Korea: 62,244
Outside Korea: 9,568