What is it? How do we train?
What does it look like?



What is it? How do we train?
What does it look like?



With all the martial arts one could chose to do such as Karate, Jujutsu, Judo, Krav Maga, Hapkido, Akido, Tang Soo Do; what is Taekwondo?


Taekwondo (also written as Tae Kwon Do) is the art of self defense that originated in Korea. It is recognized as one of the oldest forms of martial arts in the world, reaching back over 2,000 years. The name was selected for its appropriate description of the art: Tae (foot), Kwon (hand), Do (the correct way).

Graphic showing the words Tae Kwon Do in Korean

“Tae” (sounds like the word “tie”) refers to the legs and lower torso, which provide the force necessary to do the hopping, jumping, and flying kicks that Taekwondo is famous for. The lower torso is also where the center of balance for the body is located.

“Kwon,” (sounds like letters “quan” in the word “quantum”) as with “Tae”, means more than just “striking with hands.” It refers to the upper body and arms as well. Finger tips, wrists, fists and elbows are also used to strike with. An inherent part of the term “Kwon” also means defense. It is the complement of attack or strike and must be explored in order to learn balance of form and technique.

“Do” (sounds like word “doe”) means “the way.” This is the domain of the mind and indicates that more is involved than just training the body. It is not enough for the practitioner to become proficient in just the physical aspects of the art; his mind and body must work together in harmony, embodying the spirit of oneness.

Thus, Taekwondo utilizes both mental and physical development which provides a setting for emotional well-being, freedom from stress and fear, a complete system of self-defense, and a truly unique lifestyle.

There are two main branches of Taekwondo: the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The WTF style of Taekwondo is one of the two Asian martial arts that have been recognized as an Olympic sport. This is the method that Grand Master Nam teaches at our dojang.

Graphic showing the Olympic logo.With its first debut as a demonstration Olympic sport at the 1988 Seoul Games, Taekwondo became an official medal sport at the 2000 Sydney Games. Keep up with Olympic Taekwondo on the official Olympics website.


How do we train at our Dojang?

To understand more about what Taekwondo is and how we train, look at this sample list of our class activities. A complete Taekwondo curriculum includes: philosophy, meditation, basics, forms, self-defense, sparring, breaking, stretching, leadership skills and fitness. If you are looking for a lot of aerobic exercise with variety and want a traditional Taekwondo education, you’ve come to the right place.

Forms (pumsae 품새, hyeong 형 or teul 틀) – these serve the same function as kata in the study of karate
Sparring (gyeorugi 겨루기 or matseogi 맞서기) – sparring includes variations such as free-style sparring
Breaking (gyeokpa 격파 or weerok) – the breaking of boards is used for testing, training, and martial arts demonstrations. Demonstrations often also incorporate bricks, tiles, and blocks of ice or other materials. These techniques can be separated into three types:

  • Power breaking – using straightforward techniques to break as many boards as possible
  • Speed breaking – boards are held loosely by one edge, putting special focus on the speed required to perform the break
  • Special techniques – breaking fewer boards but using jumping or flying techniques to attain greater height, distance, or to clear obstacles

Self-defense techniques (hosinsul 호신술)
Learning the fundamental techniques of taekwondo; these generally include kicks, blocks, punches, and strikes
Throwing and/or falling techniques (deonjigi 던지기 or tteoreojigi 떨어지기)
Both anaerobic and aerobic workout, including stretching
Relaxation and meditation exercises, as well as breathing control
A focus on mental and ethical discipline, etiquette, justice, respect, and self-confidence
Examinations to progress to the next rank
Development of personal success and leadership skills

A good way to learn what is Taekwondo and how to chose a school can be found on WikiHow.

What does Taekwondo look like?

QUESTION: Is this the martial art where you do just flips and grappling moves?
ANSWER: Yes and no. Martial arts like Karate, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu are flipping and grappling centric. In Taekwondo, we learn some of these methods but we do not center them as primary techniques.

QUESTION: Does Taekwondo involve kicks and jumps? 
ANSWER: Yes, that and more: Taekwondo centers around kicking, punching, jump kicking, and some of the techniques mentioned above. It is also about mind and body; relaxation techniques, balance, memory, leadership, and kindness. Below is a video that demonstrates some of the types of moves and kicks that are done in Taekwondo.

QUESTION: Does Taekwondo give you a great workout? 
ANSWER: Yes. Taekwondo will provide a great aerobic workout! If you want to sweat it out or relieve your stress from daily challenges, you’ve come to the right place. On the same note, each person (particularly adults) has their own limit and we recognize that.