Taekwondo is a Korean martial Art which means the "Way of Hands and Feet." Originating some 2000 years ago Taekwondo has developed into a widely practiced martial art and Olympic sport. It is estimated that Taekwondo is practiced by over 50 million people around the world.
The benefits of the practice of Taekwondo are that it can improve health and fitness, balance, agility and alertness of mind. Taekwondo also improves self confidence and discipline as a person progresses and learns skills for self defence. Such discipline, self confidence and knowledge are beneficial in the life of individuals and families alike.
But who can practice Taekwondo? Men, women and children all ages and in generally good health can benefit from undertaking Taekwondo classes. People practice Taekwondo for different reasons, some to improve their fitness and learn some self defence, others to compete and perhaps become Olympic champions. While most classes are designed for fitness and self defence the more competitively orientated individual is catered for with special classes.
A class will start with warming up and stretching, followed by basic hand and kicking techniques. Practice on targets or bags, self defence, form work and free sparring make up the rest of the class. Students wear a white uniform and various coloured belts to show their grading level.
While Taekwondo is a dynamic contact sport and effective martial art, statistics have shown that the risk of injury is much less than football and many other contact sports. The risk of injury is minimised by correct supervision of classes and the use of approved protective equipment in competitions.
John illustrates two common striking techniques. Firstly knife hand to the throat with upper block followed by a block with uppercut on the bottom image.