Taekwondo Basics

Basic Information about Taekwondo

Taekwondo (태권도; 跆拳道; Korean pronunciation: : [tʰɛkwʌndo]) is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae (태, 跆) means “to strike or break with foot”; kwon (권, 拳) means “to strike or break with fist”; and do (도, 道) means “way,” “method,” or “art.” Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as “the way of the foot and fist” or “the art of kicking and punching.” At Anatolia Family Taekwondo we focus on mental and ethical discipline, justice, etiquette, respect, and self-confidence.

Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws, and joint locks.

Taekwondo is known for its emphasis on kicking techniques, which distinguishes it from martial arts such as karate or southern styles of kung fu. The rationale is that the leg is the longest and strongest weapon a martial artist has, and kicks thus have the greatest potential to execute powerful strikes without successful retaliation. Historically, the Koreans thought that the hands were too valuable to be used in combat.

Taekwondo as a martial art is popular with people of both genders and of many ages. At Anatolia Family Taekwondo, we offer classes for all ages to help accommodate everyone.Physically, taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina. An example of the union of mental and physical discipline is the breaking of wooden boards, which requires both physical mastery of the technique and the concentration to focus one’s power.

Uniform/Dressing Requirements

A taekwondo student typically wears a uniform (do-bok 도복), often white but sometimes black, with a belt (dti 띠) tied around the waist. There are at least three major styles of do-bok, with the most obvious differences being in the style of jacket: (1) the cross-over front jacket that resembles traditional Asian clothing, (2) the V-neck jacket (no cross-over) typically worn by WTF practitioners, and (3) the vertical-closing front jacket (no cross-over) typically worn by ITF practitioners. Anatolia Family Taekwondo wears a white traditional cross-over front jacket, bearing the school patch and a U.S flag. The belt color and any insignia thereon (if any) indicate the student’s rank. In general, the darker the color, the higher the rank. We teach white belt all the way through black belt (multiple degrees). The school or place where instruction is given is called the do-jang (도장). The grandmaster of the do-jang is called a kwan-jang-nim (관장님); Master (senior instructor or head of do-jang) is called sa-beom-nim (사범님).