Taekwondo is a Korean martial art which emerged in the mid-twentieth century, and has subsequently become one of the most widely practiced martial arts in the world. The name Taekwondo was created in 1955, to unify a broad range of Korean hard-styles descended from native Korean arts. Some of these older styles included Tang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do, Su Bak Ki, and Tae Soo Do. The evolution of these earlier styles was also influenced by Japanese and Chinese styles encountered during frequent conflicts between 1894 and 1945. Today there are over 20 million Taekwondo practitioners in over 120 countries. Since 1988, Taekwondo has been included in the Olympic Games, which has also contributed to its phenomenal growth and
The art of Taekwondo primarily focuses on a linear style of kicking and punching. It resembles Karate, but with a more varied kicking repertoire. It also incorporates more circular movements, particularly in its kicks. In recent years, some Taekwondo systems have begun to integrate a limited number of joint locks, throws, and ground defenses into their curriculum, to keep pace with the needs of modern society. Most of these techniques are derived from Hapkido, another major Korean martial art.
The Korean Martial Arts Center is affiliated with the major Taekwondo governing bodies in the United States and Korea, United States Taekwondo (USAT), and World Taekwondo Federation (Kukkiwon).
Copyright 2000 Merrill Jung. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be used or reproduced for any reason by any means without written permission. Text copyright 2000 by Marc Tedeschi and is reproduced by permission.