Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, focusing and specialising in the use of the legs. World-renowned as the greatest kicking martial art, is has a place from gymnastics halls to MMA rings, to the Military of many countries.
It has 2 branches; the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WT). These 2 martial arts are almost entirely different, with different forms and different sparring regulations. At Ali’s Dojang, we practise the Olympic Style, the WT.
As an Olympic sport, WT must practise safe sparring, with the use of padded body armour, as it is a full-contact sport.
However, another side of Taekwondo is the forms, called Poomsae. There are 17 of these in WT, each of which are set movements in different directions, each with their own purpose and structure. A misconception is that Taekwondo doesn’t have much use for hands, where it a reality we have more hand technique than foot techniques! Ancient Korean philosophy dictates that the legs are tools of war and physical prowess; used for fighting, running, jumping, hiking etc. The hands, however, are seen as tools of beauty, used for painting, sculpting, cooking, and creation. For this reason, even though Taekwondo has hundreds of hand techniques, each of which has a developed and deadly purpose and power, they are not used much in the competitive sports aspect. They are, however, used for Power breaking and self-defence, to promote applicability.