What is Tae Kwon Do?
Tae Kwon Do is one of the most systematic and scientific KOREAN Traditional Martial Arts. It is not just training physical fighting skills, but enchaining our sprit and life through training our body and mind all together.
Tae means to jump, kick or smash with the foot. Kwon means to punch or strike with the hand, and Do means a philosophical way of life.
Together Tae Kwon Do means the right way of using all parts of the body to stop fights and help to build a better and more peaceful world. This is what Tae Kwon Do aims for. Otherwise Tae Kwon would be no different from any other street-fighting skills. As a trainer, you should understand the meaning of Tae Kwon Do and pursue the principle goal deeply hidden in Tae Kwon Do.
History of Tae kwon Do along with Korean History
There are many who think that Tae Kwon Do was influenced, and is based on, Japanese Karate, because so many of it's fore-fathers studied Karate while in Japan. However, if you look at Korean history, and how often Japan had occupied Korea, it is quite possible that the Japanese learned the historical Korean Martial Arts while in Korea, and brought it back to Japan with them, and the assimilation of the art form to the Japanese culture began, becoming what is now modern day Karate.
As many of you may know, Japan has occupied Korea many times throughout Korea's history. During the most recent occupation of Korea, prior to the World Wars, Japan tried very hard to annihilate all aspects of Korean culture, and especially the cultural aspects which instilled a sense of fear for Japan, namely the historical Korean Martial Arts.
As a result, the study of Korean Martial Arts went underground, and many of the teachings were nearly lost forever. There were several people influential in carrying on the traditions of Korean Martial Arts, which are mentioned on the following pages.
After Japan left Korea, and the freedom to enjoy their culture was renewed, several KWANS (schools) were founded. The first amongst these was the CHUNG DO KWAN, or Blue Wave School. Blue symbolizes purity in Korean culture, and also part of this name, wave, and symbolizes the power of the mighty ocean. The early Chung Do Kwan practitioners were both respected and tested. In the time after the Japanese withdrawal from Korea, there were many "gangs" in Korea, and when the uniform of a Chung Do Kwan practitioner was seen, these gangs would often test the student, and as a result, grew to fear this powerful method. This was the first of the five original Kwans, and was the Kwan who upheld their reputation for teaching the purity of the Korean Martial Arts.
In order to unify these Kwans, the leaders began what is now Kukkiwon history. Most of us know about the role that General Choi played in the unification of the Kwans, and of his role in the advancement of Tae Kwon-Do, however, we are still left with some questions.
What were the specific art forms being practiced in Korea at the time of the establishment of the KUKKIWON. What were the early KWANS (schools), and what influence do they have in TKD? Who were the early teachers of these original Kwans, and what were they teaching? What existed before General Choi founded his Oh Do Kwan and before the unification of the Kwans? And, going even further back, what were the earliest, historical martial art forms that were practiced in Korea as early as 2000 years ago?
These questions are sometimes avoided by the larger Organizations within Tae Kwon-Do, but the fact still remains: Korea has always been rich in her cultural heritage and there are answers to these questions. We hope to explore them on these pages.
These pages were made so that you can learn about some of the historical Korean Martial Art forms. We hope that, as you read, you can see similarities that have carried over into your daily practice of Taekwondo. This section is divided into each traditional martial art, as there is too much information to provide on this one page. We hope that by learning about the progress of Korean Martial Arts throughout history, you will gain a better understanding of the styles that are studied today at Dojangs all around the world.
White Belt(10th Geup)-The color white indicates that a person is "innocent", has no knowledge of the sport Tae Kwon Do yet. The white-belt is automatically gained by taking Tae Kwon Do classes.
Yellow Belt(8th Geup)-The color yellow indicates that the person is getting to know the basic techniques; this stadium is compared to a plant growing its roots.
Green Belt(6th Geup)-The color green indicates that a student is growing as a Tae Kwon Do student. The color of the belt is compared to a plant growing Strong and start grown its leaves.
Blue Belt(4th Geup)-The color blue indicates that a student is reaching higher, like the plant is growing to the sky.
Red Belt(2th Geup)-The color red indicates danger. The student is warned to practice the control of his/her movements. The color red also warns an opponent.
Peom Belt-W.T.F. Tae Kwon Do requires that one has to be 16 years old to get a black belt. If you're younger, you get a poem, which can be replaced by a black-belt if you pass the age of 16. The requirements are the same as for the black-belt.
Black Belt(1st Dan )-Black is the opposite of white and signifies the maturity of the student in the sport. It also is an indication of being impenetrable for fear and darkness. A black-belt has to know all the skills learned from the beginning.
Key Difference is Quality Instruction
Grand Master Kangwon J. Lee is a senior Tae Kwon Do Master from the Republic of Korea. Grand Master Lee holds the 9th degree Black Belt, which is the highest level attainable. He belongs to Chung Do Kwan, which is the main root of the Tae Kwon Do federation back in 1950's and still the biggest and strongest today.
He stared his Tae Kwon Do when he was ten years old and became the 1st degree black belt in 1955. GM Lee used to be an instructor of the Police Academy and the Special Army Force in Korea. He has many years of experience of teaching professionally. GM Lee was then sent to the USA to spread Tae Kwon Do in 1982.
He has had schools in Indian, Illinois, and Michigan. These schools are still being taught by the American Instructors who have trained under GM Lee.
GM Lee became the First President of the New England Tae Kwon Do association in 1997 and continues to give his full support to the federation as senior advisor at present time. He is also President of the United States East Region Chung Do Kwan.
His commitments of being Tae Kwon Do practitioner has reached its goal and appreciated in many ways.
Rules of the Dojang
1. Bow to the flags when entering or leaving the dojang.
2. Bow to the Instructor or Master after bowing to the flags.
3. Bow to your senior belts before addressing them, and bow again when the conversation is finished. Note: Bowing is done from a standing position, feet together, arms at the sides, by lowering the head slightly while bending forward at the waist.
4. Bow when a Black Belt, who is your senior, enters the dojang.
5. The dojang belongs to everybody, therefore everyone is responsible for its appearance.
6. If a junior displays a lack of knowledge on a rule or an inappropriate technique, it is the responsibility of the Senior to inform, clarify, or teach.
7. Do not go immediately to your instructor or the highest ranking Senior present unless there is no one else present who can help you. Seek help from your Seniors who are one to four grades above you in rank.
8. You must train and attend class regularly before attempting to test. It is impossible to teach oneself the art or to learn the art properly without group experience.
9. No free sparring is allowed in the dojang without the permission and supervision of a Black Belt.
10. Have a clean uniform (dobok) at all times.
11. No loud talking, profanity, or horseplay is permitted in the dojang.
12. Report all injuries to the Instructor.
13. No food, alcohol, gum chewing, or drugs are allowed in the dojang.
14. Do not try any techniques until the instructor has shown them to you.
15. Do not face the Instructor when fixing your dobok (uniform) or belt (Ti).
16. Maintain discipline at all times.
17. Know the Tenets of TKD, Students Creed, and Motto.
18. Anyone who willfully conducts themselves in a manner non-befitting a martial artist will be disciplined accordingly and may be reduced in rank. If the student is a minor, then a conference will be scheduled with his/her parents to discuss the matter at hand.
Lee's Tae Kwon Do College Teaching Philosophy
But not to yield
I shall observe the tenets of Tae Kwon Do.
I shall respect the instructor and seniors.
I shall never misuse Tae Kwon Do.
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
I shall build a more peaceful world.
Tenets of Tae Kwon Do
Theory of Power