There are a wide variety of martial arts in the world. They come from different nations and have different purposes. One of the most popular and interesting martial arts in the world today is TaeKwonDo. TaeKwonDo was invented in Korea and developed out of their armed forces in the early 1950s. Since then, TaeKwonDo has become one of the world's most popular martial arts and has a large following, especially in the US.
Growing up, Tae Yun Kim was exposed to TaeKwonDo at the age of seven. Since that moment she became hooked on TaeKwonDo and set a goal to become a grandmaster. She eventually became the first female grandmaster of TaeKwonDo and has since become a successful academy owner and businesswoman in the US and in South Korea.
What exactly is TaeKwonDo based on? TaeKwonDo is divided into a traditional form and a form for international sport. Much of the sporting side of TaeKwonDo is focused on speed and a scoring system. More traditional TaeKwonDo is focused on the technique and the system as a whole.
Ultimately though, TaeKwonDo, which “means foot-fist-way of life” is a martial art focused on self-defense, the development of a healthy body and mind, and the development of an indomitable spirit. The art requires tremendous discipline and practice, and is dedicated to mobility, timing, and breathing, and focuses on both punching and kicking. Kicks give the martial artists more reach and power.
This can be incredibly important in a conflict, and the art is clearly focused on giving the practitioner a strong advantage over their opponents. Additionally, TaeKwonDo utilizes a great deal of blocks and punches to counter attacks. Furthermore, open-handed strikes are an important part of the art, as are acts of throwing opponents and sweeping them off of the ground.
Some of the more famous instructors of TaeKwonDo have implemented other means of defense and offense into the art. In most cases this simply means incorporating a variety of grabs and pressure points to disarm and subdue attackers or opponents.
A large part of TaeKwonDo that Tae Yun Kim was immediately attracted to is its philosophy of uniting mind, body, and spirit. Part of the way that adherents to the art hone their focus and the unity of mind, body, and spirit is by breaking boards, tiles, and other objects made out of various material. Breaking these objects is a test of a person's mental strength and physical preparation.
Lastly, TaeKwonDo has a well-defined system for advancement and skills improvement. Practitioners advance in a series of colored belts. Each advancement requires a test to be undertaken and passed. The final rank of Great Grandmaster is one rarely accomplished by people, but it has been done.