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History of Tae Kwon Do

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tae Kwon Do History and Its Tenets Peter S. Hou May 2, 2004 History of Tae Kwon Do Tae Kwon Do, literally translating to "the way of feet and hands," is a Korean martial art having endured about two thousand years of evolution. As with all other disciplines, it is very important for the practitioners of Tae Kwon Do to be familiar with its history, hence to increase understanding and respect of this art. However, we also must understand that many of the recorded ancient stories could be inaccurate, different schools of thought may have rewritten the history to fit their own agendas, and that translation inconsistencies could have caused errors. While sources provide all sorts of different factual details, the following is a brief Tae Kwon Do history, summarized from several credible sources to my knowledge. The earliest martial art ever recorded in history was Pankration, a sport that Greeks competed in the Olympics as early as 648 B.C. (Dohrenwend). Along the side was Pyrrhic Dance, a martial art dance that was somewhat similar to modern poomse. Alexander the Great was supposedly an enthusiast in Pankration, and his conquests brought this art to India, who, in term, transferred a derivative to China through Buddhist missionaries. Then, the Chinese were very likely to have spread some of their martial arts, along with other cultural components, to neighboring countries such as Korea. Historians confirmed that ancient Chinese Chuan Fa and Korean Taek Kyon being very similar (Dohrenwend). However, to say that the whole world's martial arts were all originated in Greece could be rather far-fetched, and impossible to prove. Therefore, most Tae Kwon Do historians begin their stories with the three kingdoms in Korea. Two thousand years ago, Korea was consisted of three rival kingdoms - Koguryo (37 B.C. ~ 668 A.D.), Silla (57 B.C. ~ 935 A.D.), and Baekjae (18 B.C. ~ 600 A.D.) ...read more.

Middle

Before we have enough internal self-control to use them, we do not deserve to learn the physical skills. * Indomitable spirit I believe that, what Tae Kwon Do teaches me is not the abilities to destroy an enemy. Instead, it teaches me the courage to go against an enemy who I know can destroy me. A real black belt's body can be defeated, but not his mind. For if one loses his spirit, he gives up even the slightest chance of winning. In my Tae Kwon Do dojang, sometimes I workout continuously to a point of exhaustion, sometimes I get the wind knocked out of my chest, and sometimes I try a technique for a long time and still cannot get it right. The feeling of standing up and continuing to work at it is especially rewarding, because I know my spirit is alive and I will become better. Outside of the dojang, we know that many great people are great because they did not give up hope, even in the most hopeless situations. In fact, the whole human species has been able to survive through long courses of evolution, because our ancestors had indomitable spirits. * Loyalty In ways, loyalty can be seen as the combination of courtesy and perseverance. It is about having faith. A martial art style would not be taught and passed on if its practitioners are not loyal. A company would not prosper if its employees are not loyal. A country would not be wealthy and strong if its citizens are not loyal. On the other hand, the practitioners, employees, and citizens could not benefit from the groups where they belong, if they do not have the right amount of loyalty. It is a very important quality that establishes the relationship between the leader and the follower. * Self-respect "If you want others to respect you, you have to first respect yourself." ...read more.

Conclusion

Objectivity is particularly important for people of power. Teachers need to grade student papers objectively, and judges should examine court cases objectively - because objectivity means fairness and justice. * Humor Humor does not come directly involved in martial arts training. However, it is very important to the martial arts training environment. Because of the aforementioned tenets of Tae Kwon Do such as perseverance, humility, and obedience, the dojang atmosphere can be too serious and boring. We see Tae Kwon Do as a way of life, so we like to make our dojangs more lively. Master Khan has mastered the way to tense up and loosen his belt tests (for I have not been to any class of his) by using his authority and humor. Many other black belts I know can also make the dojang friendly and relaxing with their sense of humor. It is a way of life embraced by many people in many different environments. * Trust Trust is a very important component in a Tae Kwon Do dojang. When we practice self defense and do partner stretch, we expose the weakest parts of our body to our classmates. Similar ideas apply when we spar, kick targets, and condition. We must trust our partners to never take such advantage of us, and trust them to have enough control to not hurt us. For if we lose that trust and would not put ourselves into the exercise, we would never be able to learn certain things. In general, trust is a fundamental quality in any interpersonal relationship. If I do not trust my teachers, I will not learn anything from them; if I do not trust my business partners, I will not make any deal with them; if I do not trust myself, I will never be able to achieve anything. The twenty-five tenets of Tae Kwon Do teach us not only how to be true martial artists, they also teach us how to become better persons. As students of Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do, we will strive to live our lives by these tenets. ...read more.

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