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TaeKwonDo: A Sport, A Culture,

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Introduction

TaeKwonDo: A Sport, A Culture, A Way of Life, Although many people who are unfamiliar with taekwondo believe it to be a blood-thirsty and violent sport, those who are involved in taekwondo know that it is more than a sport, but an art and a way of life which teaches non-violence and a strict code of moral conduct. TaeKwonDo: A Sport, A Culture, A Way of Life, I. Whether People Practice Taekwondo For�K. II. History of Taekwondo A. Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) B. Choson Dynasty (1392-1910) C. Contemporary Period III. Taekwondo Mind and Its Effects A. Taekwondo Mind B. Meaning and Effects of Training C. Cloth Belts IV. Taekwondo Organizations A. Kukkiwon B. International Taekwondo Federation V. How Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism Have Influenced Taekwondo A. Confucianism B. Taoism C. Buddhism D. Implementing the Philosophies V. A Better World and Taekwondo Whether people practice taekwondo for sport, recreation, art, or just for a hobby, there are five tenets that govern the practitioner's life. Those five tenets are: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, and Indomitable Spirit. For thousands of years, regardless of what their purpose might be for practicing taekwondo, it cannot help but have a positive effect both physically and mentally on the individual. History of Tae Kwon Do All people are equipped with an instinct to defend themselves, and therefore they are in need of various means to fend off enemies. The human ancestry, however, didn't yet have any means to protect itself from enemy attacks, and people had to rely on skills of their bare hands. The emergence of taekwondo is no different from this background. As humans began to use tools, weapons developed, but even then the survival instinct continued to exist and people devoted themselves to developing physical strength and skills. During the Three Kingdoms period (1st century B.C. - A.D. 7th century) taekwondo became the basic sport for states and villages as a way to improve national defense and combat skills, and soon it was developed, with the emphasis as a sport, in religious rituals. ...read more.

Middle

Taekwondo Organizations As taekwondo's originating country, Korea has many organizations and associations for this sport. Among them, two organizations are of greater importance Kukkiwon, the headquarters of international taekwondo, and the International Taekwondo Federation. Kukkiwon It was founded in 1972 in order to research and develop traditional taekwondo spirit and techniques as well as to centralize organizations to make taekwondo a world-class sport. The International Taekwondo Federation, headquartered at Kukkiwon, was opened in May 1973 and plays an important role in developing international taekwondo. Kukkiwon, as a mecca for taekwondo, has trained 15,000 masters through affiliated Taekwondo Academy in order to correctly propagate taekwondo. These masters devote themselves to spreading taekwondo all over the Earth Village. Poom or Dan promotion tests and issuance of certificates, one of the main functions of this organization, are internationally recognized. The regulations of the International Taekwondo Federation specify that Dan certificates should be approved by Kukkiwon, and for international competitions, only athletes with these Dan certificates are qualified to participate. (Official WTF Taekwondo p163). International Taekwondo Federation This federation was founded in May 1973 with the purpose of spreading taekwondo worldwide along with Korea's unique taekwondo spirit. In 1975, it joined General Assembly of International Sports Federations (GAISF), and now it is a focal organization in the international taekwondo field by hosting many international games including the International Taekwondo Championships and World Cup Championships. In addition, taekwondo masters are regularly dispatched to popularize and improve taekwondo techniques, and through seminars and educational programs judges are trained and their qualifications maintained. In the present, 144 countries are members, and there are 50 million taekwondo population throughout the world. It is headquartered at Kukkiwon, and since 1973 Kim Un-yong, a Vice President of the International Olympic Committee, has been president. (Official WTF Taekwondo p 174). How Confucianism, Taoism, And Buddhism Have Influenced Taekwondo The words ��physical�� and ��mental�� are often used to describe taekwondo training, and most instructors would agree that it develops students�� physical prowess and mental abilities. ...read more.

Conclusion

One Zen contribution to taekwondo is the concept of mushin no shin, or ��mind of no mind.�� The samurai had to empty their mind so they could be free from distraction. Although many taekwondo instructors never mention the term, they do mention a related one: spirit. They frequently explain that spirit is one of the most important aspects of taekwondo. There will always be someone who can kick higher, punch harder or sidestep more quickly, but if students cultivate their spirit to the highest degree possible, they will always perform at their best in whatever they do, and that is all they can ask of themselves. (Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts p94). Instructors know that it is their spirit, not physical technique, that motivates the class and enables the students to learn taekwondo. Through the instructors�� enthusiasm and dedication, the students�� level can be improved. And that spirit is contagious. By sharing their spirit, they hope their students will be able to tap into it and eventually reach their own enlightenment. Implementing the Philosophies The practices and principles of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism that have influenced taekwondo can still be observed in today��s dojang. While Confucianism maintains order in the school, Taoism and Buddhism seek to lead students and instructors on a path of self-discovery and self-perfection. Although the dojang does not need to be turned into a temple, by following the tenets of these philosophies, instructors and students can become the best martial artists possible. As Confucius taught, every person must determine what he thinks he should do and then do his best. Even if he fails to achieve his goal, that is okay, for the important thing is to try. (Dynamic Taekwondo p113). A Better World and Taekwondo Although most would say that taekwondo is not be the answer to world peace, it is in fact an answer to re-instill the ideas of morals and values in today��s society. When a society is governed by values and morals, the society functions more efficiently as a whole and therefore would in fact make the world a better place to live in. ...read more.

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