Martialarts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practised for a variety of reasons, including self-defence, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development.
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, taekwondo may be loosely translated as “the art of kicking and punching.”
It has been proved that Taekwondo has existed since the year 50 before Christ. It combines combat techniques, self-defence, sport, exercise, and in some cases meditation and philosophy. In 1989, Taekwondo was the world’s most popular martial art in terms of number of practitioners.
Nowadays, few trainers want to preserve this sport as a martial art. Besides, it is mostly considered a sport competition. It first appeared in the Olympics in Seul 1988 as an exhibition sport. Then, in Barcelona 1992 it also took part as an exhibition sport. Finally, in Sydney 2000, this sport, ruled by the World Taekwondo Federation became an official Olympic sport. This year, in the Olympic Games of London, Spain has become number one in Taekwondo World Wide achieving 3 medals: Joel Gonzalez has won the gold medal, and Brigitte Yagüe and Nico Garcia have won silver medals.
Taekwondo’s knowledge level is reflected in the colour of your Belt. This is because the more techniques you know the higher level you have. Each level is symbolised by a different colour, being the white colour the lowest and the black colour the highest. Moreover, each colour has a different meaning which shows different aspects of life.
- White (innocence)
- Yellow (land/earth)
- Orange (growth)
- Green (plant)
- Blue (sky)
- Brown (danger)
- Black (knowledge and maturity)
Taekwondo can be practised in 3 different ways: technique, exhibition, and combat.
To take part in these kinds of competitions you have to wear special clothing, which is similar to a karate kimono, and a taekwondo belt. In addition, you will need arm, leg and feet pads as well as a helmet and a chest protector. The competition is held indoors and the floor is covered with an 8×8 foam mat.
For each kick you hit the other competitor you will win points.
- One kick or punch to the stomach: 1 point
- One kick with a turning movement to the stomach: 2 points
- One kick to the head: 3 points
- One kick with a turning movement to the head: 4 points
The competition ends when the time finishes or when a competitor knocks out the other. It can also finish if a competitor is disqualified for doing an illegal action. The one with more points or the one who knocks out the other by a legal action becomes the winner.