Taekwondo  translated means  “way of the foot and the fist.” Although it didn’t get its name until 1955, the martial art has been developed for more than  2,000 years. It’s an Olympic event, and there are numerous ata taekwondo schools in Atlanta. But where did this sport come from? Here are some things that you should know about its development:

Hwa Rang

Around 2300 BC, Korea was made up of several tribes that later united into a nation. By the 6th Century it was divided into 3 kingdoms: Koguryom, Paekje, and Silla. These kingdoms often warred against one another. They needed to train their people to protect their kingdom. Silla’s King, Chin Heung, created a group of warriors called the Hwa Rang. These warriors were well trained in the use of swords, spears, bows and arrows, and an ancient form of foot fighting called Soobak.

Hwa Rang Do

Over time, it became obvious that Hwa Rang warriors needed to be more than highly skilled with weaponry. A Buddhist monk and scholar named Won Kang began teaching the warriors about mental conditioning. He created a code of ethics that the warriors had to follow. Some of the things included in the code of ethics were loyalty to the king, obedience to parents, perseverance and faith, and justice by refraining from taking life without a cause. This group came to be known as the Hwa Rang Do, or “the way of the flower of manhood.”

Unified Korea

Eventually, Korea’s tribes united into one nation, but they came to be under Japanese rule. During this time, practicing Hwa Rang Do was outlawed. The people practiced in secret. Many different forms developed, such as Moodak Kwon, Jido Kwon, Changmu Kwon, or Chug do Kwan. In 1946, a committee was organized to create a standardized way to teach this in order to combine training facilities. What came out of this was Tae Kwon Do, but the name wasn’t selected until 1955.

Since that time, millions of people around the world have joined training facilities to learn taekwondo. It’s even become an Olympic event. It continues to be a way for people to train as warriors while learning a code of ethics for guidance. There are many benefits to learning taekwondo. The martial art can be used as a form of self-defense, but it can also be a way to condition your mind and change the way that you live. To learn more about taekwondo, or to check out one of our classes, contact Karate Atlanta and find out how “the way of the foot and the fist” can change your life.