Taekwondo developed thousands of years ago and has since spread internationally to become one of the world’s most successful and popular martial arts. It is often explained that Taekwondo is the “Kicking Art.” It is known for its dynamic ability to use our kicks as our primary self-defense tool. The philosophy is quite logical, use your strongest limbs to defend yourself, and be faster than anyone else while doing it.
Taekwondo practitioners enjoy physical and mental discipline, as well as excellent fitness and the ability to defend themselves if necessary. Taekwondo is not only a combat sport, but is also a way of life for enthusiasts around the globe. The word Taekwondo itself is made up of three Chinese/Korean words: Tae, meaning to kick or jump; Kwon, meaning fist or hand; and Do, which means “the way.” Loosely (if not literally), it can be thought of as “The Way of the Hand and Foot.”
While famous for its wide range of kicks, Taekwondo also emphasizes breaking power, such as splitting wood and bricks using only the bare hands and feet. Training involves a variety of techniques, to include punching, kicking, dodging, jumping, parrying and blocking. Taekwondo also focuses on sparring and learning formal patterns of movement called forms. The style of Taekwondo supported by the ATA is known as Songahm Taekwondo, a style specifically developed over 20 years’ time by Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee to make it accessible to anyone willing to learn, and to truly reflect Taekwondo and the strength and beauty of its kicking techniques.