Taekwondo is South Korea’s national sport – a powerful form of martial arts that gained worldwide recognition! As such, if you are a seasoned Taekwondo practitioner or perhaps you plan to take on the sport, read on as we share five interesting facts you may not know about Taekwondo.
1. Taekwondo goes way back in history
While Taekwondo seems to be a relatively new sport, only acquiring the name in 1955, there have actually been archaeological findings showing a traditional and ancient martial art form that could be the ancestor of Taekwondo. Some of the earliest findings point to a mural painting in a tomb dated to 3 A.D. that shows figures practising various martial arts techniques. Moreover, historical records during the Koguryu empire (37 B.C. to 66 A.D.) also mention this form of martial arts.
2. The meaning of the name
The literal translation of Taekwondo is “the way of the hand and foot”. Broken down to ‘tae,’ which means “kick,” ‘kwon’ means “to strike using hands,” and ‘do’ means “way.” In general, Taekwondo consists of training a series of punches, kicks, strikes, and blocks. Moreover, just as every martial art, you are expected to live by some customs. In this case, the “tenets of taekwondo,” namely: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit.
3. It follows a ranking system through belt colours
Taekwondo competence is acknowledged by the awarding of several belt categories, with each belt colour representing a degree of taekwondo proficiency. It has six belt colours, the first being white, which is what you receive when you start training. The following colours of yellow, green, blue, red, and black represent the lowest to the highest ranking in Taekwondo respectively. In general, the deeper the colour of the practitioner’s belt, the higher their rank is.
4. It gained worldwide popularity
You probably may have seen or heard of Taekwondo in various forms of media. It is indeed a very popular martial art, even featured in many movies in Hollywood, some starring renowned action stars like Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme. Due to gaining this worldwide popularity, Taekwondo is practised by more than 70 million people from 188 countries today, with 4 million of them being black belts.
5. It is an Olympic sport
Taekwondo was featured in the opening ceremony of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and in 2000, it became an official medal event of the Olympics. Along with judo, Taekwondo is one of the only two Asian martial arts included in the Olympic Games. And since its addition to the Olympics, South Korea has won a total of 19 medals in Taekwondo.
Taekwondo is a truly interesting martial art form, not only because of its techniques and training but also because of its rich historical factor. If you plan on taking up the sport, why not try to learn and sharpen your Korean language skills along the way? It only makes sense as it is South Korea’s national sport, and perhaps you will meet plenty of Korean taekwondo enthusiasts as well.
Here at Sejong, we prioritise that you are learning the language effectively. As the leading Korean language school in Singapore, we always make sure that our students are getting the right knowledge to suffice their needs. It all starts with the first step, and we make sure this will be the best choice you’ll make to learn the Korean language!