FACTS ABOUT TAEKWONDO & HAPKIDO
Tae Kwon Do Facts
Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art, which means "the way of kicking and punching". In taekwondo, hands and feet can be used to overcome an opponent, but the trademark of the sport is its combination of kick movements.
The origin of taekwondo dates back to Korea's Three-Kingdom era (c.50 BC) when Silla Dynasty warriors, the Hwarang, began to develop a martial art - Taekkyon ("foot-hand").
During the early 20th century, taekwondo became the dominant form of martial arts practiced in Korea. Subsequently taekwondo was designated as the Korean national martial art to be promoted internationally. In 1973, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) was founded as the worldwide legitimate governing body of the sport, and the first World Championships were held in Seoul, Korea that year.
Tae Kwon Do is known for its emphasis on kicking techniques, which distinguishes it from martial arts such as karate or southern styles of kung fu. Taekwondo made its debut as a demonstration sport at the Seoul 1988 Games, but was not officially added to the Olympic program until the Sydney 2000 Games. According to the Olympics, taekwondo is practiced in 188 countries.
Hapkido is a martial art that originated in Korea. "Hap" refers to the harmony of body and spirit, "Ki" is the life force and "Do" is the way of life or learning. Hapkido is not a sport like taekwondo, but is a practical self-defense system that can be practiced by men, women and children.
According to the World Hapkido Association, martial arts techniques that resembled modern day hapkido were brought to Korea when Buddhism was introduced to the area in 372 A.D. Hapkido rose and fell in popularity in Korea over several centuries, kingdoms and invasions, and was taught to knights and monks, who often practiced in seclusion. In 1910, the Japanese destroyed the Cho-Sun dynasty and ruled Korea until 1945. When Korea regained control, Hapkido was re-introduced by Choi Yong-Sool, considered to be the founder of modern hapkido.
The purpose of hapkido is to learn practical self-defense techniques and join your body and mind together as one. The physical techniques of hapkido include joint locks of the arms and legs, kicks, punches, throws and pressure point techniques. Hapkido is considered a "soft" style of martial art, as opposed to "hard" styles that practice the use of force against force. Many hapkido techniques use an attacker's momentum against him to execute the movement. Today, Hapkido is popular around the world, with schools in the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and China.