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Martial Arts

Martial art is a more generic term for various systems of specific practices and traditions of training, fighting and self-defense that are practiced for a many reasons.  These include physical fitness, as well as mental and spiritual growth.  You may recognize many of the specific forms of martial arts like taekwondo, judo, jujitsu, and kendo.  There is no right or wrong style to study.  It is a personal chose based on personal preference into the physical and mental aspects of the style chosen

 

Taekwondo
Taekwondo is the ancient Korean art of self-defense, meaning “foot-hand-way to a fulfilling life”.  The art employs the use of the body’s natural weapons to neutralize threatening situations.  Unlike Karate, which employs mainly hand-punching techniques, Taekwondo utilizes the strength and reach of the legs with kicking techniques for nearly 80% of its training.  For the young, it develops self-confidence and personal discipline.  For the middle-aged Taekwondo maintains health and increased vitality.  For the older students, it reestablishes purposeful physical activity and re-awakens senses while toning soft muscle tissue.

Students as young as six begin their training with breath control and relaxation skills combined with basic stances, blocks, and punches.  Instruction progresses to self-defense techniques for breaking holds and punching/kick attacks.  This becomes the foundation for the understanding and execution for the higher learning of Taekwondo.  As training advances, students learn patterned forms, sport fighting, and weapons defenses while improving their basic skills, strengths, and endurance levels.  Rank promotions (White to Black belt and beyond) are achieved as the student demonstrates proficiency in performing required test material for each belt level with each student advancing at his/her own pace.  Taekwondo also serves well for families that desire a family activity.

Taekwondo in the United States

 The World Taekwondo Federation was formed in 1972, and as the representative body for Taekwondo around the globe, initiated the birth of international competition.  Across the United States, it is estimated that there are at least five million practitioners of Taekwondo, men, women, and children of all ages, sizes, and weights.  For nearly twenty years, few attempts were made to create a competitive interest in the United States among Olympic-level Taekwondo athletes.

Haidong Gumdo

Gumdo is also known as Kumdo, or Geomdo. Those words are a translation of the meaning of the word 'sword art' in Korean language. The meaning of Gumdo is the same as 'Kendo' in Japanese. 'Haidong' roughly translated was 'Land by the Eastern Sea', and was another name for Korea that had been used  by other countries in ancient times. Thus, 'Haidong Gumdo' means 'Korean sword art.' Haidong Gumdo is different than traditional Kendo or Kumdo in that the focus is on battlefield engagements and the need to defend against multiple attackers rather than a focus on a single death blow.

Olympic Sport Status


The 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia featured Sport Taekwondo as a FULL-MEDAL SPORT for the first time in Olympic history.  Practiced in over 140 countries, Olympic-style Taekwondo earned full status after a successful appearance in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics as a demonstration sport.  Since then, the development and selection of America’s elite Taekwondo athletes has taken place.  The United States Olympic Taekwondo team enjoyed success both in the 2000 and the 2004 Olympics, earning Gold and Silver medals in the men’s and women’s heavyweight and lightweight divisions, respectively.