Taekwondo is a term that comes from Korean and that references a martial art from the same country. This sport combines techniques from karate-do and other older disciplines.

Taekwondo comes from an older Korean martial art called “taekkion”.

Just as other martial arts, in taekwondo there are belts that reflect the degree of skill reached by the trainee. Once the athlete reaches the black belt (top degree), they may choose to continue advancing up to 9th DAN, which is the highest qualification. An instructor is responsible to evaluate the aspiring athlete to determine if they may increase their degree.

In the picture, a male taekwondo athlete making a high kick.

History of this sport

Many theories have been put forward about the origin of taekwondo and there is still not one that is followed in an equanimous way. From the traditional Korean martial arts to the introduction of karate in the Korean peninsula, passing through General Choi and the schools called "kwans", this art has been forged and transmitted internationally to become one of the most practiced on this planet.

The evolution of taekwondo has followed different paths, due to different aspects that have led to two main federations: the World Taekwondo Federation and the International Taekwondo Federation.

Since 2000, taekwondo has been part of the Olympic Games (previously, on two occasions, it had been presented as an exhibition in the same event). That is why this discipline is also known as Olympic taekwondo.

Taekwondo has been held at the Pan American Games since the 1987 edition in Indianapolis. The historical medal tally is led by Mexico, a delegation with 21 gold medals.

In the picture, a male taekwondo athlete making a high kick.

Technical definitions

Knowing that athletes can use the following “tools" in taekwondo is also important, below are a few:
Kicks, such as sidekick, frontal kick, roundhouse kick… They are aimed mainly towards hitting the rival’s body or head.
Blocks, which are defense techniques.
Direct hits using punches.
Important factor are justice and the no-kill, no-violence duty unless needed.


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