Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art and an international Olympic sport. Loosely translated from Korean, ‘taekwondo’ means “the way of the foot and hand”. Taekwondo is primarily a kick-based martial art, but hand techniques and blocks are also an important part of the sport. It is a well-rounded martial art, developing speed, focus, strength, flexibility, balance, and stamina.
There are three basic components that make up taekwondo: forms, breaking, and sparring.
A form is a systematic, prearranged sequence of martial arts techniques that can be performed with or without the use of a weapon. Forms are a very traditional part of taekwondo, and the name of each form often represents historic Korean culture or philosophy.
Breaking is an important element of taekwondo. It encourages the development of focus, power, and proper execution of your martial arts technique.
Sparring is when two opponents fight in a controlled ring, with rules and protective gear. This is what is often referred to when you hear the term ‘sport taekwondo’. It focuses on the sport aspect more so than the martial art. Sport taekwondo became an official summer Olympic event in 2000. Taekwondo is one of only two asian martial arts to be included in the Olympic Games (the other is judo).