Origins of Taekwondo
Taekwondo is a martial art originating from Korea that is known for its spectacular kicks, and dynamic competitive environment. It is an Olympic sport and is the most popular martial art in the world.
Traditional Taekwondo consists of learning the martial art for the purpose of self-defence. This involves practicing and refining techniques that you can use defend yourself and retaliate if needed.
Like other martial arts, Taekwondo also uses belts to show progression in learning. Normally, there are 2-3 opportunities per year to advance a belt (these are known as gradings) where you will be expected to perform different martial arts techniques and routines to assess your ability.
The sport side of Taekwondo developed from training routines used in traditional teaching. The two main sport events involve sparring (controlled fighting) and patterns (judged martial arts routines).
Taekwondo sparring focuses heavily on using your legs to hit your opponent in various scoring areas. As the sport has developed, athletes have become extremely creative in the kind of techniques they use.
The patterns competitions are complete non-contact and involve performing different routines in front of a series of judges. The judges will score you based on your performance. This style of competition rewards you for your knowledge of the techniques as well as flexibility and strength.
For those who are serious about competing, you will have chances to represent both the University and Great Britain with opportunities to train with the national team: Team GB Taekwondo.
Regardless of what you are looking for, Taekwondo is a great way to meet new people; improve your fitness and flexibility; and learn some brand new skills!