Taekwondo FAQ

What is the history of Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is a martial art originating from the days of tribal communities on the Korean Peninsula. It was developed amongst the tribes as a means of preserving their own life and race as well as building both physical and mental strength.

What does Taekwondo mean?

Literally translated Tae Kwon Do means ‘the way of the fist and foot.’ The most important part of the word is ‘Do’ as this translated means ‘the correct way.’ Learning to kick and punch are only physical attributes. By practicing Do and the principles of Taekwondo, students become overall martial artists both physically and mentally.

How is Taekwondo different to Karate and other martial arts?

Like Karate practitioners, Taekwondo students perform a lot of upper body techniques like punching, blocking and striking. What distinguishes Taekwondo from other martial arts is its superior kicking techniques. In Taekwondo students can learn to perform multiple kicks while flying and jumping in the air.

How is Taekwondo different to Hapkido?

Taekwondo and Hapkido are both Koreaean martial arts and have some similar kicking techniques. However Hapkido focuses on more close combat self defence techniques such as defending against locks and grabs and break falling, whilst Taekwondo is more punching, blocking and kicking techniques. There is however self defence techniques in Taekwondo as well and the two are often combined as they compliment each other.

What is the belt system in Taekwondo?

Depending on your club there are either 9 or 10 belts to black belt 1st Dan. Every beginner is known as a white belt, they then have to grade (do a physical examination)

in front of high Dan grades who then decide if the student is good enough to pass. The belt system is generally the same, however some clubs may vary. White belt then yellow belt (some clubs is Greece) then blue belt then red belt then black belt. In between students Normally have tags on their belts to indicate which colour they are trying to be promoted to next.

What happens when you reach black belt?

When you achieve your black belt you automatically become a 1st Dan. To qualify for second Dan you must train hard for a minimum of two years your instructor then decides if you are ready to apply for your 2nd Dan promotion. You may have to wait longer if you have missed training for any reason or if your instructor does not think you are ready.

For 3rd Dan you have to train for an additional 3 years after achieving your 2nd Dan, the same rules apply, an additional 4 years for 4th Dan, 5 years training for 5th Dan and so on.

When do you reach Master grade?

In Taekwondo terms you are technically classed as a master when you reach 4th Dan. In theory by the time you reach this point you should have been training a minimum of 12 years. However it is very egotistical for someone to demand that they are called Master at this point as very few students can ever be a true master of the martial arts, it is a lifelong process that not many people achieve.

Taekwondo FAQ

What does being a Master grade mean?

Being a master means that not only should you be technically very good at Taekwondo and teach your students correctly, you should also be educated in the martial arts and in life. Your students may come to you with their problems outside of their training and you as a Master should be able to advise and help them. That is why there is Normally an age restriction on applying for your Master Grade. How can a 14 year old be called a Master? In the same instance it is hard for a young person in general to be classed as a master grade because they do not have enough life experience behind them. Yet, each student’s mentality is totally different and should be judged by the discretion of their instructor when they think the time is right for the student to handle the responsibility.

What is the terminology for training hall?

In Taekwondo the correct Korean terminology for your place of training is called a DOJANG. This should be a served and solemn place where you try and perfect yourself both physically and mentally.

How do you kick and punch faster?

Faster kicking and punching can be achieved by most importantly breathing correctly from your abdomen. Combine this with excellent technique, speed, focus, hip movement, breathing, relaxation and hard work and you will achieve extremely fast devastating technique. To get to this point takes years and years of dedication and hard work.

What is the most powerful Taekwondo technique?

If done correctly all Taekwondo techniques should be devastating. However, spin kicks in particular spin side kick and back kick are incredibly powerful due to the speed and power you can get from the turn.

How long does it take to achieve black belt?

This is almost impossible to answer as it depends on how often the student trains, how hard they train and how quickly they learn. Students who are more dedicated and train hard will obviously achieve their black belt before other less devoted students but to put a time span on it is difficult. I would say that even the most dedicated of students should train at least three years before being allowed to Dan Grade.

What is a Taekwondo uniform called?

A Taekwondo uniform is called a DOBOK. It should be white with as fewer logos on as possible. This symbolises purity of mind.

How popular is Taekwondo as an Olympic sport?

Taekwondo was made introduced as a demonstration sport back in Seoul 1988 and again in Barcelona in 1992. Since Taekwondo has been introduced as a full Olympic sport it has grown rapidly and become a lot more recognized in the modern world. The rules of sport Taekwondo are constantly being changed to make the sport safer and more spectator orientated.

How long do you have to train to get a 3rd Dan Taekwondo black belt?

To be eligible to go for your 3rd Dan black belt you should have been training for a minimum of 8 years and that is depending on how often you train and how hard you train. It should take around 3 years to gain your 1st Dan depending on how often you train but it could take longer, and then a further two years to get your second Dan and a further three years to be eligible to go for your third Dan. It is at your instructor’s discretion at what point you go for your grades depending on not only your physical ability but your mentality as well.

What equipment do I need to start Taekwondo?

You basically do not need any equipment to start training in Taekwondo. Once you are sure that you wish to continue to train you will need a uniform (dobok) which are compulsory for official events such as competitions and gradings.

When carrying out contact work of any description you will have to buy some protective equipment such as a head guard, body protector, forearm guard, shin guard and groin guard..

Ask your instructor for more information on equipment.

What order do the belt colours go from white belt to black belt?

Everyone who starts Taekwondo is classed as a white belt and from there there are nine steps until black belt. The main colours of the belts may vary slightly from club to club but the main system used in progression from white to black is this:

White – Yellow – Green – Blue – Red – Black

Even if some clubs are slightly different in their colour system the amount of steps until black belts are always the same.

What are coloured belts and black belts called?

Coloured belts are known as Kup grades while black belts are known as Dan Grades.

There are nine steps to black belt so a white belt is classed as a 9th Kup. For every single belt they then achieve they progress up the ladder to 8th Kup, 7th Kup and so on until they come to their 1st Kup which is a red belt, black tag, the belt before black belt. When they finally achieve their black belt they automatically become a 1st Dan Black Belt and then progress up the Dans until they reach 9th Dan which is the highest you can go.

What Is The Best Form Of Martial Arts?

All martial arts are based on the same foundations as each other. E.g. discipline, health, humility, perseverance, indomitable spirit to name a few. Therefore no martial art is better than any other, they are all the same. It just depends what different people enjoy practicing more in the martial arts as to which one they decide to study.

What defines a martial art master?

A MASTER is more than just training for a certain period of time. Many people train for a long time in the martial arts and get to master grade but in the eyes of many are not a true master.

A Master is someone who understands the foundation and principles of the martial arts as well as being physically and technically correct. It is someone who has people skills and care about their students both inside and outside of the Dojang. A true master is someone who gives and asks for nothing in return except respect and loyalty.

What are the basic movements in Taekwondo?

Most of Taekwondo’s kicking techniques, even the jumping and flying techniques, are based as three basic kicks. They are front snap kick, turning kick and side kick. Once you have practiced these kicks the rest will become a lot easier to do.

The main stances in Taekwondo are Forward Stance, Back Stance, Sitting Stance, Walking Stance and Tiger (Crane) Stance.

These are many different types of basic blocks and strikes. See the downloads for more help and advice

If you have anymore Taekwondo FAQ feel free to contact me