Taekwon-do is a martial art that was founded in Korea which combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, meditation, and philosophy.

Tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way," "method," or "art." Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as "the art of the foot and fist" or "the art of kicking and punching."

People come to us from all walks of life, each with their own reasons for wanting to train in martial arts. Some want to learn self-defense, some seek to become physically fit, some enjoy the sporting aspect of tournaments, and others just want to have fun. Taekwon-do is known as one of the best means of developing and enhancing:

Patience
Concentration
Confidence
Self-control
Balance & Coordination
Physical Fitness


This section of the site is your online resource to Horizon TKD and the art of Taekwon-do. You will locate such detailed information such as patterns, the history of Taekwon-do, belt colours, student oath and much much more!

VIP

To All Members Grading

The information booklet is designed to inform our new students and members about what they should expect when they first start training at Horizon Taekwon-do.

We hope to answer the majority of first time questions you may have, but certainly welcome any questions or concerns.

Please do not hesitate to visit the office and speak with either Mr. or Mrs. Sanchez.

PATTERNS

 

Quick Info

Important Information about Taekwondo

Do-Jang Rules

Always
Never
  • Respect the training area by bowing when entering and leaving.
  • Be punctual for class and hand in your student card.
  • Respect all higher ranking Belts.
  • Keep uniform clean at all times.
  • Address all instructors using words of courtesy, such as "Sir" or "Ma'am."
  • Memorize the Student Oath.
  • Come prepared to learn and give 100% effort.
  • Show respect to upper belts and humbleness to lower belts.
  • Help your fellow students along the way. Set a good example.
  • Keep the studio neat and clean.
  • Observers are invited to sit in on classes in the designated area
    • Wear shoes in the workout area.
    • Chew gum or wear jewelry.
    • Use profanity at any time.
    • Try techniques until the instructor has shown it to you.
    • Teach without instructor's permission.
    • Leave the Do-Jang without permission.
    • Never show off at the studio or your school.

 

Another matter of great concern is the safety of young students who will be dropped off by parents. Instructors will stay on site until all students are picked up. In the event that a parent expects to be over 15 minutes late in picking up their child, please call the Do-Jang and let the instructor know.
If there is anything else of concern to you that hasn't been addressed, please feel free to bring it to the attention of the instructors.

I shall observe the tenets of Taekwon-Do

I shall respect the instructor and seniors

I shall never misuse Taekwon--Do

I shall be a champion of freedom and justice

I shall build a more peaceful world

 Tenets

The Tenets of Taekwon-Do (Taekwon-Do Jungshin)

Taekwon-Do aims to achieve: 

  • Courtesy (Ye Ui)
  • Integrity (Yom Chi)
  • Perseverance (In Nae)
  • Self-Control (Guk Gi)
  • Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)

 

Explanation of Tenets
Needless to say, the success or failure of Taekwon-Do training depends largely on how one observes and implements the tenets of Taekwon-Do which should serve as a guide for all serious students of the art.

  1. To promote the spirit of mutual concessions
  2. To be ashamed of one's vices, contempting those of others
  3. To be polite to one another
  4. To encourage the sense of justice and humanity
  5. To distinguish instructor from student, senior from junior, and elder from younger
  6. To behave oneself according to etiquette
  7. To respect others' possessions
  8. To handle matters with fairness and sincerity
  9. To refrain from giving or accepting a gift when in doubt
  1. The instructor who misrepresents himself and his art by presenting improper techniques to his students because of a lack of knowledge or apathy.
  2. The student who misrepresents himself by "fixing" breaking materials before demonstrations.
  3. The instructor who camouflages bad technique with luxurious training halls and false flattery to his students.
  4. The student who requests ranks from an instructor, or attempts to purchase it.
  5. The student who gains rank for ego purposes or the feeling of power.
  6. The instructor who teaches and promotes his art for materialistic gains.
  7. The students whose actions do not live up to his words.
  8. The student who feels ashamed to seek opinions from his juniors.

A serious student of Taekwon-Do will at all times be modest and honest. If confronted with injustice, he will deal with the belligerent without any fear or hesitation at all, with indomitable spirit, regardless of whosoever and however many the number may be.

Confucius declared," It is an act of cowardice to fail to speak out against injustice." As history has proven, those who have pursued their dreams earnestly and strenuously with indomitable spirit have never failed to achieve their goals.

In Taekwon-Do, character development, fortitude, tenacity, and technique are graded as well as individual capacity. The promotional scale is divided into nineteen ranks - 10 grades (Gups) and nine degrees (Dans.) The former begins with 10th grade (Gup) the lowest and ends at first grade. Degrees begin with the first degree (Dan) and end with the ultimate, ninth degree.

There is, of course, certain significance in the numbering system. With degrees, the number 9 is not only the highest one among one digit numbers but also is the number of 3 multiplied by 3. In the Orient, three is the most esteemed of all the numbers. The Chinese character representing three is written: . The upper line symbolizes the heaven; the middle line, mortals; and the bottom line earth. It was believed that the individual who was successful in promoting his country, fellowmen and God, and able to reach an accord with all three would aspire to become King, which was written thusly: The Chinese character for three and king are nearly synonymous. When the number three is multiplied by itself, the equation is nine, the highest of the high; therefore ninth degree is the highest of the high-ranking belts. It is also interesting to note that when the number 9 is multiplied by any other single digit number and the resultant figures are added together, the answer always equals 9, i.e. 9x1=9; 9x2=18, 1+8=9 and so on up to 9x9=81, 8+1=9. Since this is the only single digit number having this property, it again points to the number 9 as being the most positive of figures. Taking the use of the number three one-step further, the degrees are further divided into three distinct classes. First through third degree is considered the novice stages of black belt. Students are still merely beginners in comparison to the higher degrees. At fourth degree, the student crosses the threshold of puberty and enters the expert class. Seventh through ninth is composed of Taekwon-Do masters - the elite who fully understand all the particulars of Taekwon-Do, mental and physical.

There is perhaps one question that remains; why begin with the lowest of the two digit numbers, "10" why not begin with the lowest one digit number and proceed from first grade to ninth grade, and then begin again for degrees? Though it would certainly be more logical, the 10 to 1 and 1 to 10 numerical system in the Orient is ageless. It would be impossible, if not even a bit impertinent, to attempt to change a practice that is even carried into children's games. Perhaps there was an initial logical reason for it: however, it seems to have been lost in antiquity. Anyhow, the number "10" is the lowest existing two-digit number: consequently, a beginner must start at this number rather than 11 or 12 which are numerically higher.

There are six belts: white, yellow, green, blue, red and black. White is given to beginners and black is given to students who have progressed through the grades and have a solid foundation for learning the techniques of Taekwon-Do.

The definition of the belts are as follows :

White Belt
Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwon-Do.

  • White belt given to the beginner (10th gup)
  • White belt yellow tags (9th gup)
  • Yellow belt (8th gup)
  • Yellow belt green tags (7th gup)
  • Green belt (6th gup)
  • Green belt blue tags (5th gup)
  • Blue belt (4th gup)
  • Blue belt red tags (3rd gup)
  • Red belt (2nd gup)
  • Red belt black tags (1st gup)
  • Through to Black Belt (1st dan/degree)

Popularity
Young and old, male and female, and in some cases even handicapped persons are able to practice Taekwon-Do. Physical strength, weight and body build are of no consequences. A 60 year old, 85 pound, one armed woman can derive as much personal satisfaction, along with marked improvement in her mental and physical state of health, as an 18 year old Olympic decathlon champion.

Patterns may be chosen according to a student's limitations and since Taekwon-Do boasts a myriad of techniques, those best suited for an individual student can be chosen or modified. A word of encouragement for those who are physically underdeveloped; the majority of Taekwon-Do masters today were not initially endowed with physical strength or natural coordination. In fact, an instructor usually prefers an underdeveloped student not only because of the personal challenge, but because this type of student will usually work much harder and become the most dedicated student.

In some ways, Taekwon-Do is similar to gymnastics. A student has merely to repeat what the instructor has demonstrated with occasional corrections on proper technique. Also a student with even limited training can introduce another beginner to techniques the student himself has already mastered.

Economy
Although a practice suit is a prerequisite in classroom training as an aid for mental and spiritual conditioning, one can just as easily train in shirts, track suit, or even street clothes.

To train or harden an attacking or blocking tool, straw rope wound around a piece of wood, a bag filled with sand or a piece of cloth or paper suspended by a string can suffice if the regular training aide is not available.

Since Taekwon-Do can be practiced in a cleared space in your back yard or even public park in the absence of training hall, the student has the convenience of training by himself any time it suits him.

Tenacity
There are two pitfalls all students, regardless of rank, should avoid:

  • Boredom - There is a common tendency among beginners to tire of repeating the same techniques over and over. Boredom will usually set in between the third and sixth month for a beginning student. This is the period when a student is building his Taekwon-Do foundation by learning fundamental technique and building power. Impatience, lack of self-confidence, inability to perceive improvement and just plain physical fatigue combine to cause a psychological and physical ennui. After the seventh month, however, the student develops physically and fatigue is reduced. The student begins to learn techniques that he can use to gauge his rate of advancement; and through breaking techniques and sparring the student develops confidence. The best way to combat boredom is to attend classes regularly and develop resolve to attain a specific goal.
  • Lack of Thoroughness - Too often the students sacrifice thoroughness in the learning process, because they tend to lose patience and insist on progressing to a higher technique before mastering the previous one. Students should realize that it is extremely important for them to know thoroughly one single technique until it becomes reflexive before advancing to the next. The secret of becoming a black belt is a simple one; learn thoroughly each technique, especially patterns, step by step, not only developing a physical reflexive action, but developing mental concentration as well.

An old proverb says that even heaven cannot make a diligent worker poor. However, in Taekwon-Do, diligence or intensive training alone does not produce quality techniques.

On the contrary, instructions from a false or unqualified instructor would be worse than not being taught at all because unscientific movements not only reduce the power but require a tremendous amount of time to correct. On the other hand, under the proper guidance of a competent instructor, a student who trains earnestly with dedication will learn the true techniques of Taekwon-Do in a comparatively short period of time with less effort.

Students should keep in mind the following secrets:

  • To study the theory of power thoroughly.
  • To understand the purpose and method of each movement clearly.
  • To bring the action of eyes, hands, feet and breath into one single coordinated action.
  • To choose the appropriate attacking tool for each vital spot.
  • To become familiar with the correct angle and distance for attack and defence.
  • Keep both the arms and legs bent slightly while movement is in motion.
  • All movements must begin with a backward motion with very few exceptions.
  • To create sine wave during the movement by utilizing the knee spring

The beginning student may ask; "Where does one obtain the power to create the devastating results attributed to Taekwon-Do?" This power is attributed to the utilization of a person's full potential through the mathematical application of Taekwon-Do techniques. The average person uses only 10 to 20 percent of his potential. Anyone, regardless of size, age, or sex who can condition himself to use 100 percent of his potential can also perform the same destructive techniques.

Though training will certainly result in a superb level of physical fitness, it will not necessarily result in the acquisition of extraordinary stamina or superhuman strength. More important, Taekwon-Do training will result in obtaining a high level of reaction force, concentration, equilibrium, breath control and speed; these are the factors that will result in a high degree of physical power.

Reaction Force (Bandong Ryok)
According to Newton's Law, every force has an equal and opposite force. When an automobile crashes into a wall with the force of 2,000 pounds, the wall will return a force of 2,000 pounds; or forcing the end of the seesaw down with a ton of weight will provide an upward force of the same weight; if your opponent is rushing towards you at a high speed, by the slightest blow at his head, the force with which you strike his head would be that of his own onslaught plus that of your blow.

The two forces combined; his, which is large, and yours, which is small is quite impressive. Another reaction force is your own. A punch with the right fist is aided by pulling back the left fist to the hip.

Concentration (Jip Joong)
By applying the impact force onto the smallest target area, it will concentrate the force and therefore, increase its effect. For example, the force of water coming out of a water hose is greater if the orifice is smaller. Conversely, the weight of a man spread out on snow shoes makes hardly any impression on the snow. The blows in Taekwon-Do are often concentrated onto the edge of the open palm or to the crook of the fingers.

It is very important that you should not unleash all your strength at the beginning but gradually, and particularly at the point of contact with your opponent's body, the force must be so concentrated as to give a knock-out blow. That is to say, the shorter the time for the concentration, the greater will be the power of the blow. The utmost concentration is required in order to mobilize every muscle of the body onto the smallest target area simultaneously.

In conclusion, concentration is done in two ways: one is to concentrate every muscle of the body, particularly the bigger muscles around the hip and abdomen (which theoretically are slower than the smaller muscles of other parts of the body) towards the appropriate tool to be used at the proper time; the second way is to concentrate such mobilized muscles onto the opponent's vital spot. This is the reason why the hip and abdomen are jerked slightly before the hands and feet in any action, whether it be attack or defence. Remember, jerking can be executed in two ways: laterally and vertically.

Equilibrium (Kyun Hyung)
Balance is of utmost importance in any type of athletics. In Taekwon-Do, it deserves special consideration. By keeping the body always in equilibrium, that is, well balanced, a blow is more effective and deadly. Conversely, the unbalanced one is easily toppled. The stance should always be stable yet flexible, for both offensive and defensive movements.

Equilibrium is classified into both dynamic and static stability. They are so closely inter-related that the maximum force can only be produced when the static stability is maintained through dynamic stability.

To maintain good equilibrium, the center of gravity of the stance must fall on a straight line midway between both legs when the body weight is distributed equally on both legs, or in the center of the foot if it is necessary to concentrate the bulk of body weight on one foot. The center of gravity can be adjusted according to body weight. Flexibility and knee spring are also important in maintaining balance for both a quick attack and instant recovery. One additional point; the heel of the rear foot should never be off the ground at the point of impact. This is not only necessary for good balance but also to produce maximum power at the point of impact.

Breath Control (Hohup Jojul)
Controlled breathing not only affects one's stamina and speed but can also condition a body to receive a blow and augment the power of a blow directed against an opponent. Through practice, breath stopped in the state of exhaling at the critical moment when a blow is landed against a pressure point on the body can prevent a loss of consciousness and stifle pain. A sharp exhaling of breath at the moment of impact and stopping the breath during the execution of a movement tense the abdomen to concentrate maximum effort on the delivery of the motion, while a slow inhaling helps the preparation of the next movement. An important rule to remember; Never inhale while focusing a block or blow against an opponent. Not only will this impede movement but it will also result in a loss of power.

Students should also practice disguised breathing to conceal any outward signs of fatigue. An experienced fighter will certainly press an attack when he realizes his opponent is on the point of exhaustion. One breath is required for one movement with the exception of a continuous motion.

Mass (Zilyang)
Mathematically, the maximum kinetic energy or force is obtained from maximum body weight and speed and it is all important that the body weight be increased during the execution of a blow. No doubt the maximum body weight is applied with the motion of turning the hip. The large abdominal muscles are twisted to provide additional body momentum. Thus the hip rotates in the same direction as that of the attacking or blocking tool as in figure F. Another way of increasing body weight is the utilization of a springing action of the knee joint. This is achieved by slightly raising the hip at the beginning of the motion and lowering the hip at the moment of impact to drop the body weight into the motion.

In summarizing, it is necessary to point out that the principles of force outlined here hold just as true today in our modern scientific and nuclear age as they did centuries ago.

I am sure that when you go through this art, both in theory and in practice, you will find that the scientific basis of the motions and the real power which comes out a small human body cannot fail to impress you.

Speed (Sokdo)
Speed is the most essential factor of force or power. Scientifically, force equals mass multiplied by acceleration (F = MA) or (P = MV2).

According to the theory of kinetic energy, every object increases its weight as well as speed in a downward movement. This very principle is applied to this particular art of self-defence. For this reason, at the moment of impact, the position of the hand normally becomes lower than the shoulder and the foot lower than the hip while the body is in the air.

Reaction force, breath, control, equilibrium, concentration, and relaxation of the muscles cannot be ignored. However, these are the factors that contribute to the speed and all these factors, together with flexible and rhythmic movements, must be well coordinated to produce the maximum power in Taekwon-Do.

Reproduced from "Taekwon-Do" (The Korean Art of Self Defense) also known as The Condensed Encyclopedia.

Although the origins of the martial arts are shrouded in mystery, we consider it an undeniable fact that from time immemorial there have been physical actions involving the use of the hands and feet for purpose of self-protection.

If we were to define these physical actions as "Taekwon- Do", any country might claim credit for inventing Taekwon-Do. There is, however, scant resemblance between Taekwon-Do, as it is practiced today, and the crude forms of unarmed combat developed in the past.

Modern Taekwon-Do differs greatly from other martial arts. In fact, no other martial art is so advanced with regard to the sophistication and effectiveness of its technique or the over-all physical fitness it imparts to its practitioners.

Since the theories, terminology, techniques, systems, methods, rules, practice suit, and spiritual foundation were scientifically developed, systematized, and named by the author, it is an error to think of any physical actions employing the hand and feet for self-defence as Taekwon-Do. Only those who practice the techniques based on the author's theories, principles and philosophy are considered to be students of genuine Taekwon-Do.

WHEN AND WHERE DID TAEKWON-DO BEGIN?
A combination of circumstances made it possible for me to originate and develop Taekwon-Do. In addition to my prior knowledge of Taek Kyon, I had an opportunity to learn Karate in Japan during the unhappy thirty-six years when my native land was occupied by the Japanese. Soon after Korea was liberated in 1945, I was placed in a privileged position as a founding member of the newly formed South Korean Armed Forces.

The former provided me with a definite sense of creation, and the latter gave me the power to disseminate Taekwon-Do throughout the entire armed forces, despite furious opposition.

The emergence of Taekwon-Do as an international martial art in a relatively short period of time was due to a variety of factors. The evils of contemporary society (moral corruption, materialism, selfishness, etc.) had created a spiritual vacuum. Taekwon-Do was able to compensate for the prevailing sense of emptiness, distrust, decadence and lack of confidence.

In addition, these were violent times, when people felt the need for a means of protecting themselves, and the superiority of Taekwon-Do technique came to be widely recognized. My social stature, the advantage of being Taekwon-Do's founder and my God-given health also contributed to the rapid growth of Taekwon-Do all over the world.

My involvement with the martial arts did much to supplement the health that God gave me. I had been born frail and weak and was encouraged to learn Taek Kyon at the age of fifteen by my teacher of calligraphy. In 1938, a few days before I was due to leave Korea to study in Japan I was involved in an unexpected incident that would have made it difficult to return home without risk of reprisals.

I resolved to become a black belt holder in Karate while I was in Japan. The skills I required were, I felt, sufficient protection against those who might seek to do me harm. Not only was I able to return to Korea, but I subsequently initiated the national liberation movement known as the Pyongyang Student Soldier's Incident. Like so many patriots in the long course of human history, my actions aroused the wrath of those in positions of power. I was imprisoned for a time in a Japanese army jail. In January of 1946, I was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the fledgling Republic of Korea army and posted to the 4th infantry regiment in Kwangju, Cholla Namdo Province as a company commander.

I began to teach Karate to my soldiers as a means of physical and mental training. It was then that I realized that we needed to develop our own national martial art, superior in both spirit and technique to Japanese Karate. I strongly believed that teaching it throughout the country would enable me to fulfill the pledge I had made to three of my comrades, who had shared my imprisonment by the Japanese.

"The reason that our people suffer in this way at the hands of the Japanese," I had said, "is that our ancestors failed to rule wisely. They exploited the people and, in the end, lost the country to foreign domination. If we ever regain our freedom and independence, let us not become the rulers of the people. Instead, let us dedicate ourselves to advising those who rule."

It was with this ambition in mind that I began to develop new techniques, systematically, from March of that same year. By the end of 1954 I had nearly completed the foundation of a new martial art for Korea, and on April 11, 1955, it was given the name "Taekwon-Do".

On the spiritual level, Taekwon-Do is derived from the traditional, ethical and moral principles of the orient and, of course, from my personal philosophy.

Even though I am only five feet tall, I pride myself on having lived in strict accordance with my moral convictions. I have tried to fight on the side of justice without fear of any kind. I believe that this was possible for me only because of the formidable power and indomitable spirit instilled by Taekwon-Do.

The physical techniques of Taekwon-Do are based on the principles of modern science, in particular, Newtonian physics which teaches us how to generate maximum power. Military tactics of attack and defence have also been incorporated.

I wish to make it clear that although Karate and Taek Kyon were used as references in the course of my study, the fundamental theories and principles of Taekwon-Do are totally different from those of any other martial art in the world.

In March of 1959, I led the military Taekwon-Do demonstration team on a tour abroad. We visited South Vietnam and Taiwan. It was the first such visit in the history of Korea. On this occasion, I renewed my resolution to leave my personal legacy to the world, in the form of Taekwon-Do, and I formulated the following basic ideals for the Taekwon-Do practitioners:

  • By developing an upright mind and a strong body, we will acquire the self-confidence to stand on the side of justice at all times;
  • We shall unite with all men in a common brotherhood, without regard to religion, race, national or ideological boundaries;
  • We shall dedicate ourselves to building a peaceful human society in which justice, morality, trust and humanism prevail;

I also resolved to dedicate myself to the world-wide propagation of Taekwon-Do, in the sincere hope that it would provide the means by which the unification of the divided halves of my fatherland would become possible.

My study of Taekwon-Do proceeded in two parts, spiritual discipline and technical perfection. Because the human spirit belongs to the realm of metaphysics, what I mean by spiritual discipline is not easy to describe. One cannot touch, see or hear the spirit of man, It is wider and deeper than anything we can perceive. In this respect, I, myself, am only another student participating in a continuing and never-ending learning process.

I have come to define the spiritual dimensions of Taekwon-Do as fusing oneself with the ideals of Taekwon-Do and attaining and understanding the full meaning of each of the Taekwon-Do patterns. If we consider ourselves as one with Taekwon-Do, we will respect it as we respect our own bodies and Taekwon-Do will never be used in a dishonorable way.

The names of the patterns are derived from the most illustrious people to have been produced by nearly five thousand years of Korean history. A proper understanding of the patterns leads, inevitably to the realization that Taekwon-Do is a martial art to be used only for self-defence and only in the cause of justice.

The history of Korea contains not a single sample of its military forces being employed for the invasion of its neighbors or for any other purpose except national defence.

In the technical area, I created a wide variety of techniques that can be used in almost any situation. They are based on the following principles:

  • all movement should be designed to produce maximum power in accordance with scientific formulas and the principle of kinetic energy;
  • the principles behind the techniques should be so clear that even those ignorant to Taekwon-Do will be able to distinguish correct from incorrect movement;
  • the distance and angle of each movement should be exactly defined in order to achieve more efficient attack and defence;
  • the purpose and method of each movement should be clear and simple, in order to facilitate the teaching and learning process;
  • rational teaching methods should be developed so that the benefits of Taekwon-Do can be enjoyed by everyone, young and old, men and women;
  • correct breathing methods should be devised, enhancing t he speed of each movement and reducing fatigue;
  • attack should be possible against any vital spot on the body and it should be possible to defend against all varieties of attack;
  • each attacking tool should be clearly defined and soundly based on the structure of the human body;
  • each movement should be easy to execute, enabling the student to enjoy Taekwon-Do as a sport and recreation;
  • special consideration should be paid to promoting good health and preventing injuries;
  • each movement should be harmonious and rhythmical so that Taekwon-Do is aesthetically pleasing;
  • each movement in a pattern must express the personality and spiritual character of the person it is named after.

Adherence to these basic principles is what makes Taekwon-Do a martial art, an aesthetic art, a science and sport.

Fifth Edition 1999, All rights reserved
Copyright 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1999 General Choi, Hong Hi.

TAEKWON-DO...
A way of life.

What exactly is the meaning of Taekwon-Do?
To put it simply Taekwon-Do is a version of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defence. It is more than just that, however. It is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defence; a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive physical and mental training.

It is a martial art that has no equal in either power or technique. Though it is a martial art, its discipline, technique and mental training are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. It is this mental conditioning that separates the true practitioner from the sensationalist, content with mastering only the fighting aspects of the art.

This is one of the reasons that Taekwon-Do is called an art of self-defence. It also implies a way of thinking and life, particularly in instilling a concept and spirit of strict self-imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral rearmament. The nearest description of it is almost a cult.

Translated literally "Tae" stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist-chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist. "Do" means an art or way - the right way built and paved by the saints and sages in the past.

Thus taken collectively "Taekwon-Do" indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defence as well as health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the moving opponent or opponents.

Taekwon-Do definitely enables the weak to possess a fine weapon together with confidence to defend him or herself and defeat the opponent as well. Of course, wrongly applied, Taekwon-Do can be a lethal weapon. Therefore mental training must always be stressed to prevent the student from misusing it.
As for women folk, they will undoubtedly find Taekwon-Do an invaluable asset in tackling and driving away "wolves", so to speak. When one is informed of the many instances where frail women effectively protected themselves, they may sound unbelievable. But really, they have been able to do so because they are well versed in the art of self-defence.

The feats of Taekwon-Do are great in number. To mention a few is probably pertinent: for instance, flying over a mounted motorcycle or eleven persons in line to attack a target with the foot; breaking an inch thick pine board placed at a height of ten or eleven feet with the foot; breaking two pieces of red brick with an open hand or knife-hand; smashing seven or eight pieces of two inch thick pine board at a single blow with the fist; attacking two targets with the same foot in succession while flying and so on. To the layman in the street, such feats may sound impossible, but to the serious students of Taekwon-Do and the exponents of this art, it is quite ordinary. Of course, by mastering this art it does not mean that you will be asked to do acts of impossibility. Particularly if someone should challenge you to kill a wild bull with your bare hands. Therefore it is clear that equivalent demonstrations of such effective use of pure somatic force is not to be seen in other forms of physical combat technique.

Incessant training is essential to keep oneself in top form and physical condition. In training, all the muscles of the human body will be used. From the use of one's muscles, it will be possible to harness all available power generated by every muscular contraction. It will then be necessary to deliver such power to the human target especially to where the most vulnerable points or vital spots of one's opponent are located, in particular when the opponent is in motion. At this point it is necessary to remind the students of Taekwon-Do that this art of self-defence is specially designed for swift retaliation against the moving aggressor.

Most of the devastating maneuvers in Taekwon-Do are based specially on the initial impact of a blow plus the consequential additional force provided by the rebound of the opponent's moving part of the body. Similarly by using the attacker's force of momentum, the slightest push is all that is needed to upset his or her equilibrium and to topple him or her.

In the case of the students of Taekwon-Do who have been in constant practice or the experts themselves, they spend no time thinking, as such an action comes automatically to them. Their actions, in short, have become conditioned reflexes. Therefore, throughout this Encyclopedia, the readers will notice that repeated emphasis is placed on regular training, in order to master the techniques of attack and defence.

Hours spent on training will not be wasted; for surely you will reap a rich reward in the form of speedy reactions and deadly blows to rain down upon your enemy or in any case to save life if and when a need arises. Even if Taekwon-Do is practiced for the sake of exercise alone, the enjoyment derived will justify the time invested and spent. As an exercise, it is equally suitable for the old and young, male and female.

Should I try martial arts/self defense?
Sure! If you are wondering, give it a try. There is no better way to decide.

Which martial art should I try?
There are many martial arts styles, and many schools from which to choose. As long as the technique is properly taught, the best style to study depends on what you want. Some hard styles emphasize direct, powerful punches and kicks, while other soft styles emphasize flowing motions. Different schools may teach self defense, meditation, balance, flexibility, sparring, and personal growth, to varying degrees and with distinct approaches. If you want to know which style suits you best, check out several. Remember, the attitude of the instructor and the atmosphere of the class are as important as the style itself.

What is Taekwon-Do?
Taekwon-Do is a modern, hard style Korean martial art whose name means foot-hand- way. The name was coined in 1955 by General Choi Hong Hi, who founded the style and is now grand master and president of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). Taekwon-Do is a refinement of many centuries of martial arts, particularly Japanese and Korean styles. Techniques include a wide array of foot, hand, elbow, and knee strikes, as well as throws and joint locks. Taekwon- Do is distinguished from other arts largely by its wide arsenal of spectacular and effective kicking techniques. Much training time is devoted to learning the fast and powerful kicks that are possible through biomechanically correct body positioning. This allows the practitioner to train safely for many years, developing strength, balance, and flexibility.

Are there any age limits?
Anyone 5 years and older is welcome to join. There is no upper age limit. As many senior citizen black belts have shown, it is never too late to start.

Do I have to be an athlete to train?
No. Everyone trains at his or her own level. If you are not used to hard physical training, that's fine. You will find that your strength, endurance, and flexibility increase steadily as you work out. If you are a conditioned athlete, don't worry, you will get a good workout. We welcome students of all backgrounds and abilities. People who are physically challenged are encouraged to join. Taekwon- Do can be rewarding for anyone who wants to train.

Do I need any experience?
No previous experience in the martial arts is required. All you need is the desire to learn. However, we welcome students of other martial arts who want to learn Taekwon- Do.

What is a typical class like?
The lessons of individual classes vary, and might include punching and kicking drills, practice of targeting and focus with other students, self defense techniques, and choreographed sequences of movements. Sparring with protective pads is practiced regularly, with emphasis on extremely light, safe contact and precise focus of one's attacks. A number of tournaments are sponsored by various schools in the area, and are available for all students. Competition in sparring, performance of patterns is an important part of each student's development.

Can I try it out before I decide?
Yes, definitely. The first class is free. As you begin to learn the basics, you will experience the flavor of the class as well. We can't give that to you in a flyer, so come check us out! Once you decide to join, the low fees include unlimited classes. As you will discover, it is hard to find a better value in a martial arts class.

When are the classes taught?
Classes are Monday through Sunday. Click here to see the daily class schedule. You may attend as many as you like.

Do I Have to Buy a Uniform?
Not at first. However, if you continue to train, you will be required to purchase an Taekwon -Do uniform.

Any other questions?
If there is anything else you would like to know, call Horizon Taekwon-Do at 905-844-8384. We are happy to answer any questions. Better yet, stop by and see for yourself. We look forward to seeing you.

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