In Korea, the country of origin of TKD, forms of duelling have been known since early historical times, among these systems of foot-fighting, styles of fist-fighting and weaponry techniques. It is said that the roots of TKD date back almost 2000 years to the kingdom of Silla and a martial arts called “Hwarang Do”.
The state of Korea developed these techniques to a successful martial art. Later the martial art was influenced by different moral and philosophical teachings and got a new meaning: Perfection of the character and esprit became more important.
In the last century Taekwondo became an organised sport and spread all over the world.
In the fifties TKD was converted from different styles and techniques to a standardized modern martial art system in Korea.
Since then traditional elements as well as professional competitions exist. By now TKD is practised around the world and sparring is an official Olympic competition.
In Germany TKD has been known since 1965. Nowadays there are several associations, national championships, nation teams and competitive athletes.
Today Taekwondo is a modern amateur sport with tradition, a martial art and self-defence science. In some countries TKD is taught in schools and universities and is a important part within the military. At present 157 nations and a total of over 50 Mio members are part of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).
A fundamental characteristic of TKD is to fend an aggressor with hands and feet, without weapons. Based on this characteristic all movements and actions in Taekwondo are developed from the principle of self-defence.
By practicing martial art you are not only learning to use your loco motor system for self-defence, you will also learn to hear the signals of your body.
Humans have two basic needs: ingestion and movement. Without these we can neither survive nor refill our power.
Thinking is a mental movement, while breathing and other physiological functions are necessary for the loco motor system. If one of the basic needs is not assuaged, we are nonviable. Without movement body, spirit and soul shrivel.
When you move your body incorrectly or too little, your body becomes weak. Right movements will strengthen your body and boost your organs ability to function. On the grounds of this awareness, Asian philosophers developed systems for right thinking, breathing, and movement.
One of these systems is traditional Taekwondo, also known as the system of foot (tae), hand (kwon) and spirit (do). Traditional Taekwondo is engrained with the Asiatic body of thought.
Flexibility is a major strength of this system. Every human can improve his health and vitality, irrespective of age, condition and location. You do not need a particular accoutrement. Training your body and soul consciousness is a powerful instrument to revitalise your body and soul. The basic idea is to bring your body and soul in accord through movement. Then you can have maximum efficiency.
Taegeuki – The Korean flag
Taegeukgi is the name of the Korean flag.
It emblematises the principles of the Asian philosophy of Yin and Yang. The word derives from the word taegeuk, which means “circle in the centre”.
In the centre of de flag is a circle, taegeuk, which is divided in two equatorials. The red one in the half above is Yang, the symbolic for male. Yin, the female symbolic is blue and below.
The upper red half represents the positive cosmic power of Yang. The blue half below stands for the negative cosmic power of Yin. Both together represent the concept of constant movement, harmony and the endless sphere. These two symbols of the universe are opposites but brought together they are uniform. They belong together like fire and water, day and night, construction and destruction, heat and cold, plus and minus, and so on. Only with these existing opposites harmony and balance are possible.
An s-shaped line (the spirit) pulls through the circle and bonds the elementary forces with each other. Around the Yin- and Yang-Symbol four trigrams are arranged. Each one stands for one of the four universal elements:
above left: Kien (Ch´ein), the constructive symbol for heaven
above right: Kann (K´an), the unfathomable symbol of water
below left: Li, the symbol for fire
below right: Kun (K´un), the symbol for terra
The trigrams in every corner resemble the idea of antipode and balance within in the universe.
The white background stands for the pureness and peacefulness of the Korean people. The flag stands for the desire of the Korean people to live in harmony with the universe.
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