Tae Kwon Do Free Essay Samples & Outline

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Sample Essay On Tae Kwon Do

Definition of Martial Arts

The martial arts define the codified traditions and systems of combat practices that are practiced for various reasons. These include competition, physical health and fitness, self-defense, spiritual, physical and mental development (Potts, 1996). Notably, the ancient china is the area where earliest forms of martial arts are traced at the era of Xia Dynasty, which was more than 4000 years ago. In addition, this term was used by an English fencing manual in 1639 with reference to Science of Art.

This term was derived from Latin meaning Art of Mars. Noteworthy, some of the martial arts are traditional and are tied to cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Others are modern systems which have been developed by either an association or a founder. There are various types of martial arts including Tae Kwon Do, Jeet Kune Do, Escrima, Hapkido, German Long sword Fencing and Brazilian Jujitsu (Potts, 1996). This paper is going to focus on Tae Kwon Do, its origins, and why is should be recognized as a valid sport.

Origins of Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art. It originated in Korea and it combines combat and defense techniques with sport and exercise. Tae Kwon Do was developed by several Korean Master during the 1940’s to the 1950’s (Potts, 1996). One of the most well-known masters was referred to as General Choi Hong Hi. However, there are those that argue that Tae Kwon do is traced from a group of Korean nationals during the choi yong-sool, post Japanese colonial period of Korea, in 1899-1986.

Prominent students of Tae Kwon Do

The most prominent students of this martial include Seo Bok- Seob, JHan-Jae, Kim Moo-Hong, Myung Jae-Nam and Myung Kwang-Sik. It is an old Korean martial which was a merger of defenseless combat styles that was advanced by the three challenging kingdoms of Korea Baekje, Silla and Goguryeo.

Have a look at the National Football League in USA also

Youthful men were educated in defenseless contest techniques in order to develop speed, survival skills and strength. The most accepted of the techniques include subak, ssireum and taekkyeon (Lewis, 1987). This art involved non classical, direct and straight forward movements. Practitioners of this art believe in few movements and emphasize on extreme speed and maximum effect.

Philosophy of Tae Kwon Do

The philosophy of Tae kwon do has developed over different expressions since its development in different kwans. However, various forms of tae kwon do are based on the five tenets of taekwon do which include perseverance (In Nae), courtesy (Ye Ui), self control (Guk Gi), Integrity (Yom Chi) and Indomitable spirit (Baekjul boolgool). Tae kwon do philosophy is derived from three basic principles which are non-resistance which emphasize on encountering force with minimum force without clashing or deflecting the power of the opponent.

Second principle is circular motion where a person uses fluid flowing circular movements as opposed to linear motion (Lewis, 1987). The third principle is water principle which requires a person to have total penetration of the opponent’s defenses by continued attack.

Tae Kwon Do basics

The Tae kwon do does not oppose force by force but rather completes the movement of the opponent by accepting his energy to flow as he aims and defeats the opponent through borrowing force. A person is also supposed to understand Yin and Yang which are forces that act continuously in an interdependent way.

The philosophy of Tae kwon do is based on the aspect of winnowing out and not adding things on top of others as a way to form a system. His philosophy was based on a borrowed metaphor on filling a cup with water constantly and then emptying it. This described his philosophy as casting off what is useless (Lewis, 1987). He applied the mentality of a sculptor of beginning with a clay lump and removing the unessential to have an end result of bare combat essentials in the case of Tae Kwon Do.

Tae kwon do also emphasizes combative because of its self-defense tactics and techniques. These tactics have also been applied in training warfare such as police and military force. Tae kwon do is featured as sporty and has been included in many Olympics since its beginning such as Summer Olpympic Games.

Certain version of Tae kwon do involves defense against a variety of weapons such as a knife, Jung Bong (police baton sized stick), dahn bohng (a 35 cm short stick), a cane or walking stick and also a rope used during training. The students are taught on how to defend and employ tactics on the weapons encountered (Scandiffio & Nicolas, 2003). In addition, other organizations of Tae kwon do include weapons of training such as long staff, middle length staff, sword or gum, nunchaku, war-fan and other kinds of bladed weapons inclusive of twin short swords.

There are also schools that teach students on how to defend against firearms. Notably, these techniques and weapons are also incorporated into military and law enforcement curricula of training (Scandiffio & Nicolas, 2003). It also puts a lot of emphasis on kicks which are thrown from a stance that is mobile and the leg is employed to attain great power and reach that the arm.
In their training, they mainly incorporate kicks, system of blocks, punches, throws, take downs and sweeps, joint locks and open handed strikes. Some of the instructors also incorporate grappling techniques and utilize pressure joints identified as jiapsul (Potts 123).

On the aspect of principles, there are those that argue that some forms of Tae Kwo ndo stands in the middle of scale of hard- soft martial art (Scandiffio & Nicolas, 2003). This is because it employs soft techniques that are similar to those applied in aikido and jujutsus as well as applying hard techniques applied in tang soo do. However, the hard techniques emphasizes on circular and not linear movements. Tae kwon do is therefore a hybrid and eclectic martial art that emphasizes on different techniques. All these techniques follows three principles namely circle principle, water flexible and nonresistance.

However, other forms of Tae kwon do is a hard martial art due to the techniques applied such as kicking, punching, throwing and sweeps. Another principle is an intercepting fist which focuses on best defense being strong defense (Scandiffio & Nicolas, 2003). In this principle, the attacker is supposed to approach a target in order to attack an individual hand to hand. The five ways of attack assist practitioners to organize their fight. The principle of defensive teachings include stop hits and stop kicks and also simultaneous parrying and punching.

Tae Kwon Do as an Olympic Sport

The sport has been an Olympic event since the year 1992. However, it is of importance to understand that it has not been taken seriously as it should be. The sport is physical, it involves use of strength and tactic and is one of the most brain involving sports in modern times. There is therefore, a need for persons to give Tae kwon do the respect that it deserves in the Sport arena.
Many countries should practice as it not only increases competition, it trains one self-defense and it gives a person physical agility. It is therefore, my opinion that this sport that originated in Korea and has many versions should be taken seriously and should be made a top Olympic event.

There are cultures that argue that Tae Kwon Do increases violence and consequently, they refuse their children and other persons to take part in it. This is one of the things that is making the sport to crumble despite its promising star. For example, In Quebec, an 11-year-old girl by the name Asmahan Mansour, was removed Tae Kwon do class by her parents because they said it was too violent.

In Montreal, some girls were stopped from taking part in Taekwondo while wearing a headscarf. Although they were members of the team, training and competing just like the rest, they were excluded due to their religious beliefs and practices. The reasons cited for this, however, were safety concerns. It is some backward cultural norms such as these that are making the sport to move behind.

The sport has been featured in popular culture. In popular culture, Tae Kwon do has featured in several ways especially in films and actors. These include Bruce Lee in The Green Homet, Kareem Abdul Jabbar in Game of Death and stickman who is a rap in the group of dead prez. This shows that a lot of people and especially artists have used the art of Tae Kwon do in their work today. It is also very popular especially in movies such as spider man who uses a lot of kicking and techniques applied in tae kwon do.


Scandiffio, L, & Nicolas D., (2003). The martial arts book. Toronto: Annick Press.
Lewis, P., (1987) The martial arts. Secaucus, N.J.: Chartwell Books.
Potts, S., (1996) Mastering martial arts. Mankato: Capstone Press.