About Taekwondo

A Brief History of Taekwondo and How It is Taught at the Yost Wing Chun Kung-fu Academy

Many know taekwondo as a high kicking, tournament-based martial art.  However, this is not what pure, original taekwondo is.  Beginning in 1945, shortly after the end of the WWII, new martial arts schools called kwans were opened in Seoul.  These schools were established by Korean martial artists with backgrounds ranging from Chinese, Japanese and Korean martial arts.  The umbrella term traditional taekwondo typically refers to the martial arts practiced by the kwans during the 1940s and 1950s, though in reality the term "taekwondo" had not yet been coined at that time, and indeed each kwan was practicing its own unique style of martial art.  During this time taekwondo was also adopted for use by the South Korean military, which increased its popularity among civilian martial arts schools.

After witnessing a martial arts demonstration by the military in 1952, South Korean President Syngman Rhee urged that the martial arts styles of the kwans be merged into one complete fighting system.  Beginning in 1955 the leaders of the kwans began discussing in earnest the possibility of creating a unified style of Korean martial arts.   The name Tae Soo Do was used to describe this unified style.  This name consists
of the hanja 跆 tae"to stomp, trample", 手 su "hand" and 道 do "way, discipline".  So, as you can see, from it original and purest construct, taekwondo was more than just a high kicking, sports-orientated fighting system.  It was a combination of martial arts utilized for real combat, both militarily and otherwise.

Choi Hong Hi advocated the use of the name Tae Kwon Do, i.e. replacing su "hand" by 拳kwon (Revised Romanization: gwon; McCune–Reischauer: kkwŏn) "fist", the term also used for "martial arts" in Chinese (pinyin quán).  The new name was initially slow to catch on among the leaders of the kwans.  In 1959 the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) was established to facilitate the unification of Korean martial arts.  In 1966, Choi established the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) as a separate governing body devoted to institutionalizing a common style of taekwondo. 
In 1973 the South Korean government's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism established the Kukkiwon as the new national academy for taekwondo.  Kukkiwon now served many of the functions previously served by the KTA, in terms of defining a government-sponsored unified style of taekwondo.

At the Yost Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy, taekwondo is taught in its purest, original form: for real self-defense.  Students learn - not in a generic program format - but in a individualized educational environment.  Components of learning include but are not necessarily limited to: 

~  Forms (pumsae 품새, hyeong 형 or teul 틀) - these serve the same function as kata in the study of karate; 

~  Sparring (gyeorugi 겨루기 or matseogi 맞서기) - sparring includes variations such as free-style sparring (in which competitors spar without interruption for several minutes), and  7-, 3-, 2-, and 1-step sparring (in which students practice pre-arranged sparring combinations);
~  Self-defense techniques (hosinsul 호신술)

~  Learning the fundamental techniques of taekwondo;

~  Throwing and/or falling techniques (deonjigi 던지기 or tteoreojigi 떨어지기);

~  Both anaerobic and aerobic workout, including stretching;

~  Relaxation and meditation exercises, as well as breathing control;

~  A focus on mental and ethical discipline, etiquette, justice, respect, and self-confidence;

~  Development of personal success and leadership skills; and, 
Much, much more!

If you're looking for a practical self-defense to learn, contact Sifu Bryant Ellington at (812) 229-4097 or email BryantEllington@gmail.com

Group Lessons Schedule

6:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.