What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo /ˌtaɪˌkwɒnˈdoʊ/ (Korean 태권도 (跆拳道) ) is a martial art originating in Korea. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. In 1989, taekwondo was the world's most popular martial art. Gyeorugi (pronounced [kjʌɾuɡi]), a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000.
Taekwondo as a martial art is popular with people of both genders and of many ages. Physically, taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, agility, flexibility, and stamina.
In Korean, tae (태, 跆) means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon (권, 拳) means "to strike or break with fist"; and do (도, 道) means "way", "method", or "path". Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as "the way of the foot and the hand." The name taekwondo is also written as taekwon-do, tae kwon-do or tae kwon do by various organizations.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
History of Taekwondo
The oldest Korean martial art was an amalgamation of unarmed combat styles developed by the three rival Korean Kingdoms of Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje, where young men were trained in unarmed combat techniques to develop strength, speed, and survival skills.
In spite of Korea's rich history of ancient and martial arts, Korean martial arts faded into obscurity during the late Joseon Dynasty. Korean society became highly centralized under Korean Confucianism and martial arts were poorly regarded in a society whose ideals were epitomized by its scholar-kings. Formal practices of traditional martial arts such as subak and taekkyeon were reserved for sanctioned military uses. However, taekkyeon persisted into the 19th century as a folk game during the May-Dano festival and was still taught as the formal military martial art throughout the Joseon Dynasty.
Early progenitors of Taekwondo who were able to study in Japan were exposed to the Japanese martial arts, of karate, Judo and Kendo, while others were exposed to the martial arts of China and Manchuria as well as to the indigenous Korean martial art of taekkyeon.
When the occupation ended in 1945, Korean martial arts schools (kwans) began to open in Korea. There are differing views on the origins of the arts taught in these schools.
In 1952, at the height of the Korean War, there was a martial arts exhibition in which the kwans displayed their skills. In one demonstration, Nam Tae Hi smashed 13 roof tiles with a punch. Following this demonstration, South Korean President Syngman Rhee instructed Choi Hong Hi to introduce the martial arts to the Korean army. Syngman Rhee ordered that the various schools unify under a single system. The name "taekwondo" was submitted by either Choi Hong Hi (of the Oh Do Kwan) or Song Duk Son (of the Chung Do Kwan), and was accepted on April 11, 1955. The Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) was formed in 1959/1961 to facilitate the unification. The International Taekwon-Do Federation was founded in 1966, followed by World Taekwondo Federation in 1973.
Since 2000, taekwondo has been one of only two Asian martial arts (the other being judo) that are included in the Olympic Games; it became a demonstration event starting with the 1988 games in Seoul, and became an official medal event starting with the 2000 games in Sydney. In 2010, taekwondo was accepted as a Commonwealth Games sport.
One source has estimated that as of 2009, taekwondo was practiced in 123 countries, with over 30 million practitioners and 3 million individuals with black belts throughout the world. The South Korean government in the same year published an estimate of 70 million practitioners in 190 countries.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Counting in Korean:
1 = 하나 (Hana)
2 = 둘 (dhul)
3 = 셋 (seht) (t is almost silent)
4 = 넷 (neh) nett (t is almost silent)
5 = 다섯 (DA-seot) (t is silent)
6 = 여섯 (Yeo-seot) (t is silent)
7 = 일곱 (il-gop)
8 = 여덟 (YUH-deol)
9 = 아홉(AH-hop)
10 =열 (yeol)