What is Taekwondo?
by Dr. Jae Lee, Club President 1996-97, Club Treasurer 1994-1995
Students often come to college and search for things to do other than just their academic work. For those who have the time, they turn to extracurricular activities for whatever reasons they might have:
- meeting new people;
- learning something they’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time;
- relieving their stress; or
- simply just to have fun.
More and more students are finding out that taekwondo does all of the things above and much more.
Hands and Feet
Although taekwondo is gaining more and more popularity among college students across the nation, there are still many who are in the dark as to what taekwondo is, including those who start the art inspired by a martial art movie that they just saw recently.
So, what is taekwondo? To put it succintly, taekwondo is a Korean martial art that puts its emphasis on kicking techniques. The korean word taekwondo translates into “the way of the hand and foot.” Notice how the word “weapon” is not involved. Taekwondo involves the use of only the hands and the feet to accomplish its goals.
Self-Discipline leads to Self-Confidence
The new practitioner will soon find out that taekwondo's emphasis on kicking techniques gives them a great aerobic workout as well as improving their balance and coordination. But these aren't the only things that will improve. Self-evaluation is an important part of taekwondo, resulting in the realization of the student's physical and, more importantly, their mental strengths and weaknesses. These, along with the increased self-discipline, will help the practitioner increase their level of confidence which will be evident in their life outside of taekwondo. Lastly, taekwondo is an excellent way to learn self-defense.
That is taekwondo. However, as with most other things, one will only get out of taekwondo what one puts into it, and these benefits come gradually over a long period of time. But with hard work and dedication, the benefits will gradually be realized and students are always surprised at how much taekwondo has affected their everyday life. •