Taekwondo - The Traditional Art
Archeological findings in Korea have revealed that several martial arts (primitive forms of Taekwondo) were practised as far back as 2000 years ago. During the long and embattled history of Korea, Taekwondo (originally called Subak and Takyon) evolved from a survival fighting system to a complete Martial Art. It became the ethical, mental and physical foundation of the discipline of the Hwarang, the legendary warrior-knights of the Silla Dynasty.
Through the centuries, the Korean peninsula was often attacked and invaded by neighbouring countries. However the fierce spirit of the Korean people was never crushed and the art of Taekwondo was preserved as part of the cultural and martial heritage of their nation. It was handed down from one generation to the next, refined and strengthened in the process. When its practice was outlawed by invaders, it was kept alive secretly, often in secluded monasteries.
Finally, in the early 1950's, many Associations were formed to revitalise, organise and promote the ancient Martial Arts of Korea. In 1965, the Korea Taekwondo Association was recognised by the government as the organisation to bring together the different schools (Kwan) and styles into one. Since then Taekwondo has achieved great popularity becoming the first national sport of Korea. It is now included in the school curriculum from first grade to college and it is required practice for the Police and the Military.
The name Tae Kwon Do is translated as, "the way of the smashing hand and foot".
Taekwondo - The Sport
Today, not only has Taekwondo evolved from a traditional Martial Art into a scientific Self Defense system, it has also become one of the fastest growing competitive sports in the world. Now it is a modern sport practised by over 30 million people in 172 countries around the world. Taekwondo was first introduced as a demonstration sport at the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics, and more recently making its debut as an official Olympic Sport at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
With regular well organised competitions both nationally and internationally the sports aspect of taekwondo has become very popular with both male and female teenagers through to adults.
City West Taekwondo, although a young club in years, is well known to the Taekwondo community as a high skilled and successful tournament club. During the past 6 years since becoming a full time centre 17 members have competed internationally. 2004 has seen our first international gold medal at the Malaysian open, a silver and 2 bronze medals overseas and a quarter finals appearance at the Junior World Championships in Korea.
Taekwondo - A form of Self Defence
Traditional and Sport Taekwondo can be considered forms of self defence. However the practicality of an ancient self defence system or new style competition system defined tightly by rules and practised in a controlled environment do have their limits. Fortunately the teaching syllabus at City West Taekwondo incorporates many practical self defence techniques, theories and systems taught by many different martial arts styles around the world. All instructors at the club are encouraged to train in other styles of martial arts as an adjunct to further broaden their knowledge and the over pool of knowledge.