What is Tae Kwon Do?
Benefits of Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do at RPI
TKD characters



Though is roots stretch back hundreds of years, Tae Kwon Do is a relatively new formulation of Korean martial art. During the Japanese occupation of Korea in the years before and during World War II, the martial art style that was first developed for soldiers thousands of years ago was suppressed by Imperial Law, and nearly lost. Risking punishment by death, masters of the Korean fighting forms were forced to take their schools underground until the end of the war.

In the late 1940s, in post-war Korea, the old fighting arts resurfaced, with the name "Tae Kwon Do", which loosely translated means "The way of the Hands and Feet". It was brought to the United States by a Korean Master who had formerly taught the Korean police and military. This Master, Duk Sung Son, started the Chung Do Kwan school, or "blue wave school" in Manhatten in 1963.

What Sets it Apart

Distinctions may be made between Martial Arts by describing them in terms of hard or soft, and circular or linear. Tae Kwon Do is an unarmed, hard, linear style of fighting. This means that it uses strong, quick techniques such as blocks, punches, and kicks to disable an opponent. Quick, powerful, strikes are delivered with precision to an opponent's vulnerable targets. This is in contrast to the more circular, soft forms of martial arts, such as Capoeira or Aikido, which will often seek to redirect the force of an opponent's attack. One facet that distinguishes Tae Kwon Do from other hard and linear martial arts, such as Karate, is the quick and powerful kicking techniques for which Korean arts are known.

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