Korean Martial Arts: Tae Kwon Do

tkwqTae Kwon Do is one of the most popular Korean martial arts world wide. Tae Kwon Do is a rather new form of combat and it was developed in Korea by different practitioners of martial arts rather recently; namely in the 50s. The salient fact about Tae Kwon Do is perhaps that its development was made possible through the combination of Karate, various Chinese martial art styles, together with already existing native Korean styles, such as Subak, Gwonbeop and Tae Kye On.

Following the end of the Imperial Japanese occupation of Korea, many martial artists that had studied combat arts in Nihon during the rule of Imperial Japan opened dojos to instruct people in the martial arts in Seoul. These dojos, or schools were also known as kwans. In the 40s decade, the word Tae Kwon Do was usually utilized to refer to the different arts practiced in the many kwans in Seoul, given that at every kwan had its very own distinct stylet. The South Korean military decided to incorporate Tae Kwon Do as an official training for their servicemen. This helped this novel, incipient martial art to spread and grow amongst civilians and soon began gaining popularity all over the country.

This particular combat art form features many high and mid air, as well as spinning kicks. In fact there are many complex kick techniques in Tae Kwon Do. In order to allow for quick, spinning kicks, the practitioner usually takes on stances that are perhaps less stable than those employed in other martial arts, which tend to be a little wider and taking up more space. However, it is believed that this adds agility and speed.

In relation to agility and speed, there has been extensive research and investigations in biomechanics and Newtonian physics. The force of a blow increases quadratically with its speed and only linearly with its mass, which means that speed is more relevant than size when it comes to generating power.

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