Taekwon-Do

"Taekwon-Do" literally means, "Way or Art of hand and foot". 

"Tae" means "to smash, kick or destroy with the foot"
"Kwon" means "to smash or destroy with the hand"
"Do" means "way or art".

It is more than just that, however. It is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defence; a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive physical and mental training.

Taekwon-Do is the Korean art of unarmed self defence practised by millions of people around the world. Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-control and Indomitable Spirit are the tenets that we teach and practise in our daily lives.


It is a martial art that has no equal in either power or technique. Though it is a martial art, its discipline, technique and mental training are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. It is this mental conditioning that separates the true practitioner from the sensationalist, content with mastering only the fighting aspects of the art.

This is one of the reasons that Taekwon-Do is called an art of self-defence. It also implies a way of thinking and life, particularly in instilling a concept and spirit of strict self-imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral rearmament. The nearest description of it is almost a cult.

Translated literally "Tae" stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist-chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist. "Do" means an art or way - the right way built and paved by the saints and sages in the past.

Thus taken collectively "Taekwon-Do" indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defence as well as health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the moving opponent or opponents.

Taekwon-Do definitely enables the weak to possess a fine weapon together with confidence to defend him or herself and defeat the opponent as well. Of course, wrongly applied, Taekwon-Do can be a lethal weapon. Therefore mental training must always be stressed to prevent the student from misusing it.

As for women folk, they will undoubtedly find Taekwon-Do an invaluable asset in tackling and driving away "wolves", so to speak. When one is informed of the many instances where frail women effectively protected themselves, they may sound unbelievable. But really, they have been able to do so because they are well versed in the art of self-defence.

The feats of Taekwon-Do are great in number. To mention a few is probably pertinent: for instance, flying over a mounted motorcycle or eleven persons in line to attack a target with the foot; breaking an inch thick pine board placed at a height of ten or eleven feet with the foot; breaking two pieces of red brick with an open hand or knife-hand; smashing seven or eight pieces of two inch thick pine board at a single blow with the fist; attacking two targets with the same foot in succession while flying and so on. To the layman in the street, such feats may sound impossible, but to the serious students of Taekwon-Do and the exponents of this art, it is quite ordinary. Of course, by mastering this art it does not mean that you will be asked to do acts of impossibility. Particularly if someone should challenge you to kill a wild bull with your bare hands. Therefore it is clear that equivalent demonstrations of such effective use of pure somatic force is not to be seen in other forms of physical combat technique.

Incessant training is essential to keep oneself in top form and physical condition. In training, all the muscles of the human body will be used. From the use of one's muscles, it will be possible to harness all available power generated by every muscular contraction. It will then be necessary to deliver such power to the human target especially to where the most vulnerable points or vital spots of one's opponent are located, in particular when the opponent is in motion. At this point it is necessary to remind the students of Taekwon-Do that this art of self-defence is specially designed for swift retaliation against the moving aggressor.

Most of the devastating maneuvers in Taekwon-Do are based specially on the initial impact of a blow plus the consequential additional force provided by the rebound of the opponent's moving part of the body. Similarly by using the attacker's force of momentum, the slightest push is all that is needed to upset his or her equilibrium and to topple him or her.

In the case of the students of Taekwon-Do who have been in constant practice or the experts themselves, they spend no time thinking, as such an action comes automatically to them. Their actions, in short, have become conditioned reflexes.Therefore, throughout this Encyclopedia, the readers will notice that repeated emphasis is placed on regular training, in order to master the techniques of attack and defence.

Hours spent on training will not be wasted; for surely you will reap a rich reward in the form of speedy reactions and deadly blows to rain down upon your enemy or in any case to save life if and when a need arises. Even if Taekwon-Do is practiced for the sake of exercise alone, the enjoyment derived will justify the time invested and spent. As an exercise, it is equally suitable for the old and young, male and female.


The Tenets of Taekwon-Do (Taekwon-Do Jungshin)

Courtesy (Ye Ui)
To be thoughtful and considerate of others. Taekwon-Do students should be polite, and show consideration for others.

Integrity (Yom Chi)
Integrity describes how you should interact with others.  To be honest and good, earn respect and trust.

Perseverance (In Nae)
Your internal drive.  Challenges allow us to improve ourselves and should therefore not be avoided.

Self control (Guk Ki)
To have control of your body and mind.  A Taekwon-Do student should practice controlling his actions and reactions

Indomitable spirit (Baekjool Boolgool)
To have courage in the face of adversity.  A Taekwon-Do student should never be dominated by, or have his spirit broken by another. 

What Can Taekwon-Do Offer You?

Whether you're a young 6 year old, or a more mature 60+ year old there is no doubt you can benefit from regular training in Taekwon-Do..

If you are looking to increase your fitness level, improve flexibility, or build a more healthier and toned body then Taekwon-Do is definitely for you.  We provide training that has been scientifically designed to help you get fit, supple, and stay naturally toned.

No matter if  you're an experienced Martial Artist or complete novice, you'll find we have something to offer you.  From performing patterns, and sparring to self-defense and breaking techniques

Taekwon-Do United Kingdom

Taekwon-Do UK is a group of like minded instructors who teach traditional ITF Taekwon-Do, catering for today's modern society.

Our mission is to promote the Art of Taekwon-Do according to the teachings of its Founder, General Choi Hong Hi, whilst creating a world class association with consistent performance standards.


You will be well looked after by one of our fully qualified, CRB checked, indemnified instructors. We run classes for children/juniors and adults of all ages.


T-UK provide full insurance, uniforms and equipment through our schools. To obtain any further information about T-UK, or any of our schools, please send us an email to [email protected] and we will be happy to send you any information you require.


All of our schools are fully registered and certified with the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF).


As a student training with T-UK you will be able to take 3 or 4 grading test per year, where upon you will be presented with your new belt and certificate.


T-UK hold national tournaments, courses and seminars on an international level are able to compete on ITF European and World Championships.

International Taekwon-Do Federation

The International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) was founded on March 22nd, 1966, by General Choi Hong Hi, who developed Taekwon-Do, to promote the teaching of this martial art.


At that time, nine countries were involved: Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, West Germany, USA, Turkey, Italy, and Egypt. Taekwon-Do is now taught in almost every country in the world, and General Choi is recognized as the Father of Taekwon-Do.


The mission of the ITF is to represent, promote, and work for the development of the practice of Taekwon-Do in all countries by:

  • Co-ordinating and certifying Taekwon-Do activities such as competitions and seminars
  • Setting and enforcing high quality standards for technical and teaching
  • Identifying and collaborating with affiliated organizations, such as Continental Federations, National Associations, and Allied National Associations
  • Providing assistance to local Taekwon-Do organizations
  • Certification for Black Belt holders, international instructors and umpires

Practitioners of Taekwon-Do (TKD) recognize that they are forever students of our Founder, General Choi Hong Hi. The ITF and its affiliated organizations will strengthen and promote the legacy of General Choi as described in his Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do, notably the twenty-four patterns and the philosophy.

The ITF belongs to all its members; it must work for its members and with its members to provide the services they need and want.

The ITF and its affiliated organizations are always open to suggestions from members and encourage innovative ideas.

The ITF and its affiliated organizations are and must remain free of all political influence.

All qualifications and promotions within the ITF and its affiliated organizations will be attributed according to merit and in conformity with well-established criteria.

The respect of hierarchy authority is an important principle in all martial arts. All members of ITF will respect those who are their seniors in the organization, particularly their teacher. On the other hand, the seniors will treat their students and other juniors with respect and fairness.

In his speech to the 14th Congress Meeting in Warsaw (Poland) in June 2003, newly-elected ITF President, Master Trân Trieu Quân outlined the vision the new ITF team has for the organization. The following is an excerpt from that speech:

ITF Taekwon-Do is a sport, a martial art, a way of life, and a tool for social development. How can we work together for progress on all four facets?


Taekwon-Do is a Sport

To develop ITF Taekwon-Do as a sport and encourage greater participation in competitions, major changes will be made to tournament rules, to the competition calendar, and to the qualification process. Training for umpires will be upgraded, and we will investigate the use of a computerized scoring system. Competitors will be happier and motivated to continue when our competitions are safer and scoring is more precise and reliable. Competitions held in well-known locations around the globe will focus attention on the ITF and will result in greater visibility.


Taekwon-Do is a Martial Art

To improve ITF Taekwon-Do as a martial art, there will be increased emphasis on the traditional core values and protocol. The teaching of self-defence our "raison d'etre" will be improved. We will use seminars, documentation, videos, and other means of communication to spread knowledge of ITF Taekwon-Do, reaching out to new markets and to new participants, particularly women.


Taekwon-Do is a Way of Life

To demonstrate the value of ITF Taekwon-Do as a way of life, we must teach all facets of ITF Taekwon-Do, including the Do. I can tell you that General Choi true last wish and words of guidance for us for the future are found in the introduction to his last book Moral Culture. The General had come to realize that most of the emphasis had been placed on the teaching of the technical aspects of ITF Taekwon-Do. He felt it would be up to the next generation to give equal importance to the teaching of the Do.

We have already started working on a Code of Ethics based on the Do. In future, we will use all the resources available to us to teach the whole ITF Taekwon-Do: the technical and the Do. By studying the Do, our students will grow in understanding of the ?why?, not only the ?how?.

The ultimate purpose of life is the search for happiness. Many people suffer because they do not have the proper value system that leads to a balanced life and happiness. We have a solid philosophy and the tools to apply it in our lives. Now we must put in place a structure to teach the mental and spiritual aspects of ITF Taekwon-Do to our students so that they will be able to achieve a balanced life and happiness.