FAQs

Below are FAQs as designed for new Taekwon-Do students, particularly the ITF-style.
Courtesy of http://www.lvtkd.com/

Q. Is Taekwon-Do the same as Karate?
A. No. Taekwon-Do is ‘the way of the hands and the feet,’ created by General Choi Hong-Hi on April 11th, 1955. He took Shotokan Karate and Taek-Kyun, a Korean martial art, and changed them into Taekwon-Do. Taekwon-Do is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defense. This martial art has no equal in either power or technique. Most of the devastating maneuvers are based specifically 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. Although this Korean Art of Self-Defense was created from Karate and Taek-Kyun, it is completely different.
Q. What are the benefits of Taekwon-Do?
A. General Choi Hong-Hi, the father of Taekwon-Do says ‘…Taekwon-Do is an art of self-defense which aims at a noble moral rearmament, high degree of intellectual achievement, graceful techniques, formidable power at beauty of physical form…’ Through the scientific practice of Taekwon-Do a person can significantly improve his or her heath and nourish his intellect. Taekwon-Do will help one get in and stay in good shape. Moral society is characterized by self discipline, sacrifice, and devotion- dedication to the art can promote change toward a moral society. If you are interesting in playing a sport or are playing a sport right now, Taekwon-Do will help you become better at all sports you try. Taekwon-Do develops your hand, eye, foot coordination; reflexes, speed, quickness, tones your muscles to run faster and jump higher. It teaches you courtesy and indomitable spirit.
Q. Will I or my child get hurt?
A. ‘Wrongly applied, Taekwon-Do can be a lethal weapon’ says General Choi Hong-Hi, the founder of Taekwon-Do, ‘therefore mental training must always be stressed to prevent the student from misusing it.’ During the Student Oath, the students say, ‘I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do’ and ‘I shall build a more peaceful world.’ The fourth tenet is ‘self-control.’ Yes, it is possible one could be hurt during Taekwon-Do practice, but never severely. The students spar each other from gold stripe and up, wearing protective equipment so they don’t hurt themselves or others. We never have anyone go all-out during free sparring, so the only way someone could get hurt is by accident. During class, the students stand far enough away from each other so no one unknowingly hits another student when practicing. Taekwon-Do, although a martial art, is not practiced so that students can hurt each other. It is practiced so that the students know how to fight so that they don’t have to.
Q. Is it ever too late to start Taekwon-Do?
A. No! Taekwon-Do is for anyone from 6 to 106, It is suitable for the young and old, male and female. Whether you are taking it to learn self-defense, for the exercise, or for self-discipline, the enjoyment derived will justify the time invest and spent. Taekwon-Do can become a way of life, for one person or for the whole family. Every student can go at his or her own pace, learning at the speed that they learn. Hours spent on training, at home or at the do-jang, will not be wasted.
Q. Can anyone take Taekwon-Do?
A. Anyone can take Taekwon-Do, male or female, young or old, strong or weak. Everyone can benefit from the martial art. Young children ages 6 and up can begin classes, and anyone else, older children, teenagers, adults and the elderly can take the ‘way of the hands and the feet’ too.
Q. Are all Taekwon-Do styles the same?
A. No. There is a large amount of styles of Taekwon-Do. Visit the Organizations page on BestTKD to see what they are.
Q. How long does it take to get to black belt and how many belts are there?
A. There are six belt colors which are white, gold, green, blue, red and black. Between each belt advancement is a stripe level. Total there are 11 levels to achieve a black belt. Then there will be all the degrees of black belt, 1st degree to 9th degree. How long does it take to get to black belt? If you don’t miss too many classes, try your hardest and pass your tests, you will reach black belt in three years. But black belt is only the beginning, and just because you get to black belt doesn’t mean you are a master of the martial art.
Q. What about tests?
A. You will test for your gold stripe after 18 classes as a white belt, and will keep testing from there after you have been your belt or stripe for a certain amount of time and know your patterns and other testing requirements for each belt and stripe well. Everyone goes at their own pace, so if you need longer to learn things it is no big deal. What about failing tests? It is possible to fail a test, but if you do you will be able to test again in a little bit. Most people who test pass, because your instrutor probably doesn’t let people test if they are really not ready. The tests are done at class and the student who is testing (usually with other students) will do his or her pattern, free sparring pattern and releases or Step Sparring, and will break a board, and spar no-contact against another student if the testing student is a gold stripe or higher.
Q. Who is General Choi Hong-Hi?
A. General Choi Hong-Hi is the creator of Taekwon-Do. He founded it on April 11th, 1955, and worked very hard to make it the best it could be. He died in 2002, but before his death wrote great works including the 15-volume Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do, Taekwon-Do: The Condensed Encyclopedia and his memoirs, Taekwon-Do and I volumes 1 and 2.
Q. Is Taekwon-Do going to be too hard?
A. What would be the point of doing anything if it was easy? Taekwon-Do is sometimes hard, but is great training and helps you get better and better at what you’ve learned. White belts have it easier than higher belts, and as you gain more knowledge and skill in Taekwon-Do you learn more difficult things. Red belts, black stripes and black belts have the choice to attend the Red and Black Belt class, which is twice a month. Taekwon-Do is difficult, but awesome. But if an adult cannot do back-bridges because of a sore back, or a child cannot do push-ups because of an injured wrist, no one is forced to something they are not yet capable of doing. Remember, the easy choice isn’t always the best choice, and even if Taekwon-Do is sometimes hard, that is no reason to think you cannot handle it.

 

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