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In this section we give an introduction to Taekwondo, one of the most popular and amazing of the martial arts!

We start with an awesome video from the KOREA TAEKWONDO DEMO TEAM, followed by an introduction to what Taekwondo is and then present some excerpts of published scientific articles about Taekwondo's benefits to demystify it and back up our love for this amazing martial art! -- Enjoy!


Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, characterized by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques.

What is Taekwondo?

Excerpt from "Martial Arts for Health – Translating Research into Practice"

and From - See full article:

Taekwondo, a Korean word meaning the way of kicking and punching, is a martial art that originated in Korea and has become a globally popular sport. According to figures from the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and the International TaekwonDo Federation (ITF), over 80 million people practice TKD in approximately 182 countries around the world [1,2].

Among the general public, taekwondo is distinguished from other martial arts by its high speed, sweeping kicks and emphatic punches. Taekwondo was developed as a sport that is also representative of a moral code, where principles of loyalty, faithfulness, respect and the preservation of an indomitable spirit form a significant part of taekwondo training.

Taekwondo proficiency is recognized through the award of different classifications of belt, with each belt color signifying a level of taekwondo ability.

Taekwondo - is it safe, what are the benefits?

Excerpt from "Martial Arts for Health – Translating Research into Practice"

Author: Shirley S.M. Fong Published by OMICS Group eBooks

Shirley Fong is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Human Performance at the University of Hong Kong.

Despite its combative nature, TKD is relatively safe because training is progressive and protective gear and helmets are mandatory. In addition, TKD athletes must follow strict rules during free-sparring tournaments. Therefore, the injury rate among TKD practitioners tends to be lower than that of other martial arts [3]. TKD training is not hazardous to the practitioners’ health. It may even generate a number of physiological and physical benefits, such as improved flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, anaerobic and aerobic capacity, body composition, reaction time, body balance and bone mineral density in different populations [4-16]. Psychologically, TKD may improve mood, self-concept and self-control without increasing aggressiveness in its practitioners [17-21]. TKD is thus suggested to be an ideal exercise for improving physical and psychological well-being among people of all ages.

Taekwondo - Psychological Health

Excerpt from "Martial Arts for Health – Translating Research into Practice"

Author: Shirley S.M. Fong Published by OMICS Group eBooks

Shirley Fong is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Human Performance at the University of Hong Kong.

TKD not only improves practitioners’ physical health, it also improves their psychological well-being. Evidence has suggested that TKD training may improve college women’s self-concept [17], decrease anxiety in adults [18], improve self-regulation and classroom conduct in school-aged children [19], induce positive mood state changes in college-aged students [20] and even reduce juvenile delinquent tendencies [57]. Although TKD is a combat sport, long-term training is associated with a lower level of aggressive fantasy [21]. It is thus an ideal exercise for all ages from the psychological point of view.

The Exploration of the Effect of Taekwondo Training on Personality Traits

Summary of Study Submitted by: Dr. Richard C. Bell, United States Sports Academy and Chia-Ming Chang, Tajen Institute of Technology, Taiwan, Republic of China

Research suggests that Taekwondo training may have many psychological benefits, such as enhanced self-esteem, self-concept (Columbus & Rice, 1991, cited from Kurian et al., 1993 ; Finkenberg, 1990), and reducing aggressiveness (Skelton, 1991). In the study of Kurian et al. (1993), it was indicated that Taekwondo training could decrease scores on anxiety and increase scores on personal independence and ability to take a leadership role. Furthermore, Kurian et al. (1993) concluded that participation of Taekwondo training might be used as a therapeutic program. Finkenberg (1990) found that Taekwondo training was helpful for college women to build self-concept.

Promoting self-regulation through Taekwondo training

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology

Kimberley DLakesWilliam THoyt

Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

The impact of school-based Tae Kwon Do training on self-regulatory abilities was examined.. After a 3-month intervention, results indicated that the martial arts group demonstrated greater improvements than the comparison group in areas of cognitive self-regulation, affective self-regulation, prosocial behavior, classroom conduct, and performance on a mental math test. A significant Group × Gender interaction was found for cognitive self-regulation and classroom conduct, with boys showing greater improvements than girls.