Tae Kwon Do is one of the most popular sports in the world, one with a particularly rich and diverse history. Despite its status as the world’s premier martial art, there are still many aspects of Tae Kwon Do that are little known to the general public - everything from the age of the sport, to some of the more famous practitioners. There is often a belief that learning a martial art, such as Tae Kwon Do, must be a life-long endeavor that needs to be started when you are 4 years old and practiced for the rest of your life. Tae Kwon Do does provide an avenue for someone to continually progress for decades but here at our school, anyone at almost any age can start their training. All ages and genders can benefit from the fun classes we provide, and with that in mind, here are just a few fun facts about Tae Kwon Do to stimulate your interest in taking up the sport.
1. Over 70 million people worldwide practice Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports in the world, let alone being the most popular martial arts around the globe. Over 70 million people, in 188 countries, regularly enjoy the benefits that Tae Kwon Do can provide. More martial artists practice Tae Kwon Do than all other martial arts combined. It is estimated that at least 4 million of Tae Kwon Do practitioners have reached black belt level – surely great motivation for any martial arts enthusiast!
2. Tae Kwon Do is one of the oldest sports in the world
Despite only being professionally organized as a sport in 1955, there is ample evidence to suggest that Tae Kwon Do has been practiced for nearly 2,000 years! Originating in Korea, a host of artistic and archaeological findings have demonstrated that the basics of Tae Kwon Do have been carried out since the 1st Century AD. When you engage in martial arts training, you’re not only enhancing your skills, but you’re also tapping into a rich and diverse tradition.
3. Tae Kwon Do has been practiced by many celebrities
A host of famous people have spoken about the benefits that Tae Kwon Do provided them. Notable practitioners include Jean Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris, but there are plenty of other stars who dedicated themselves to the sport. Chinese superstar Jackie Chan is proficient in Tae Kwon Do, alongside other well-known TV personalities such as Sarah Michelle Gellar and Joe Rogan. Tae Kwon Do may help you or your family to shine on the silver screen!
4. Tae Kwon Do is one of the two martial arts included in the Olympics
It may surprise some to learn that there are only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games – and one of them is Tae Kwon Do! Along with Judo, Tae Kwon Do is considered one of the premier combat sports in the world. After a demonstration at the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea, Tae Kwon Do became a regular fixture of the international sporting competition at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
5. Tae Kwon Do is the national sport of South Korea
Considering that Tae Kwon Do originated in Korea, it’s hardly surprising that it is officially the national sport of South Korea. Moreover, the largest Tae Kwon Do tournament organization, the World Tae Kwon Do Federation, has its headquarters in the country – truly the home of the sport we love!
6. Tae Kwon Do training occurs in the Dojang
Within any Tae Kwon Do school, the place where training and practice occurs is called the Dojang. Usually translated as gymnasium, the word Dojang may also be used to refer to a Tae Kwon Do school in general, and they are usually colored red and blue to reflect the colors of the Taegeuk, a traditional Korean symbol. Dojangs are also often decorated with flags, banners, belts, and much more.
7. Tae Kwon Do students wear uniform called a Dobok
Tae Kwon Do students usually wear traditional Korean martial arts uniform, which is composed of a white uniform with a colored belt (representing the practitioner’s rank) tied around the waist. This is called a Dobok and is a much prized possession for any Tae Kwon Do enthusiast.
8. Tae Kwon Do translates as “the way of the foot and fist”
The word Tae Kwon Do translate into English as “the way of the foot and fist”. This is due to the combination of the word “Tae”, meaning “to use the feet”, with “Kwon”, meaning “to strike”, alongside the word “Do”, meaning “path” or “way.
9. Tae Kwon Do is more than just a combat sport
Despite being considered principally a combat sport, Tae Kwon Do is so much more than that. The sport includes a mixture of kicks, punches, and blocks, but one of the most important aspects of Tae Kwon Do is the mental discipline, dedication, and concentration that is required to hone one’s skills. This is what makes Tae Kwon Do perfect for those of all ages, genders, and physical abilities – sign up with us today to see how Tae Kwon Do can transform your family!
These are just a few facts to stimulate your interest in a sport that can have incredibly transformative effects on your life, and the life of your family and loved ones. To learn more about how Tae Kwon Do can change your life for the better, have a look at our blog series that discusses the journey you can undertake by learning the world’s premier martial art:
About the Author
If you are motivated by what you have read here and want to try one of our Tae Kwon Do classes, getting started is easy! Master Justin Scarsella has been teaching with his team of talented instructors in Birmingham since 2004, and World Class Tae Kwon Do Schools have been operating across the country since 1983! Their top-rated instruction methods, along with the time and care dedicated to each student’s needs and abilities, have seen him receive glowing reviews throughout his career. He now has two locations in the Hoover and Birmingham areas, and his classes cater to all ages, aged 4 and up – even families can take part together! You can try your first three classes FREE - which includes a FREE uniform!