Modern taekwondo has been developed into a nationwide sport practiced by soldiers, policemen and students, while a number of instructors dispatched abroad is estimated around 2,000 in 200 nations, and approximately 50 million people practice taekwondo all over the world. It is certain that Taekwondo is playing a leading role in enhancing national status of Korea as a diplomatic delegate. Taekwondo is namely standing in front of us as a sport equally beloved by the whole world, not as a simple Korean traditional martial art. The origin of Taekwondo dates back to the period of Three kingdoms used part of struggles for existence as it was found that a similar martial art was practiced in that age.
This character of self-protection is still influencing, thus it is easily noticed that taekwondo is recognized by its function of self-defense skill or body-strengthening. Although these aspects can be seen as a historic meaning and a root of taekwondo, taekwondo as a martial art indeed puts down into the academic field in line with mental discipline.
Taekwondo’s academic character is understood in a way of a practical science in view of the facts that mechanical relationship is more important that simple theoretical feature. The constituent units of taekwodno are spirit, stamina and technique. Scientific contemplation is required to and enhanced by techniques.
‘Poomsae is a form systemized scientifically and comprehensively aiming at allowing to effectively practice against an imaginary enemy.’ (Taekwondo, Athletic Encyclopedia) ‘Poomsae is a formulation of various actions needed for an exchange of attacks and defenses and method of movements, devised in an era when it was difficult to find the opponent since competition was not a popularized method, for self-training on the theoretical basis.’ (Taekwondo textbook, the Headquarters of Army) In conclusion, Poomsae may be defined as the activity that improves Taekwondo techniques as well as health condition practicing against an imaginary enemy in appliance of basic Taekwondo movements so that practitioners can cultivate their creative ability. Studies on Poomsae will be actively implemented if Poomsae competitions are organized.
Kyukpa assess degree of training in accuracy, power, speed and concentration through the method of breaking objects with foot, knife hand, fist and elbow. Although Kyukpa can be improved in efficiency with assistance of Dynamics and Physiology, it requires constant training on a long-term basis and in the order of targeting, planning, practicing, adapting and creating. The effectiveness may be maximized by increasing the ultimate goal. Practitioners gain confidence and realize their potentials with experiencing improvement in breaking abilities.
‘Hoshinsul’ is self-defense skill protecting oneself from the opponent’s unexpected attack. It is like an insurance prepared for unforseen disasters. In order to reach the high extent, planned and constant training is essential. Hoshinsul also requires comprehensive mental cultivation as well as adequate response for an immediate reaction to any situation.
Kyorugi is aimed at making practitioners apply energy of attack and defense obtained through Poomsae training at an actual fighting, and this definition is matched with that of the taekwondo textbook published by the Headquarters of Army. It is namely a sparring against two opponents representing various Poomsae movements.
Accordingly, Kyorugi may be defined as an activity stimulating brain activity, strengthening body and providing a fine habit for successful life through studying the opponent’s techniques, stamina, spiritual strength and strategy, and mapping out the strategy to win the opponent based on well-trained skills, learned from mind discipline, basic movements, poomsae, kyukpa and hoshinsul. Taekwondo is still recognized as ‘a sport’ among people. However, as status of Taekwondo has been increased and is now regarded as one of the studies, Taekwondo has expanded its area in quality and quantity as an international sport Therefore, concept of Taekwondo must be changed from a simple sport to multiple and dynamic concepts based on Physiology, Physics and Humanistic.