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What is Taekwondo?

22 July 2007

Taekwondo is a martial art and combat sport originating in Korea. One of the most widely practiced martial arts in the world, it is the national sport of South Korea and one form of sparring (kyurigi) is an Olympic sporting event. "Taekwondo", translated literally means: Foot Hand Way.

Taekwondo is famed for its use of kicking techniques, which distinguishes it from martial arts such as karate or southern styles of kung fu. The rationale is that the leg is the longest and strongest weapon a martial artist has, and kicks thus have the greatest potential to execute powerful strikes without successful retaliation.

Taekwondo as a sport and exercise is popular with people of both sexes and of many ages. Physically, taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina. An example of the union of mental and physical discipline is the breaking of boards, which requires both physical mastery of the technique and the concentration to focus one’s strength.

Like many martial arts, Taekwondo has ten student ranks (called a kup) and ten black belt ranks (dan) or "degree". New students begin at 10th kup (white belt) and advance down in number to 1st kup. After some prescribed amount of time has passed, the student takes a dan test, after which the student becomes a 1st dan.

Dan ranks then increase to a maximum of 10th dan. The Kukkiwon - the world taekwondo headquarters - does not allow students under 15 to attain dan ranks. Instead they earn poom ranks, or "junior black belt". Underage students may earn up to 3th Poom, and all poom ranks convert automatically to dan ranks when the student comes of age and passes his or her next promotion.

The grading in taekwondo consists mainly of patterns (poomse), techniques, self-defense and theory. The patterns are a display of punching and kicking techniques, and may also contain others such as breathing and stances. Theory is displayed verbally and expresses information on Korean words, vital information (such as vital points and rules) and a general understanding and knowledge of taekwondo.

Gianni Cappellano new LTA president

Gianni Cappellano new LTA president

The LTA is delighted to announce the appointment of Gianni Cappellano as new President on February 19, 2013. Gianni Cappellano holds the 3d dan in Taekwondo and trains in the clubs of Esch/Alzette and Junglinster.

Joe Brink, sportsman of the year

Joe Brink, sportsman of the year

For his excellent results at competitions and his efforts in the promotion of Taekwondo, Joe Brink was elected LTA sportsman of the year.