Silhouette of a man kicking in the Air practicing martial arts image by Angel-Photos from Fotolia.com
Tae Kwon Do is a Korean Martial Art that focuses on long stances, high kicks and physical and mental discipline. This traditional style of martial arts is popular with practitioners of all ages and there are several well-qualified instructors and organisations dedicated to promoting this popular art form.
Do your research. Open your web browser and go to http://www.taekwondo-network.com. This is an online repository of Tae Kwon Do information, techniques and history.
Read about the history and purpose of Tae Kwon Do. Click on the "Tae Kwon Do History" link in the left hand sidebar. Tae Kwon Do is more than just kicks and punches. It is a traditional form of self defence that focuses on honour, self respect and discipline. It is important to understand these principles before attempting the techniques.
Click the "Techniques" link. This page gives a basic overview of the positions and strikes you will use.
Learn the basic stances. It's necessary to learn how to properly stand, balance and shift your weight before attempting more complex manoeuvres. The Front Stance and Back Stance are the two most used positions.
Practice the basic strikes. The front punch is the first strike you should understand. The power of Tae Kwon Do strikes comes from the speed, not muscle. Punches are delivered so that only the first two knuckles of the hand come in contact with the target.
Try the basic blocks. High Block, Middle Block and Low Block are essential defence techniques. Practice each one in both the front and back stances until you are comfortable.
Master the Front, Side and Roundhouse kicks. These moves make up the final elements of the basic Tae Kwon Do technique. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and require you to strike with various parts of your feet. When practicing focus on speed, leg extension and balance.
Put it all together. Forms or "Poomse" combine kicking, punching and blocking into choreographed routines designed to sharpen skills and fluidity between movements. From the Tae Kwon Do Network's home page, click "Forms Tae Kwon Do Poomse." There are several different Tae Kwon Do styles and just as many groups of forms with several overlapping. Choose one group and use the photos and videos available to begin practice.
- While there are several online resources that can get you started, it's a good idea to look for a martial arts school in your area to really master the art form. Tae Kwon Do is quite popular, so there are usually low priced schools and community groups, including the YMCA and local Boys and Girls clubs, that offer regular classes. This in-person instruction will help to perfect your techniques as you move up in rank and understanding.
- Silhouette of a man kicking in the Air practicing martial arts image by Angel-Photos from Fotolia.com