What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a Korean Martial art and the national sport of South Korea. Tae means “to strike or break with foot,” Kwon means “to strike or break with hand,” and Do means “way” or “method”. Thus, Taekwondo may be translated as “the way of the hand and the foot.”
Taekwondo combines contact techniques, self-defense, sport and exercise together to create a fantastic overall workout. Taekwondo is great for those who want to get in shape, learn self -defense techniques, or for the serious athlete that wants to improve their reflexes for other sports, or to compete in the actual Olympic sport of Taekwondo.
There are two main branches of Taekwondo development:
“Traditional Taekwondo” typically refers to the martial art as it was established in the 1950’s and 1960’s in the South Korean Military, and in various civilian organizations, including schools and universities. In particular, the names and symbolisms of the traditional patterns often refers to elements of Korean history, culture and philosophy.
Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches and open-handed strikes, and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws and joint locks. Some instructors also incorporate the use of pressure points, as well as grabbing self-defense techniques borrowed from other martial arts, such as Judo and Jiu Jitsu.
Today, the sport has blossomed and is now an Olympic event.
Kukkiwon – The Differentiator
Kukkiwon – The World Taekwondo Headquarters
A major difference between Unity Martial Arts Academy and other Dojangs in the area is that our Taekwondo curriculum and our instructors are certified by the Kukkiwon. What does this mean? Quality is delivered based on standards and policies that are adhered to at Unity Martial Arts Academy. The Kukkiwon is recognized worldwide as the only official “Rank” issuing body. A Black Belt certificate from the Kukkiwon is the equivalent of a “Harvard Degree.” All legitimate and official Taekwondo Dojangs have the ability to issue Kukkiwon certificates. Many Americans use the American business culture as an excuse for being able to issue their own rank certificate; but, it’s only recognized at their school. So, if you are looking for legitimacy… make sure they issue a Kukkiwon Certificate.
The Kukkiwon also certifies Dojangs-Taekwondo Schools. This certification ensures all instructors at the Dojang have teaching credentials issued from the Kukkiwon. Only students taught by a credentialed instructor can be issued rank in Taekwondo. At our academy, the instructional staff are required to both earn their UWTA Instructor certification, which teaches them “how” to teach using the UWTA Structured Teaching System (and) to attain their Kukkiwon Credential which ensures they know exactly what to teach at each belt level. These certifications and organizational memberships provide oversite on our facility that ensures “you” get taught the industry recognized standardized knowledge, skills and material in a highly professional manner. There is mandated material designed for each individual belt level that must be taught in sequence in a building block manner for retention, skill and individual growth. Examinations are mandated to ensure you not only know the material but can also perform it against an industry recognized standard. Schools that don’t conduct exams or tests are leaving out one of the most critical aspects of the training.
The Kukkiwon provides credentials and ongoing training for Instructors, Masters and Grand Masters. The Kukkiwon ensures, instructors are kept current on Taekwondo improvements and also trains them in how to create a culturally rich environment dedicated to passing on the “Art” as it was originally envisioned. Ongoing training and certification is mandated for instructors to continue to promote to a higher rank. Certifications include Instructor, Master and Grand Master training courses in all aspects of Taekwondo geared toward the individuals rank. Training also includes examiners certification, tournament judging certification, teaching of all aspects of Taekwondo and personal development course are mandated at each rank level for senior black belts.
Why? Because, a traditional Taekwondo journey should be provided for our students. A journey that includes training the body, mind and spirit. Our goal is to produce strong independent students who learn values they can carry into their everyday life. The ability to protect and defend those values, their choices and decisions is also important. Taekwondo is an art and the product of the art is a strong independent person who can be successful in all things they put their mind to achieving. Taekwondo provides the inner strength to be that person.
Bottom line, if you are looking for a highly trained and credentialed instructor, make sure they have Kukkiwon Rank and Licensing. At Unity Martial Arts Academy, our commitment is to provide you with the highest quality traditional Taekwondo training environment available anywhere in the market.