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The Benefits of Taekwondo


By Tina Pretsch, The Daniel Plan Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer

Taekwondo
Tina Pretsch (on right), after receiving her 1st Degree Black Belt
May, 2006

Taekwondo (TKD) is a Korean martial art of self-defense, similar to karate. TKD is the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way."

Taekwondo serves as a means of self-protection, giving one the assurance of being able to do so if the need arises.

TKD will strengthen your body and improve your health through physical exercise and conditioning. It's a series of isometric and dynamic tension exercises that will improve muscle tone and increase overall strength. It will also improve coordination, give you more energy and higher self- esteem.

TKD is also a family sport and discipline. In today's busy world, TKD is an activity the entire family can enjoy together. Children can start taking classes from as early as four-years-old. Regardless of your age, TKD teaches discipline in a group among others of various ages who value education. Master instructors will instill values respect, trust and open communication -- which are all essential in life. Taekwondo training also promotes values such as honesty, courtesy, loyalty, and cooperation.

My Experience

It took me 2 1/2 years of consistent training and testing to get my 1st degree black belt. I like that its a contact sport and that you use your legs a lot. I love the discipline and values it teaches you. For example, we started every class reciting the five tenants of TKD: Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, Indomitable Spirit. I competed in tournaments which were very competitive, earning 2nd place for braking boards and 3rd place for sparring.

The Best System

To advance from one rank to the next, students typically complete promotion tests in which they demonstrate their proficiency before a panel of judges. Tests include such elements as the demonstration of your current pattern, the breaking of boards, sparring, and answering questions on terminology, concepts and history to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the art.

Benefits

  • Teaches self-defense by training you to recognize situations in which physical self-defense may be necessary, and teaching you how to control such situations to your advantage.
  • Enhances self-esteem by heightening your physical and mental powers.
  • Builds confidence by encouraging you to succeed and to take control of your life.
  • Improved flexibility.
  • Strengthen your mind and body through increased physical coordination and mental discipline.
  • A great family sport.
  • In just a few weeks, many people feel calmer and improved clarity and focus.