MARTIAL ARTS FOR KIDS AND ADULTS: Learn self-defense and keep fit with Phoenix Taekwon-Do
Founded in Korea, Taekwon-Do (TKD) is a relaxed form of martial arts. This means that the movements you learn are not as rigid as Karate but are more flowing and stop with an ‘explosion’ of power. TKD is a stand up martial art as opposed to a grappling (Judo) or ground (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) based fighting system.
One of the key elements of TKD is a motion called ‘sign wave’, which can be interpreted as utilising a knee-spring to perform a down-up-down motion to generate power.
Another important part of TKD is the short, sharp breath which is released at the point of impact which has a double purpose, firstly, to create more power, and the secondly to condition the muscles should a blow be received. When done correctly, it helps to tone the body.
TKD teaching is broken up in various segments. The fundamental TKD exercises will teach you the basics of stances, hand techniques, foot techniques and also directional movement. The directional movement exercises teach you how to change direction by turning to your left, right and rotating. These techniques have to be performed while readying yourself to attack an opponent and to defend yourself in case of an attack. Although the techniques are fairly simple it takes much practice to make them effective.
Once the basics have been learnt the student then learns the patterns segment. These patterns incorporate the fundamental techniques and are put together for the purpose of defence and attack training. These patterns move in various directions and are designed to deal with various combat scenarios.
Sparring, which is a form of ‘light’ fighting between two TKD practitioners, occurs in a controlled and disciplined environment. The fighters practically apply all they have learnt in the fundamental training and from the pattern segment. Sparring teaches the practitioners to judge distance, read the opponents movements and to use the correct techniques to defeat an opponent.
As TKD is a contact sport conditioning of the body is essential and is done in various ways, including breathing and various cardio exercises to strengthen the heart and muscles.
TKD was originally developed in feudal times and is a very good self-defence art. The application of TKD in self-defence is taught in class.
TKD is an enjoyable martial art that challenges the practitioner mentally and physically. It helps develop physical fitness, co-ordination, self-discipline, strength of character and leadership skills, so why don’t you visit us at Phoenix Taekwon-Do and experience TKD yourself. Call 083 236 4799 or email [email protected].
Gerd Hummel has a 6th Degree Black Belt in TKD; is Chief Instructor Eastern Cape ITF Taekwon-Do Federation and President of Eastern Cape ITF Taekwon-Do Federation and Eastern Cape Martial Arts Council.