UK Taekwondo: If you are looking to take up a new hobby which will enable you to enhance your self-esteem, build your confidence, teach you some self-defence techniques and strengthen your mind and body, you might consider taekwondo as a possible candidate. This Korean inspired martial art has grown in popularity since its development during the 1940's.
Due to its rather more physical aspects, taekwondo is perhaps more suited to the younger person in the UK and is particularly suitable for children as it is great for developing self-discipline and respect for others. Older adults may find it somewhat too demanding unless they are particularly fit and active. However those who take up taekwondo in the UK at a young age will find they can easily carry it on into older adulthood. The less agile of you might consider something softer like tai chi.
Taekwondo is one of the more recently developed of the martial arts, with its beginnings in Korea in 1945. A group of Korean martial artists in Seoul established some new schools known as "kwans", combining various martial arts techniques. Taekwondo, which it eventually became known as, mostly involves kicking manoeuvres, especially head-height kicks, jumping/spinning kicks and fast kicking methods.
Taekwondo has become very popular in the UK and all around the world, with over 60 million practitioners worldwide. Joining a local taekwondo club or class is a good way to get involved in this sport which has even featured in the Olympic Games since the Sydney Games of 2000. While you may not aspire to Olympic competition, there is no reason why you cannot become a master of this exciting martial art and have some fun along the way.
For many people in the UK, it is the self-defence aspect of taekwondo that has the most appeal. And in these days of increased violence, especially in town and city centres, it is no surprise that this features high on people's list of priorities. It is a key factor of taekwondo that you can become confident in your ability to defend yourself and at the same time learn to respect others and learn self-restraint.
Hopefully you will never need to use your newly learned taekwondo skills for defending yourself outside of your local club scenario, but it is nice to know it is there if you need it.
Your First UK Taekwondo Lesson: If you have never done Taekwondo before you may be a little concerned as to what to expect on your first lesson. This will vary from school to school but will usually involve some or all of the following. A 15-20 minute warm up to increase heart rate and loosen muscles, some technical training involving learning some stances, hand attacks, blocks and kicks, learning some forms (or Poomse), an introduction to sparring including movement, timing and the trageting of attacks, and lastly a warm down to relax and stretch tired muscles.
You can find out more information about Taekwondo in the UK by visiting this page: British Taekwondo