Belfast Taekwondo (BT1): If you are looking for ways that you can build your confidence, bolster your self-respect, strengthen your mind and body and learn some self-defence techniques, you might think about taking up a sport like Taekwondo. This relatively modern martial art only came into being in Korea during the 1940's and 1950's.
Because Taekwondo has quite high physical demands, it is perhaps more suited to the younger generation in Belfast. That is not to say that older people cannot participate in this activity, but simply that there may be other martial arts that are more suited to the less agile among us. Tai Chi would be the perfect example.
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 techniques.
Taekwondo has become very popular in Belfast and all around the world, with over 60 million practitioners worldwide. Joining a local Belfast 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.
In these times of increasing violence, it is hardly surprising that people in places like Belfast are taking up self-defence classes like Taekwondo to help them feel safer in their local environment. The self-defence aspect is one of the key factors of Taekwondo but it also teaches self-restraint and a respect for other people, which are disciplines that are largely missing in modern day life.
Your First Lesson: If you have never done Taekwondo before you may be a little concerned as to what to expect on your first class. 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 targeting of attacks, and lastly a warm down to relax and stretch tired muscles.
The Eight Basic Taekwondo Kicks: Taekwondo is perhaps most recognized for its acrobatic kicking, here are some of the basic kicks you'll learn as a beginner: Roundhouse Kick, Whip or Hook Kick, Crescent Kick, Side Kick, Front Kick, Axe Kick, Push Kick, Back Kick.
Taekwondo - The Benefits: The benefits that can be gained by participating in Taekwondo classes in Belfast are many and varied, among the most significant are: Improve flexibility, agility and stamina through extreme cardiovascular exertion, Reduced anxiety using advanced breath control, Toughen up your body and mind through enhanced physical coordination and mental discipline, Build up confidence by pushing you to seize control of your life and succeed, Teach you self-defence strategies by helping you recognise instances where self-defence may be required, and empowering you to turn such scenarios to your advantage, Better self-discipline by exhaustively educating your body and mind in the principles and techniques of Taekwondo, Improve self-esteem by heightening your mental and physical health.
Safety Gear: In all matches, events and competitions being staged under the auspices of British Taekwondo, safety gear such as forearm protectors, shin guards, a blue/red head protector, a mouth guard, red/blue trunk armour (hogu), a groin protector and hand guards is mandatory. The kicking tactics used in Taekwondo can cause injury and this all helps to make the sport safer for its competitors.
In Summary: We cannot all be like Jade Jones or Lutalo Muhammad, and I guess that we wouldn't all want to be. Taekwondo isn't just about Olympic titles and National Championships. Most of us are happy to make new friends, meet different people and improve our fitness, and that is how it should be. However, as with most things in life, what you get out of it will depend on what you put into it. Good luck! 👊
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Taekwondo near BT1 district.