UK Taekwondo: Mastering a new skill is always rewarding and the martial arts are very popular at the moment. Taking up a sport like Taekwondo helps you to learn self-defence, bolster your self-esteem, strengthen your mind and body and build your confidence. This more modern martial art has rapidly grown in popularity since being developed in the 1940's in Korea.
Images of young children doing rapid punches and energetic kicking manoeuvres, are what spring to mind at the mere mention of Taekwondo. While the younger and fitter generation might find the physical demands of Taekwondo easier to contend with, there's nothing at all to stop people of every age taking part. However, so as to fully enjoy all the intricacies of Taekwondo, it helps to be fairly agile.
The name Taekwondo was only coined in the 1950's, although the discipline began life in Korea in 1945. Some new schools called "kwans" were established in Seoul by a group of Korean martial arts enthusiasts, combining a number of various martial arts techniques. The main focus of Taekwondo, as it later became known, is on kicking manoeuvres, in particular rapid kicking styles, head-height kicks and jumping/turning kicks. Now UK Taekwondo classes follow this tradition.
Popular all over the world Taekwondo now has more than 60 million enthusiasts. Now an Olympic sport, Taekwondo is accessible to everyone, and signing up for a local UK Taekwondo class or club is the easiest way to get yourself involved. Whilst the likelihood of you reaching Olympic standard are pretty slim, there is no reason at all why you can't master this exciting martial art.
Though there is a lot to be gained by practicing Taekwondo, it's the element of self-defence that most UK people are interested in. This is no surprise when you take into account the ever rising levels of violence seen in town centres these days. However, exercising a good helping of self-restraint and having respect for others goes hand in hand with the self-defence principles of Taekwondo.
Your First UK Taekwondo Lesson: If you've booked your first class but haven't done Taekwondo before, you may be wondering what to prepare for. The majority of Taekwondo schools in the UK follow a similar structure, but there might be variations to the following. A warm up of 15-20 minutes to loosen stiff muscles and increase heart rate, a little technical training covering some blocking techniques, kicks, stances and hand attacks, some work on patterns or forms, some tips on sparring including good timing, precise movement and the accurate targeting of attacks, and lastly a warm down with muscle stretching and relaxing to prevent cramping and spasms.