Neath Taekwondo (SA10): Originally developed in Korea during the 1940's and 50's, Taekwondo is a fast combatative sport that has become increasingly popular over the last 30 years or so. For those of you who wish to build your confidence, learn a bit of self-defence, enhance your self-respect and strengthen your body and mind, Taekwondo could be the ideal hobby or fitness activity.
Because Taekwondo has quite high physical demands, it is perhaps more suited to the younger generation in Neath. 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 a martial art that mainly consists of kicking manoeuvres, in particular head kicks, rapid kicking methods and turning/jumping kicks. It began in Seoul, in southern Korea during the 1940's, when a group of martial arts specialists founded schools called "kwans", which blended various martial arts techniques.
Taekwondo is popular with the people of Neath and with more than 60 million others around the world. Now an Olympic sport, Taekwondo is accessible to everybody, and joining your local Neath Taekwondo club or class is the most effective way to get yourself involved. There is no reason why you cannot become a master of this exhilarating martial art, even if you don't aspire to Olympic competition.
A key aspect of Taekwondo is self-defence, and of course this is one of the main reasons that people in Neath join classes and take up the sport. There has been a worrying increase in violent behaviour in recent years and this is especially prevalent in town and city centres around Wales and the UK in general. The beauty of Taekwondo though, is that it also teaches self-discipline and respect for others, not such common qualities in Neath nowadays.
Your First Class: 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.
Taekwondo Belts (Ranking): The belt and ranking system can get rather confusing in Taekwondo because there is no standard system throughout the various Taekwondo styles. Similarities do exist though and typically there are two distinct belt groupings, signified as "juniors" (colours) and "seniors" (black dans). The number of rankings in the junior group varies across the styles but is commonly between 8 and 12 belts, while the senior group normally has 9 belts or dans.
Safety Equipment: In all matches, events and competitions being staged under the auspices of British Taekwondo, safety gear such as hand guards, forearm protectors, a mouth protector, red or blue trunk armour (hogu), a groin guard, a red/blue head protector and shin pads is mandatory. The kicking tactics used in Taekwondo can cause injury and this all helps to make the sport safer for its competitors.
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Taekwondo SA10 area.