York Taekwondo: Learning a new skill is always gratifying and the martial arts are very popular at the moment. Taking up something like Taekwondo helps you to learn some self-defence moves, bolster your self-esteem, strengthen your body and mind and boost your confidence. This relatively modern martial art only came into being in Korea during the 1940's and 1950's.
Taekwondo is quite physically demanding, therefore it could be considered more suitable for the younger rather than the older generation in York. Its teachings of self-discipline and respect for others make it particularly good for children. Older adults trying Taekwondo for the first time often find it too tough, unless they have kept themselves active. For those people who take up Taekwondo at a younger age, continuing the adventure into adulthood shouldn't be a problem. Tai Chi or something similarly less demanding might be more suitable for the less agile of you.
Taekwondo started in Korea in 1945. Some schools called "kwans" were established in Seoul by a group of Korean martial arts enthusiasts, merging a number of various martial arts techniques. The emphasis of the discipline was on kicking manoeuvres, in particular rapid kicking styles, head-height kicks and jumping/turning kicks, and it was later given the name; Taekwondo, meaning "the way of the foot and fist". These days York Taekwondo classes observe this tradition.
Popular worldwide Taekwondo now has over sixty million practitioners. This sport has even been included in the Olympic Games since 2000, and if you would like to get involved, joining your local York Taekwondo class or club is a good place to start. While reaching Olympic standard may be aiming a bit high, there is no reason why you can't become a Taekwondo master.
It is the self-defence aspect of Taekwondo that generally is the most interesting to people in York. You shouldn't be surprised by this, when you take into account the high incidence of violence seen in today's city and town centres. In actual fact one of the key benefits of Taekwondo is learning to defend yourself whilst respecting others and exercising a degree of self-restraint.
With a bit of luck you won't ever be required to use your newly acquired Taekwondo techniques for defending yourself outside of your local club environment, but it's good to know they're there if you need them.
Your First Class: If you have just booked your very first Taekwondo lesson, you'll be wondering what to expect. The following will give you a pretty good idea, but this may vary from school to school. An initial warm up lasting 15-20 minutes, a bit of technical training covering some hand attacks, kicks, stances and blocking techniques, a look at some Poomse (or forms), some tips on sparring including timing, movement and the targeting of attacks, and lastly a warm down with muscle stretching and loosening up.
Some Taekwondo Kicks: One of the main elements of Taekwondo is kicking, listed here is a selection of the basic kicks: Push Kick (Meereo Chagi), Roundhouse Kick (Dollyo Chagi), Hook or Whip Kick (Huryeo Chagi), Axe Kick (Naeryeo Chagi), Side Kick (Yeop Chagi), Back Kick (Dwo Chagi), Crescent Kick (Bandal Chagi), Front Kick (Ap Chagi).
Everyone who's a member of a Taekwondo club in York or anywhere else in the UK, is also required to join British Taekwondo, which is the governing body of the sport.