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Essay on Tae Kwon Do

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If I were to say the word "Pilsung" would you have any idea what I was talking about? Would it mean anything to you? To myself and roughly 30 million other people in the world it means certain victory, it means never give up. It is a Korean word and it is used a lot in Tae Kwon Do. My family and I have been involved in Tae Kwon Do since I was in fourth grade. I am sure that some of you either have, or know someone who has taken Tae Kwon Do classes before, but for those of you who know nothing about it, I plan on informing you about it. I will do this by first telling you what it means, and what it is. Then I will tell you the ancient history of it, and finally I will wrap it up by telling you the more recent history.

First I will start off by telling you what Tae Kwon Do actually means. The word Tae means kick, the word Kwon means punch, and the word Do means method. So basically Tae Kwon Do is self-defense methods that use your hands and feet in various ways. Tae Kwon Do is actually made up on many different types of martial arts. A few of these would include T'ang-su, Taek Kyon, Kwonpup, Judo, Karate, and also Kung-fu. Tae Kwon Do requires strict discipline, both mentally and physically. It requires dedication, perseverance, and desire to learn all of the techniques and other things involved in the art. There are 9 different belt colors in Tae Kwon Do, starting with white and ending in black. Some belts have more then one level to them also. In order to get to your black belt you must put in the time, learn new forms, called sa ju kong bong. You also must learn new one steps, which are basically different scenarios. Another thing you must learn along the way is Korean words, and meanings of different things. Tae Kwon Do now has 30 million people that are learning the art, in over 156 different countries, but it definitely didn't start off this big.

I will now tell you some of the ancient history. The earliest records of Korean martial arts date clear back to 50 B.C. There were actually paintings on the walls and ceilings of the tombs of weaponless men, in positions to Tae Kwon Do. Back then there were 3 kingdoms in Korea. These were Silla, Koguryo, and Paekche. Silla was constantly attacked by Japan and other stronger forces. In order to remain a kingdom, they had to build a force to fight back with, and defend their country, and these men were called Hwa Rang Do. These soldiers went through sever physical and mental training. They learned a lot of martial arts that led to modern day Tae Kwon Do. Silla unified Korea after taking over Paekche in 660 A.D. and Koguryo in 668 A.D.

Finally I will tell you about some of the more recent history. Tae Kwon Do itself has actually only been around for a little over 50 years, so it has a pretty brief history. During WWII Korea started training their troops in Japan on martial arts. This is where a lot of the fast moves come from. After the Korean War they really



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