What's TKD all about?

Tae Kwon-Do is a Korean martial art. It means ... tae (태, ) "to strike or break with the foot"; kwon (권, ) "to punch or smash with the fist"; and do (도, ) meaning "way of" --the method or practice of smahing with hands and breaking with feet. TKD is a hard form of martial arts, similar to Karate or Muay Thai kick-boxing, unlike soft styles such as Judo or T’ai-chi.

Beijing2008 TKD
Beijing 2008 Olympics --I was there! :)

The Five Tenets of Tae Kwon-Do are ... Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit. These are part of the disicpline in TKD training. A TKD martial artist cannot grow their technical skills without also growing as a more caring and giving individual.

I'm in the4th column from the left, about 6 back


Tae Kwon-Do training consists of varied work-outs to improve strength, agility, speed and flexibility for all parts of the body and mind. There are kicking drills, punching drills, combo drills, forms, sparring, and more. All of these are designed to help an individual both improve their physical performance level and discipline their thinking. Eventually, the training serves to install muscle memory, where a student no longer needs to *think* about what movements to make and in what order. Their mind and body automatically know. It becomes instinctual.



Tae Kwon-Do sparring is very physically demanding. Unlike Karate point fighintg, TKD sparring continues without interruption for an entire round with a short break between rounds of each match, similar to boxing. The judging standards are very rigid. To score a point, one competitor must strike a blow using a kick or punch so hard as to cause a noticeable disruption to their opponent. Just making contact is not sufficient. This makes Tae Kwon-Do the only martial art style in the Olympics to use full-contact fighting. Some TKD schools also train students in point fighting, where a round is intrrupted each time a competitor makes solid contact with a technique. In the case of extremely hard techniques, like a spinning kick to the head, only an obvious *show* of the technique needs to be executed. This allows a point to be awarded without actual contact being made.


Forms are an execution of martial arts movement in a defined pattern. The practice of forms helps a student improve and strengthen his techniques. TKD forms represent a series of movements against imaginary opponents, therefore blocks, kicks, punches, etc. should all be done as though actually defending against another fighter. While some martial artists argue forms are unnecessary, since it is not uncommon for a competitor to be an excellent fighter yet not excell at forms or vice versa, the practice of forms unquestionably helps a student understand how to apply the technqiues properly and improve their skill. Forms are obviously a tradition in nearly all martial arts. Being able to demonstrate proficiency and confidence in forms truely reveals a student's proficiency and confidence with his style of martial art, since martial arts is much more than sparring.

Grand Masters from Korea, hosts of Special Dan Test in 2009

I received my 3rd Dan Black Belt from this seminar and Special Test 

Self-defense and MMA

The natural extension of training, sparring and forms is self-defense. While a person who has focus on one of more of the above can likely defends themselves against an attack, additional techniques and movements are learned and applied to help insure the success of being able to defend ones self. Additional training techniques involve escapes from chokes, bear hugs, head-locks, and so on. Muay Thai kick-boxing helps to defend against unarmed attackers, while Brazilian Jujitsu grappling is used for defense when an attack results in fighting on the ground. Israeli Military Krav-Maga techniques are applied to situations involving a weapon, such as a club, knife or gun.

Gifts from Master Pina upon receiving my 2nd, 3rd and 4th Dan ranks

Boston TKD Academy

Visit www.bostobtkd.net to learn more about Boston Tae Kwon-Do Academy