Down to Earth
What is Tae Kwon Do?
Tae Kwon Do is an ancient form of unarmed combat practiced for many centuries in Korea. It became perfected in its many forms by Major General Choi Hong Hi and has been scientifically developed and modernized since its introduction to the world on 11th April 1955.
Translated from Korean Tae means to jump, kick or smash with the foot, Kwon means to punch, strike or destroy with the hand and Do is art, method or way.
It is proven to be the most powerful system of self-defence ever devised.
To the Korean people Tae Kwon Do is more than a mere use of skilled movements. It also promotes a way of life with a strong sway towards the more philosophical side, particularly instilling a concept and spirit of self imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral re-armament.
In these days of violence and intimidation which seems to plague our modern societies, Tae Kwon Do enables the weak to possess a fine weapon to defend themselves and when strongly applied it can be very dangerous.
Tae Kwon Do Oath
‘As a student of Tae Kwon Do, I do solemnly pledge to abide by the rules and regulations of the Tae Kwon Do Association, to strive to always be modest, courteous and respectful to all members, in particular my seniors, to put the art into use for only self-defence, or defence of the weak and to never abuse my knowledge of the art’
Tae Kwon Do Tenets
– to be polite to your instructors, seniors and fellow students
– to be honest with yourself, you must be able to define right from wrong
– to achieve a goal, whether it is a higher grade or any technique, you must not stop trying; you must persevere
– to lose your temper when performing techniques against an opponent can be very dangerous and shows lack of control.
– to be able to live, work and train within your capability shows good self control
– to show courage; when you and your principles are pitted against overwhelming odds
Colour Belt Meanings
– signifies innocence, having no previous knowledge of Tae Kwon Do
– signifies the earth from which the plant sprouts and takes root as the foundations of Tae Kwon Do are being laid
– signifies the plants growth as the Tae Kwon Do skills begin to develop
– signifies the heaven, towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Tae Kwon Do progresses
– signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise contol and warning the opponent to be aware
– opposite of white, therefore signifying maturity and proficiency, also indicates the wearers imperviousness to darkness and fear
As with the majority of Eastern martial arts, there is a Ying and Yang, contrasting sides to each pattern. Each pattern represents both a hard, warrior, aggressive aspect contrasting with a soft, mindfulness which portrays the spiritual side of the art. There are 24 patterns in Tae Kwon Do because the founder, Major General Choi Hong Hi, compared the life of a man with a day of the earth and believed that some people should strive to leave a good spiritual legacy to coming generations and in doing so gain immortality. Therefore, if we can leave something behind for the welfare of mankind, maybe it will be the most important thing to happen in our lives, as the founder says:
‘Here I leave Tae Kwon Do for Mankind. As a trace of a man of the late 20th Century, the 24 patterns, one day or all of my life,
Gez and Tina Earth are my unsung heroes.
Gez is a 4th Dan and Tina is a 3rd Dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Gez and Tina were the people that introduced me to Tae Kwon Do at my first lesson. They have inspired me from the beginning to achieve my own black belt – 2nd Dan.
They first opened the club with the help of TAGB’s first female 6th Degree Master Annabel Murcott back in June 2009 and since then they have gone on to help students achieve numerous awards at gradings and competitions.
They tirelessly gives their time twice a week to help people achieve their Tae Kwon Do goals.
Their determination and dedication shine through as every time our club grades, we are always the top ‘jeja’ (students) across the whole of this Tae Kwon Do school.
They are very tough ‘sabum’ (instructor) as they demand ultimate dedication from all their students, whatever their age and stretches them to achieve their best.
True to the roots of Tae Kwon Do, Korean terminology is often an aspect that does not get ingrained in students. Gez and Tina however, ensures that their students, from a very early age, are grounded in the use of all the Korean phrases and terminology so it becomes something that grows with the student over time, rather than a chore that has to be learned by rote as a grading approaches.
They teach us skills that are useful in life, as the Tae Kwon Do tenets are truly something to be proud of and a model for people to live by.
In all my experience, I have never come across anybody who cares so passionately about their students, their achievements, their wellbeing and who is so genuinely proud and touched when they achieve their next grade.