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TAEKWONDO

Background

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Gyeorugi, a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s as partial combination of taekkyeon, Okinawan karate, and other traditions.

Sport Taekwondo was developed in the 1950s and may have a somewhat different focus, especially in terms of its emphasis on speed and competition. The art in general emphasizes kicks and punches thrown from a mobile stance.

Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws, and joint locks. Pressure points, known as jiapsul, are used, as well as grabbing self-defense techniques borrowed from other martial arts such as Japanese judo, Korean hapkido, and Korean wrestling.

In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with the foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with the fist"; and do means "way of life". Thus, Taekwondo may be loosely translated as "the way of the foot and the hand."

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