Kickboxing Into the Future
All About The Discipline That Is Tae Kwon Do
TaeKwonDo is a form of art of self-defense that has its roots in Korea and is characterized by its various powerful kicks that include jumping and spinning kicks, head-high kicks and fast kick techniques. In English, the word is divided into three, “Tae”, “Kwon” and “Do” but in Korean, it is one word. “Tae” means “leg”, “step on” or “foot”, “Kwon” means “fight” or “fist” and “Do” means “way” or “discipline”. When these words are joined together, it is evident that Tae Kwon Do isn’t just a sport. It is a discipline that helps us to make our spirits better by being in control of our body and mind.
Like any other discipline, it requires constant practice and trial to perfect. The rules are quite simple: hit your opponent with as many kicks as possible until any part of the body except the feet is touching the playing field or spot. Each part of the body has a different number of points. For example, hitting on the neck or head earns you two points while a hit on the chest is one point. All blows should be below the head.
TaeKwonDo and martial arts, in general, are characterized by belts and ranks. TaeKwonDo belts signify a journey that begins when one starts training. Each rank has a different color. As one gets better they are awarded a belt of a different color with each achievement to mark progression. TaeKwonDo belt order starts from the training level to the professional level, that is held by an instructor. The following are the belts and the colors, starting from the lowest to the highest:
1. White Belt
This belt symbolizes innocence and is not earned. It is a part of a beginner’s uniform. It shows that the beginner has no knowledge of the art and is, therefore, beginning from a pure ground.
2. Orange Belt
This is given to show that the trainee has a little training but has not yet gotten to the point of experiencing the power associated with taekwondo.
3. Yellow Belt
It represents the color of the sun. The student has begun understanding the art and its rules.
4. Camouflage/ Camo Belt
This is a color that means the student now knows there are plenty more belts ahead and they must spar their way to the top.
5. Green Belt
Green means strength. All the previous techniques have been combined and are producing power.
6. Purple Belt
Purple symbolizes a mountain. The student is at a point when form and sparring techniques become more difficult, forming a mountain that they must conquer.
7. Blue belt
After the struggle with the mountain, the student now sees the sky. This belt represents a clear sky.
8. Brown belt
Brown stands for the ground. The student has firm roots in the art of Tae Kwon Do.
9. Red Belt
This indicates completion. The first phase of training, from the white belt to this belt, is complete. Physical skill has been attained but is not controlled. Physical and mental discipline must now be achieved.
10. Red combined with black belt
Red symbolizes light, black symbolizes night. The student must now focus on mastering the darkness and achieving the highest belt, which is the black belt.
11. Black Belt
This color shows that the student is mature in the art of Tae Kwon Do. Interestingly, when all the colors are combined, they form black.