What is Tae Kwon Do?

Whenever someone is considering beginning martial arts classes, they often ask us, “How is Tae Kwon Do different from other kinds of martial arts?” Or, “Which is better?” To answer this, we’ll start by saying that martial arts training of any kind offers numerous benefits.

The core principles of Tae Kwon Do (or Taekwondo) and other forms of martial arts stress self-discipline and a high code of personal conduct. All have a sport competition aspect; however this makes up only part of the entire curriculum.


Tae Kwon Do is an Olympic sport that originated in Korea. It emphasizes kicking techniques and self-defense.

Prearranged sequences of techniques, generally known as forms, are referred to as poomsae in Tae Kwon Do. The specific postures, stances, and movements are designed to imitate self-defense against an imaginary opponent, allowing students to practice with or without a partner.

It should be noted that although Tae Kwon Do tends to favor fast kicking, Tae Kwon Do training is well-rounded and involves learning blocks, punches, open-handed strikes, take-downs, throws, and joint locks.


How Should You Choose?

If you are trying to decide on which martial arts school to attend, the decision to train in one versus the other may come down to a personal preference of style. However, other conditions should play a part in your decision:

  • What is the quality of the instruction?
  • What does the facility look like?
  • What is the atmosphere like?
  • How does the class schedule work?
  • Where are they located?
  • Does the teaching philosophy match what you’re looking for?

The answers to these questions may (and sometimes should) be more important in deciding which martial art to study. You may find an aspect of a particular martial art appealing, but if the instructors are inexperienced, the atmosphere is intimidating, or the location is out of the way, your overall enjoyment and the benefits you receive will be diminished.

In addition to the above factors, it’s always a good idea to personally visit the schools you are considering. Although websites and phone conversations can provide plenty of useful information, your decision should be strongly influenced by the direct experience of visiting the martial arts school.