HAANG represents a frame. It is stable, simulating the parts of our lives that are basically unchanging and predictable. To illustrate, picture the rising of the sun and moon. They follow a specific pattern and we know, for instance, that the every 29 days the shape of the moon will be identical (whether full, new, waning crescent or waxing crescent). However we recognize that there is change within Haang. The moon changes shape, and the seasons change. However, these changes follow consistent patterns. Humans are very familiar. HAANG can represent the inevitable parts of life (birth and death) as well as the foundational structure of Martial Arts (basic mental and physical aspects)
BYUN represents change. The unexpected elements in our lives that occuror the variety that we pursue are examples of BYUN. We tend to seek outchange because without it life can be boring. An example is trying out all sorts of different hobbies or sports. The downside of excessive BYUN is that learning is more superficial. We become good at many things but masters of none. Even within Martial Arts, leaning too much on Byun can actually delay progress. It can be tempting to do sparring one day, Kigong the next, pad kicking the next, and so forth, instead of choosing one aspect and discovering subtle ways to improve on it.
The ideal combination is harmony (Taeguk) of both HAANG and BYUN. With true concentration and sincerity, one can find BYUN within HAANG. Even what seems routine often time is not if one observescarefully. No two sunsets are the same. No two snowflakes are identical. Every martial arts class is different if you increase your level of awareness.
Written by Master Yoo, JM
Edited by Hyun Sa Myung Duk (Drew Vanover) and Chun Shim (Carlos Stern)
Tae kwon do has risen to become one of the most popular martial arts in the world. It originated in Korea after the Japanese occupation ended in 1945, and using techniques from traditional Korean martial arts, it has become synonymous with high flying, elaborate kicking techniques. It has been accepted as a competitive combat sport by the Olympics, along with boxing, judo, and wrestling. What is most exciting is that you can learn on your own from home, following these tips.
Training in Tae kwon do entails practicing certain prescribed techniques and counters, sparring with other students, practicing board breaking techniques, and pattern training. Patterns are established routines that include all the stances, movements, and techniques that allow practitioners to hone their skills on their own time.
While it is possible to train from home, it is highly recommended that you attend tae kwon do lessons when you first start learning, and at regular intervals to ensure that your knowledge and skills will progress appropriately. If you are unable to attend classes, try watching videos to better familiarize yourself with the proper execution of the techniques before trying them on your own.
Like all martial arts, Tae kwon do instruction is built around learning the basics first. Begin by practicing and perfecting your stances and footwork before moving on to beginning techniques like punches, kicks, and blocks. Practicing in front of a full-sized mirror can help you check your form if you do not have a knowledgeable partner to practice with. Repetition is the key to perfection.
Work on your patterns until you get them right. Patterns, known also as poomsae or hyung, are especially helpful if you train by yourself. Start with beginner patterns that use techniques appropriate for your skill level. You can find these online. Use a video camera or mirror to help you identify mistakes with your technique before moving on.
Whenever possible, train with a partner even if you can’t make it to a class. This will help keep both of you motivated to keep advancing, and allow you to train in different ways. Having a partner with you enables you to practice additional drills that you can’t do as well on your own, like blocking and countering.
Follow these tips and you’ll find much more success as you work to master the art of Tae kwon do. It takes a lot of work and dedication, but you can become proficient with Tae kwon do. Just remember to practice patience first, each technique that you perfect is a building block upon which subsequent techniques will be based.
Taekwondo is a traditional martial art that has a number of similarities to karate, but has more of an emphasis on kicks. It is a Korean art, but it uses a belt system similar to that of Judo and Karate. The belt colors vary between branches, but will start with the white belt (for beginners) and work up to the black belt (for advanced practitioners), with ‘degrees’ being awarded for people who continue to train after black belt.