When the Korean general Choi Hong Hi was first introduced to the Korean public in April 1955 (1918–2002) for the first time, the modern art of self-defense under the name Taekwon-Do, no one knew how popular in just a few years. Today, just 65 years since its inception, it has been actively professed by over 100 million people worldwide. Although almost everyone has met Taekwon-Do – whether in exhibitions, sports matches or in many movies – there is still little public awareness of it. Therefore, we decided to bring it here a little.
The purpose of the Taekwon-Do was to create an effective art of self-defense that could be used in today’s modern 21st century, and which everyone could learn (of course within their abilities). Equally important element of teaching is also the aspect of moral principles, which is to educate a man more honest, polite, persistent, confident, etc. Taekwon-Do is characterized primarily by its great strength, perfect foot technique, speed, agility and so it is not surprising that even in many non-Asian countries such as the USA or Poland, Taekwon-Do is much more popular than other martial arts.
The main advantage of teaching taekwonda is its comprehensive and perfect composition, which guarantees a continuous opportunity to improve techniques for many years or even your entire life. The basic element of education is the training of basic techniques. After mastering a certain group of basic techniques, they are grouped into technical assemblies, called patterns. There are 24 of these patterns and are divided according to difficulty.
For many, the most attractive part of Taekwon-Do is combat instruction. The created training system is divided into several phases, each of which has the task of first learning a certain property that is needed in a real fight (eg training the right distance between opponents, combination of individual techniques, effective ending, etc.). Because it is not possible to use a hard technique on the opponent in a simulated battle, which could result in a very serious injury, there is also a special part of the training, the so-called force breaking, where everyone has the opportunity to fully test their strength. At Taekwon-Do exhibitions, it is common to break 5 cm thick wooden boards or 10 roof tiles at once, chopping bricks or ice floes, breaking the board with your fingertips, etc.
The ultimate form of Taekwon-Do teaching is self-defense. Although there are countless Taekwon-Do students, there are very few who can claim to have mastered this part of the class. The purpose of self-defense training is to prepare the student to be able to defend themselves at any time and anywhere to one or more attackers, both unarmed and armed. In addition, self-defense techniques should be performed reflexively, without any prior preparation or agreement.
Other, no less important parts of the training include strengthening and stiffening, increasing joint mobility, training speed and dexterity (eg in special techniques in the jump breaks a wooden board at a height of about 2.5 meters). In addition to teaching technical theory, history, philosophy and ethics are also important to teach students to stand on the side of freedom and justice.
Initially, Taekwon-Do was introduced primarily as an army way of fighting, but today you can practice this art under the civilian International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). The organization provides its members with teaching original Taekwon-Do throughout the world (using international instructors), increasing the technical maturity of students (there are 10 color bands – technical buy grades and 9 black bands – technical grades dan) and also organizes various international seminars and competitions in Taekwon-Do including the official World Championships.
In the Czech Republic, Taekwon-Do ITF has been practicing since 1987 and currently Czech Taekwon-Do ITF practitioners are mainly associated under the Czech Taekwon-Do ITF Federation in 38 registered schools. Since 1987, the Korean international instructor Hwang Ho-yong, who is now Grand Master (9th dan), has supervised teaching in the Czech Republic.
In 2014, the first Czech student was awarded the 7th dan, which is currently the highest technical degree in the Czech Republic – except Grand Master Hwang, of course.
Since 1992, the Czech Republic has also had a very successful national representation, such as Jaromír Michl – Triple World Champion in Special Techniques (1999 Argentina, 2003 Greece, 2005 Australia), Radka Dlouhá (Heydušková) – First Czech World Champion in Sparring (1994) , Malaysia, Jan Mraček and Michal Košátko – World Champions in Sparring (2005, Australia), Jiří Hovorka – First Czech Junior World Champion in Sparring (1995, Poland), Vojtěch Fiala – World Champion in Sparring (2019, Bulgaria).
Taekwon-Do ITF is one of the most successful Czech sports and great care is taken to prepare the representatives and talents. With its performances, the Czech Taekwon-Do ITF ranked among the absolute world leaders and the whole world looks to him with respect. It is not only Grand Master Hwang Ho-yong, who is a recognized world leader and law among Taekwon-do students.