Taekwondo And Its Influences Essay

1381 words - 6 pages

Taekwondo and its Influences
Colin Rhoney

Taekwondo has evolved greatly from its origins thousands of years ago. Through many different factors it has flourished and grown into what it is today. From its earliest beginnings to its modern day form, Taekwondo has always been a prevalent part of the Korean way of life. During the evolution of Taekwondo there have been many factors that have swayed history, culture, and religion that have eventually influenced things such as health benefits today. The many influences of Taekwondo from the beginning have formed a backbone and structure from which it has been able to grow and develop on. Through its long history, Taekwondo has grown into an ...view middle of the document...

These Taekkyon trained warriors became known as the Hwarang. Later a military academy was set up known as, Hwarang-do. The Hwarang studied many things including Confucian Philosophy, and had various guiding principles. Some of these guiding principles were loyalty, devoted duty, trustworthiness, valor, and justice. Over time Taekwondo has evolved to becoming a popular and beloved art form today.

The culture behind Taekwondo is very important because it describes many things that influenced and helped it grow. One major influence would be the competitions that occurred every year in Koguryo. In March a national contest would be held that included hunting and military art forms that would prove who was the best. Those who won were taken into government posts that exhibited their talent and ability. Evidence of Taekwondo is also shown in Korea as far back as 3 AD in the form of murals. Paintings on warriors’ tomb walls show men fighting in Subakki combat.

Taekwondo has clearly been influenced through many different passages, and the land of the Korea has unmistakably manipulated Taekwondo into what it is today. Going along with the culture behind Taekwondo, one of the major influences on Taekwondo is the mountainous land of Korea. Since Korea is unquestionably a mountainous region we can clearly see the influence it had, in the beginning and growth, of Taekwondo. Taekwondo has evolved over the course of its history to be seen as a martial art concentrated on kicking. With the condition of the land in Korea being so mountainous, people who studied and practiced Taekwondo and other forms, learned to utilize their strong leg muscles in their martial art training. Another way the land of Korea influenced Taekwondo would be in the area of some of the weapons they use. Since farming was a big part of the Korean culture, many of the farming tools eventually became incorporated into the art of Taekwondo.

Even though Taekwondo is a hard style, religion in Korea brought many soft elements to the art form. Buddhism was a major influence to Taekwondo in the essence of bringing both mind and body together. Without religion incorporated into Taekwondo it would be a solely hard style with only the fighting aspects. Buddhism has been a vast part of Taekwondo, because it has brought many soft elements into the picture. The elements that Buddhism brought to the martial art of Taekwondo include relaxation, meditation, and breathing. Since the Korean people were already such religious people, the addition of Buddhism into Taekwondo was easy.

Although Buddhism was a huge influence in the growth of Taekwondo, it however is not the only religious influence. Both Confucianism and Taoism have left a memorably big mark on Taekwondo. The influence of Confucianism is seen in the guiding principles entrusted by the Hwarang warriors, and also in the code of conduct, which governs Taekwondo today. Courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable...

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