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Taekwondo 101: Discover What Taekwondo is & Getting Started!

Did you know that Taekwondo is not just a martial art but also an Olympic sport? With its dynamic kicks and powerful strikes, Taekwondo has gained popularity worldwide.

Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, learn self-defense techniques, or compete in tournaments, Taekwondo offers a range of benefits.

In this article, we will explore the history, techniques, training, and benefits of Taekwondo, helping you understand why it’s a hobby worth trying.

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What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo originated in Korea over 2,000 years ago. It was developed as a form of self-defense and combat training, influenced by various martial arts styles from China and Korea.

The modern form of Taekwondo that we know today was established in the 1950s and 1960s, with the formation of the Korea Taekwondo Association and the International Taekwondo Federation.

Over the years, it has evolved to incorporate not only self-defense techniques but also a strong emphasis on discipline, respect, and personal development.

It has become a popular martial art for people of all ages, offering a holistic approach to physical and mental well-being.

Today, it’s practiced by millions of people worldwide and is recognized as an official sport in the Olympic Games.

Two friends honing their martial arts skills during a picturesque sunset.

Current Trends

In recent years, Taekwondo has seen a surge in popularity, with more people joining classes and participating in competitions.

The rise of mixed martial arts (MMA) has also contributed to the increased interest in Taekwondo, as its high kicks and fast-paced movements are effective in MMA fights.

Furthermore, the greater community has embraced technology, with online platforms and social media groups connecting practitioners from around the world.

This has created a global network of Taekwondo enthusiasts who can share their experiences, learn from each other, and stay updated on the latest trends and techniques.

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Taekwondo Equipment Needed

To practice Taekwondo, you will need some essential equipment:

These are the basic equipment needed to get started.

As you progress in your training, you may also consider investing in additional accessories such as a bag, water bottle, or training aids to enhance your practice.

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Essential Equipment

  • Taekwondo Uniform (Dobok): Designed for ease of movement, it is both lightweight and durable.
  • Protective Gear: Includes helmet, chest protector, forearm guards, shin guards, and groin guard, safeguarding you during sparring and competitions.
  • Belts: These signify your rank and progress, showcasing your achievements and skill level.
  • Hand and Foot Protectors: Protect your hands and feet during intense training and sparring sessions.

Additional Accessories

  • Training Bag: Helps in conveniently carrying your equipment and other essentials.
  • Focus Mitts and Kick Pads: Assist in honing your accuracy, speed, and power in strikes.
  • Breaking Boards: Utilized for practicing and demonstrating powerful techniques.
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Budget Considerations

As you begin, consider your budget. While Taekwondo equipment varies in price, there are affordable options available that do not compromise on safety.

When purchasing equipment, it’s important to consider your budget.

There are affordable options available for beginners, and you can find a wide range of equipment online or at local martial arts stores.



Price Range


Taekwondo Uniform (Dobok)

A traditional white uniform that represents the discipline and unity of Taekwondo practitioners.

$30 – $100


Protective Gear

Includes headgear, chest protector, forearm guards, shin guards, and groin guard for safety during sparring sessions.

$50 – $150


Sparring Gloves

Gloves specifically designed for Taekwondo sparring, providing protection and flexibility.

$30 – $80


Kicking Pads

Pads used for target practice, allowing you to practice your kicks with precision and control.

$20 – $50


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Why Taekwondo is a Great Hobby Choice

Wondering why many are drawn to Taekwondo? Here’s a quick rundown:

1. Personal Growth:

  • Boosts discipline, focus, and confidence.
  • Teaches perseverance and determination through training.

2. Join a Community:

  • Connect with enthusiasts at local clubs or online.
  • Share, learn, and draw motivation from peers.

3. Dive into Education:

  • More than just kicks and punches – delve into Korean culture and history.
  • Enhance mental sharpness and memory.

4. Health Boost:

  • A full-body workout that builds endurance and strength.
  • Shed pounds, bust stress, and better your heart health.

5. Unleash Creativity:

  • Craft your own style and techniques.
  • Physically and artistically express yourself.

See also: 7 Key Benefits of Hobbies

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How to Get Started

If you’re interested in trying Taekwondo, here are some steps to get started:


Begin by researching about Taekwondo to gain a better understanding of the martial art.

Look for reliable sources such as books, websites, and reputable organizations that provide accurate information about the history, techniques, and training methods.

Basic Training

Consider joining a beginner’s class or enrolling in a basic training program.

These classes are designed to introduce you to the fundamental techniques, stances, and forms of Taekwondo.

A qualified instructor can guide you through the initial stages and ensure that you learn the correct techniques and practice safely.

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Joining Communities

Connect with other Taekwondo enthusiasts by joining online forums or local communities. These platforms provide a space for practitioners to share their experiences, ask questions, and seek advice.

Engaging with the community can enhance your learning journey and provide valuable insights.

Setting Up

Prepare the necessary equipment and create a suitable space for your practice. Make sure you have enough room to move around and perform the techniques without any obstructions.

Clear the area of any potential hazards and ensure proper ventilation.

Practical Tips

Here are some practical tips to help you get started:

  • Warm up before each training session to prevent injuries.
  • Practice proper breathing techniques to enhance your performance.
  • Start with basic techniques and gradually progress to more advanced moves.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
  • Stay consistent with your training to see progress.

Seeking Help

If you encounter any challenges or have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to seek help. Your instructor, online forums, or local communities can provide guidance and support.

Remember, learning Taekwondo is a journey, and it’s okay to ask for assistance when needed!

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DIY Tips and Tricks

Here are some DIY tips and tricks to enhance your Taekwondo practice:

Cost-Saving Tips

Practicing Taekwondo doesn’t have to be expensive.

Consider these cost-saving tips:

  • Look for second-hand equipment or borrow from fellow practitioners.
  • Create your own training aids using household items.
  • Practice outdoors or in public parks to save on training space fees.

Creative Ideas

Explore creative ideas to make your Taekwondo practice more enjoyable:

  • Create your own training routines or challenges.
  • Experiment with different training environments, such as practicing on sand or grass.
  • Record and analyze your training sessions to track your progress.

Tutorial Resources

There are plenty of tutorial resources available online to help you improve your Taekwondo skills.

Look for video tutorials, blogs, or instructional books that provide step-by-step guidance on specific techniques, forms, or training drills.

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Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

As a beginner, you may face certain challenges.

Here are some common challenges and tips to overcome them:

Lack of Flexibility

Many beginners struggle with flexibility when starting Taekwondo. To overcome this challenge, incorporate regular stretching exercises into your training routine.

Gradually increase your flexibility over time by practicing dynamic and static stretches.

Coordination and Balance

Taekwondo requires coordination and balance. If you find it challenging to perform certain techniques, focus on improving your core strength and balance through specific exercises.

Practice the techniques slowly and with control, gradually increasing your speed and accuracy.

Memorizing Forms

Learning the various forms (poomsae) in Taekwondo can be overwhelming. Break down each form into smaller sections and practice them individually.

Repeat each section until you feel comfortable, then gradually combine them to perform the complete form.

Visualization techniques can also help in memorizing the sequence of movements.

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Here are some frequently asked questions about Taekwondo:

Is Taekwondo suitable for all ages?

Yes, Taekwondo is suitable for people of all ages. There are classes specifically designed for children, adults, and even seniors.

Training can be tailored to accommodate different fitness levels and abilities.

How long does it take to become a black belt in Taekwondo?

The time it takes to earn a black belt in Taekwondo varies depending on factors such as training frequency, dedication, and individual progress.

On average, it can take several years of consistent training to achieve a black belt rank.

Can I compete in Taekwondo tournaments?

Yes, Taekwondo offers opportunities for competition at various levels, from local tournaments to international events. Competing in tournaments can be a great way to test your skills, gain experience, and meet other practitioners.

Can Taekwondo help with self-defense?

Yes, Taekwondo is an effective martial art for self-defense. It teaches techniques for striking, blocking, and evading attacks. Additionally, Taekwondo training enhances your physical fitness, mental focus, and situational awareness, which are essential for self-defense.

Can I practice Taekwondo at home?

While it’s beneficial to practice Taekwondo in a dedicated training facility with a qualified instructor, you can also practice certain techniques and exercises at home.

However, it’s important to ensure a safe training environment and follow proper form and technique to avoid injuries.

If you have more questions, consider reaching out to your local Taekwondo club, online forums, or reputable organizations for further information.

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Taekwondo Vs Other Martial Arts

Choosing the right martial art can be a challenging decision, especially when there are numerous styles, each with its own unique approach and philosophy.

Below is a table that highlights the distinctive features and contrasts between Taekwondo and other martial arts such as Boxing, Karate, Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai.

BoxingPhysical fitness, emphasis on striking techniquesFocuses primarily on punches, limited to upper body movementsIndividuals seeking to develop upper body strength and striking skills
KarateMartial art discipline, involves striking techniquesPlaces more emphasis on hand strikes and defensive techniquesThose interested in a balanced approach between offensive and defensive techniques
Kung FuRich history, involves a variety of techniquesIncludes a wider range of techniques, often complex and fluidEnthusiasts looking for a martial art with a deep philosophical background
KickboxingInvolves high-energy striking techniques, both hands and legs are utilizedCombines elements of boxing and karate, more focused on striking than defenseIndividuals seeking a high-energy, aggressive fighting style
Jiu-JitsuMartial art with a focus on self-defenseEmphasizes grappling and ground fighting techniquesThose interested in learning submission techniques and ground fighting
Muay ThaiInvolves striking techniques, utilizes both hands and legsKnown for its aggressive techniques and use of elbows and kneesIndividuals looking for a martial art that incorporates a full range of striking techniques

Remember, choosing a martial art ultimately depends on your personal preferences, physical abilities, and the goals you aim to achieve through your martial arts journey.

Each martial art offers a unique experience, and you might find your calling in one that aligns with your aspirations.

For a COMPLETE list of martial arts, browse our guide: List of Martial Arts: All Types & Styles Broken Down.

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Taekwondo is not just a martial art; it’s a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and physical fitness.

You can improve your discipline, focus, and self-confidence while enjoying the benefits of a dynamic and engaging hobby.

Whether you’re interested in self-defense, competition, something fun to do when you’re bored, or simply staying fit, this martial art offers something for everyone.

Take the next step and embark on your new journey today!

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Resources & Further Reading


Websites and Blogs:

Online Forums and Communities:

When practicing Taekwondo, it’s important to be aware of legal and safety considerations:

Legal Aspects

Check if there are any local regulations or permits required for practicing Taekwondo in your area.

Some countries or regions may have specific rules or restrictions regarding martial arts training or competitions.

Safety Tips

Ensure your safety by following these tips:

  • Always warm up and stretch before training to prevent injuries.
  • Wear the appropriate protective gear during sparring sessions.
  • Listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits.
  • Practice under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

Emergency Contacts

Keep emergency contact information readily available in case of any accidents or injuries during practice.

This can include the contact details of your local emergency services or nearby medical facilities.

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A beginner guide to Taekwondo, featured image "what is taekwondo?", 2 people practicing taekwondo in white robes and black belts