Basic Knowledge

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Historical background / Main Menu Basic Knowledge Exam 9th Kup Document containing source information

Document containing source information



Korean is read from top to bottom. Taekwondo in Korean consists of 3 characters.

The top is "TAE", the middle is "KWON" and the bottom is the "DO".

Click on the image to enlarge.

What is Taekwondo?

TAE: Stands for all foot and leg techniques both in attack and in defense
KWON: Stands for all hand and fist techniques both in attack and in defense
DO: Literally means the "way", the "art". It is accompanied by a certain mental attitude namely: courtesy, integrity, indomitable spirit, perseverance and self-control.

Behaviour in the Dojang (CLUB)

Wearing watches, rings, earrings, and etc. is prohibited to avoid injuries.

On entering and leaving the dojang: greetings are mandatory. Greeting is expressed by bowing.

In the dojang, discipline must be followed. The Instructor does not leave the dojang during class unless exceptional circumstances appear.

The Tortoise


The turtle is the symbol of Taekwondo. A turtle symbolizes longevity (because she is old), so as the long life of Tae-kwon-do.

She has a hard shell and, therefore, she is protective and comprehensive. All the colors of the belts are built in it.

Click on the image to enlarge

Why do we greet ?

We salute to show our respect when entering and leaving the dojang and a new training partner.

In competition you also greet at first entering the ring in the beginning or abandoning it in the end.

We never turn our back to higher belts on competition, internships, classes, etc.

Exception : While we correct our dobok, we always turn back.

If we give a hand to someone (training, exam, etc.) we put our left hand under our right hand (knuckles under elbow) out of respect and to show that our both hands are weapon-free.

24 Patterns (TULS)


There are 24 patterns (tuls) because the life of a man, perhaps a hundred years,

can be compared with one day (which counts 24 hours) relativing to the eternity. Click on the image to enlarge

Founder Gen. Choi Hong Hi writes: "The pattern represents 24 hours. One day, or all my life. "

Taekwon-Do has 3200 different techniques.

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