As part of the build up to the Olympics this year, SportsCover Direct will be publishing a series of blogs shedding some light on some of the lesser known Olympic sports and showing how you can get involved!
Taekwondo is a un armed martial art which combines a variety of different martial arts styles originating from Korea. In Korean, the word Taekwondo means ‘the way of kicking and punching’. The earliest records of Taekwondo practice date back to 50 BC where paintings were created showing similar techniques to the ones used in the modern day. Modern day Taekwondo official creation was on the 11th April 1955 with the development of the sport growing rapidly since with now over 30 million people practising in more than 156 countries. It made its debut in the 1988 Seoul games as a demonstration sport and became an official medal sport at the 2000 Sydney games.
Who can play?
Almost anyone can take part in the sport of Taekwondo. It is open to any age as long as you are brave enough to face your opponent one on one!
Competitors wear a Dobok (jacket and trousers) tied at the waist with a belt of colour depending on your level of expertise in the sport. These can be bought for around £30 and that is the only equipment cost! The only additional payment will be club membership fees which will likely be around £5 per training session.
This is an unarmed martial arts and therefore there is no equipment needed. Once you join a club they will have plenty of room for you to practise on padded mats! In a competition you may need some extra padding and a helmet which the club will provide.
When do you play?
Taekwondo can be practiced throughout the year with many local competitions running all year long.
This is a tough sport so has many benefits such as building strength, stamina, flexibility and focus!
Team GB prospects for Rio 2016
Some names to look out for at the Olympics this summer are Bianca Walkden, Damon Sansum, Mahama Cho and of course London 2012 golden girl Jade Jones.
If this has inspired, you to give taekwondo a go then check out the British Taekwondo website to find your local taekwondo club and more about the sport!