“White belt doesn’t mean that you are at the bottom. You have made the step that hundreds of thousands only dream about. You, unlike those who only talk about it have conquered the first step to achieving your black belt…. Always remember that a frog too, was once just a tadpole.

Eternal Grand Master

H.U. Lee

1350 S. Clearview Ave.

Suite 101, Mesa, AZ 85209

480-380-0404

info@powerblackbelt.com

Power Black Belt Academy

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Taekwondo -  The Way of the Hand and Foot

Taekwondo - The History of The Way of the Hand and Foot

Although its roots can be somewhat traced back to ancient Korea, it is a historic fact that Taekwondo as an organized art is relatively modern. In fact, the only documented history begins in the mid 1900's.  

The actual beginnings of Taekwondo are obscured by time, yet many historians believe it originated from a Korean martial arts form known as t'aekyon practiced over 1,300 years ago.

In the early 1900's the art evolved with the introduction of Chinese and Japanese techniques, a practice which concerned some because these influences did not demonstrate the incredible kicking power of the art nor its traditional values or philosophy.

The actual name (and art) of Taekwondo wasn't official until 1955. At that time Korean General Hong Hi Choi organized a movement to unify Korea's various martial arts styles (Called kwans) and presented the name "Taekwondo" to a committee specially formed to select a name for the new art. On April 11, 1955, Taekwondo was recognized as the name for the newly unified, officially recognized Korean martial art.

In the 1960's Taekwondo began to spread internationally and evolved throughout the late 1900's (along with most martial arts) into primarily a combat sport, although self-defense, fitness, and the philosophy of the practice (including self-discipline and self-knowledge) are still crucial elements of Songahm Taekwondo, the style of Taekwondo developed and supported by the ATA.

Taekwondo is currently the most popular martial art in Korea, and ranks among America's and the world's most popular martial arts.

"Martial Art" is a broad term encompassing the many styles of physical discipline (fighting) arts that have been developed over the centuries. To say that the style of Songahm Taekwondo is just another "martial art" would be an oversimplified explanation of the world's largest centrally administered martial art. This system of teaching and training is unequaled in the martial arts community.

In 1968, Korean General Hong Hi Choi met with then Master Haeng Ung Lee (now Eternal Grand Master), who at the time was teaching Taekwondo-Japanese mixed martial arts to his organization of followers. General Choi quickly taught Eternal Grand Master Lee the first 16 Cheon-jee forms of Taekwondo in only 4 days and three nights (this system of forms was the first set of forms developed under the new Taekwondo of Korea).

From this first meeting almost half a century ago, the stage was set for the founding of The American Taekwondo Association (ATA) in 1969 in Omaha, Nebraska by Eternal Grand Master Lee.

During its early years, the ATA used the Chahng-hun style of forms (also used by the International Taekwondo Federation). But although this style was widely accepted in the Taekwondo community, Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee felt that its forms did not accurately reflect Taekwondo -- particularly the strength and beauty of Taekwondo kicking techniques. As a result, he believed the forms contributed little to the Taekwondo curriculum. For example, white belts were expected to know front kicks and side kicks, but no front kick appeared until the third (yellow belt) form, and there was no side kick until the form after that!

From 1983 to 1990, Eternal Grand Master introduced the eighteen Songahm forms. These forms are part of a fully-integrated curriculum, in which everything a student learns reinforces everything else. The forms contain all or nearly all of the techniques that students are expected to know at each rank, the one-step sparring segments complement the forms, and all of these patterns lead logically to the movements required for each succeeding rank.

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