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Taekwondo, The New Ancient             Martial Art.

     Taekwondo is an exciting and powerful martial art known for its dynamic kicking and hand techniques. Although these martial art techniques are centuries old, our programs are always evolving to keep pace with the rapidly changing world.  Translated, Taekwondo means "Art of the hand and foot", and originally comes from Korea where it is still practiced as a national sport.  Taekwondo is one of the world's newest martial arts, formally getting it’s name in 1953.  It's roots, however, are based on techniques tested for thousands of years

Who Can Benefit From Taekwondo    

      Who can benefit from Taekwondo training?  Everyone can!  The ATA has practicing students from four years old into their seventies and also has the largest number of active women black belts of any martial arts organization in the world.              Taekwondo offers something that no other sport can.  It's a "learning style" athletic activity that develops a combination of balance, coordination, and flexibility while instilling a sense of self-discipline that can carry over into all aspects of life.  The number of women in ATA Taekwondo has more than tripled in recent years, and today represents more than 30% of all practicing students.  Much of this interest can be attributed to the nature of Taekwondo technique.  In self-defense, striking and kicking is instinctive and these types of techniques can be readily adapted to a woman's physical structure.  As we age our flexibility and agility often tends to decrease.  This decreased level of flexibility can have a negative effect on the activities we do or the style of life we lead.  When people first see Taekwondo techniques, they are fascinated by the strong, high kicks, often over their heads.  Not everyone can achieve super flexibility but the flexibility gained by practicing Taekwondo techniques can benefit anyone no matter what age they start.   So why has Taekwondo grown so popular?  Because it's a comprehensive martial art that can benefit anyone and help them meet their own individual goals.

Learning The Techniques

     When Americans first started signing up for Taekwondo lessons, some 20 years ago, most of them were primarily interested in learning self-defense.  In 1962, the "Fitness Revolution" was still years away.  It wasn't until new students had practiced several months that they noticed something extra was happening.  They were losing unwanted pounds of fat and firming up long forgotten muscles.  Simply practicing the Taekwondo techniques of blocking, punching, kicking and striking was providing a powerful limbering and toning exercise.  The principles of Taekwondo technique are based on the design of your body.  For power, you develop the larger, powerful muscles of the torso. The speed of the techniques comes from the fast, agile muscles of the arms and legs.  When you learn to coordinate this speed and power through your smallest muscles, you can develop the concentration to focus all of your body's strength into a small, hard striking surface like the edge of the hand or the heel of your foot. When you have mastered this "Focusing" of your strength, the idea of shattering boards becomes quite real.  When used in a self-defense situation against the soft and vulnerable parts of an attacker's Body, this power can be incredible. 


     As this may be your first visit to a martial arts school, much of what you see may be new to you.  Most people have talked to or seen a black belt, so now we’1l explain some of the other aspects of Taekwondo.  Taekwondo is a martial art with time-honored traditions.  Each class begins and ends with a bow.  This bow, much like the American handshake, is simply a courtesy and a nice remembrance of the homeland of this martial art.  Each student in class wears a bright, white uniform: its cleanliness reminds us to come to class with a clean clear mind that is ready to learn.  Around the waist each student wears a colored belt.  The white belt of the beginner indicates he is pure and without knowledge of Taekwondo.  As you progress in knowledge, the color of your belt gets progressively darker; orange, yellow, camo, green, purple, blue, brown, red, and finally black.  Upon earning the black belt, your knowledge is close to completion and your belt reflects a combination of all the previous colors.  As you watch the class, you’l1 no doubt hear many of the famous martial arts yells, called kihaps.  The purpose of the yelling is really not hard to understand. Besides having the obvious effect of unsettling your opponent, a loud kihap gets you excited.  The combination of the two, together with the strength-building effects of increasing your adrenalin flow, greatly increases the effectiveness of your techniques.  Yelling after all, is probably the world's most popular form of defense - just ask any ten year old who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  One of the more subtle things you’11 notice is the air of dignity and discipline in a class.  The discipline of the practice is what makes it safe.  When students maintain constant respect for each other, there is little danger that anyone will get hurt in practice.


     New beginners start class everyday.  Each new student starts slowly and progresses at his or her own rate of speed.  You should begin by attending twice per week.  Each class lasts about an hour.  Don't be concerned if you're out of shape or think the techniques look too difficult; you'll be in class with other beginners like yourself.  While there is little doubt that most Americans would like to have the skill of a Black Belt, there still exists a huge amount of misinformation about the martial art. We hope that this information we have provided you with has supplied some sensible reasons for studying Taekwondo, America's most popular form of martial art.  Again, thanks for taking the time to inquire, and we really hope that you decide to join us. It was once said, "The hardest part of any journey is taking the first step".



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ATA Taekwondo USA
2847 N. Calumet Ave
Valparaiso, IN  46383

Phone: (219) 531-5511

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