Most of us know taekwondo is a martial art form. But what exactly is taekwondo? How does taekwondo differ from other martial arts forms? Becks Martial Arts in Fort Collins offers taekwondo classes for all ages. Contact us today!

Originating in Korea, taekwondo (or tae kwon do) is the art of self defense. One of the oldest forms of martial arts, its name means “the art of the foot and hand” — Tae  (foot), Kwon  (hand), Do  (art). The first recorded existence of taekwondo comes from a mural painted on the wall of a tomb in Korea dated around the turning of the millenium. Two figures are shown in taekwondo style stances and wearing similar taekwondo uniforms to the ones worn today.

As the kingdom of Korea advanced, so did taekwondo. Needed as more and more wars developed, taekwondo developed elite warriors who were carefully selected and formally trained in taekwondo. Usually the sons of nobles, these elite taekwondo mastered unarmed combat. In addition, taekwondo wasn’t just about fighting; taekwondo also taught these men poetry, history, and philosophy as the mind and spirit were just as integral to taekwondo as the physical aspect of it. This tradition has been carried through to the twenty-first century as character, self-discipline, and confidence are developed in addition to martial arts skills. Today, taekwondo is the most practiced martial arts in the world with 120 countries representing 20 million practitioners of the sport recognized by the World Taekwondo Federation.


Martial arts by definition is a self-defense skill that is now practiced as sports. Martial arts also applies to military and law enforcement uses, mental and spiritual development, and cultural heritage identity. Furthermore, martial arts developed in various countries, which inevitably would be slightly different from each other due to the differences between cultures.

Taekwondo is known as the kicking art since it emphasizes kicks more than any other martial arts. Taekwondo training involves learning a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes. Various forms of takedowns, throws, and joint locks, all of which develop strength, speed, balance, flexibility, coordination, and stamina, are also emphasized. Students of taekwondo learn prearranged sequences of techniques known as forms or poomsae (known in other martial arts as kata). Taekwondo and judo are the only two martial arts that is a sport in the Olympic Games.

Just like in other martial arts forms, kicking is not the only defense mechanism taught in taekwondo. Striking with various limbs (hands, elbows, knees, and feet), throwing techniques (sweeps, reaps, flips, and takedowns), and grappling (joint locks and manipulations, pressure points and nerve centers, chokes and other restraints as well as escaping and countermoves) are all taught in taekwondo as well. Like any sport, you have to diversify and train all aspects in order to fend off a counter attack.

Besides the obvious physical benefits of practicing taekwondo, practitioners’ self-confidence, discipline, and self-control grow as well. Taekwondo is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Currently, more people study the art of taekwondo than all other forms of martial arts combined.


Becks Martial Arts school in Fort Collins is the Top Rated Local® Martial Arts School. Becks Martial Arts is passionate about our students. Our taekwondo program teaches self-defense skills as well as life skills such as friendship, hard work, leadership, a positive attitude, a strong mind, and the importance of community. We meet each student at his or her level and make improvements and rank advancements in a progressive manner. We offer flexible class times to fit with your schedule as well as tournament opportunities. Contact us today for your free introductory class!