The most common martial arts practiced in North America are karate and Taekwondo. It is developed in Korea and it is a combination of combat technique, exercise, self defense. It is treated as the national sport of Korea and also the Olympic sporting event.
Most practitioners of Taekwondo and Karate wear the same type of white GI uniforms with various colored belts. The colored belt designates various ranks of karate practitioners with white depicting novices and black representing instructor levels and higher. However, there are other ranges of colors in between. Some of the more Americanized schools use uniforms with other colors such as red, black and blue. Many schools started practicing the representation of levels in black belt by adding a black line to white Uniforms. Moreover, a V-neck top is a symbol of affiliation with World Federation.
Taekwondo has two styles, one under the International Federation and the other under the World Federation. It teaches punching and kicking and it is classified in to four sections: Toning, Sparring, Forms and Self Defense. It is an exercise program that encompasses muscle toning, stretching and flexibility, increasing strength and stamina through aerobic sparring. The kicks used in Taekwondo sparring are more striking than in any other martial art.
Sparring is categorized into two: one-step sparring and free sparring. In One-step sparring, it involves prearranged movements performed by participants. When one of the participants uses punching and kicking techniques the other employs various combinations of blocking and counter attacking techniques. Practical application of self defense techniques is called as Free sparring.
Taekwondo martial art competition is held in a controlled environment and is called as sparring. It mandate for all participants to wear protective gear: helmet, gloves, shin guards and feet guards. Many people enjoy Taekwondo, or any martial arts for that matter, because it is an all inclusive exercise program. It is fun, it is challenging, and it is an excellent way to get in or to stay in shape.
Taekwondo is all about developing moral character, seeking perfection and self discipline.