Taekwondo has grown in popularity during the last few decades. But what makes Taekwondo so popular? And is it the best martial art to learn? Let’s review the Taekwondo pros and cons:
|Taekwondo Pros||Taekwondo Cons|
|Improves one’s strength, stamina, and flexibility||Techniques are limited to primarily kicks and strikes|
|Teaches discipline, confidence, resilience, awareness, and social skills||Being highly rules-based limits real-world self-defense applications|
|Improves situational awareness||Medium level of injuries|
|Builds social skills||Some schools promote to black belt too quickly, which can give students a false sense of accomplishment|
Taekwondo is a single word in Korean.
“Tae” means “foot”, “to walk on”, or “leg”, “Kwon” means “battle”, or “fist”, and “Do” means “discipline”. When we combine these three elements, we can identify a few of the critical concepts underlying Taekwondo.
Firstly, Taekwondo is the enlightened application of the words “Tae” and “Kwon,” which are made up of your “fists” and “feet,” or all of your body parts that symbolize your fists and feet.
Second, Taekwondo is a method of controlling a fighting scenario so that the end is peace.
This concept is derived from the definition of Tae Kwon, which is “to control fists”. Thus, Taekwondo implies “the proper manner of employing all of your body parts to stop fighting and contribute to the creation of a peaceful world”.
But is it possible to learn Taekwondo by yourself?
In a recent article of mine, I shared how to do just that. While that might seem a good option, it is not the best option.
Learning in a dojo with fellow students is a sure way to measure progress in martial art. But if that’s not an option for you, you can do it at home alone. There’s even a way to earn a black belt that way!
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Ego booster….1st Place in Executive Division at YMCA Taekwondo tourney today…earned every bruise! #ymcatkd pic.twitter.com/W3OI00TBI8
— Alan Convery (@ConveryA) June 23, 2014
What benefits does Taekwondo have?
Here are a few of the biggest benefits of Taekwondo:
1. Increases Fitness
Taekwondo classes often include dynamic kicking and punching drills, stretches, and core-strengthening exercises. Such energetic actions can help you gain strength and stamina.
Practicing the “poomsaes” — detailed defense and assault motion patterns — benefit younger children’s motor abilities and body control.
Taekwondo athletes possess high peak anaerobic power, flexibility (particularly in the legs and hips), high dynamic upper and lower body strength, and good core endurance, according to a 2014 study published in Sports Medicine.
2. Learning to Respect Others
Taekwondo teaches respect and honor.
You value the discipline, the dojo (or studio), and your instructor. You are required to arrive smartly clothed in a dobok and to follow the gym rules.
You bow to your teacher at the beginning and the end of class.
Higher belt athletes have some authority in the studio since they have shown the dedication and physical strength required to earn their position. You come to respect them and their orders.
3. Develops Self-Discipline
Taekwondo teaches athletes to respect themselves as well as authority figures. Belt advancements boost one’s self-esteem.
Learning forms and specialized punching and kicking methods require discipline, which promotes confidence and mental focus. Children’s grades and behavior may improve as a result of Taekwondo’s confidence-building and attention-enhancing effects.
Taekwondo is really about learning to diffuse situations.
Rather than attacking, the practice is defensive. What you learn in Taekwondo training can keep you from becoming a victim in potentially dangerous situations.
And as I discussed under the disadvantages, Taekwondo isn’t ideal for self-defense. But knowing ANY martial art is better than none.
5. Improves Concentration
Taekwondo also entails bringing the mind and body together.
The attention required to learn and practice the forms (poomsaes) provides you better control of your striking and kicking, resulting in bodily harmony.
When your body is balanced, you can apply this to how you live and interact in society.
What are the Disadvantages of Taekwondo?
Here are a few of the biggest disadvantages of Taekwondo:
1. Head trauma
According to CBS News, the average number of injuries in martial arts ranges from 41 to 133 per 1000 exposures. This isn’t limited to only Taekwondo, although it is one of the martial arts included in the statistics.
Taekwondo is a full-body combat sport. In certain classes, moves and strikes/impacts are imitated rather than performed. This isn’t always the case in competitions and tournaments.
A kick to the head can frequently result in a concussion. To avoid head injuries, enroll in classes that prohibit real kicks and hits to the head. Wear protective headgear as well.
Bruising is prevalent in Taekwondo practice, particularly in the early stages.
Bruising should become less common as you progress. So, where does the bruising originate? Sparring with other club members will result in this.
Kicks and strikes cause these to the body. You might use a cold compress to treat bruises and concentrate on strengthening your approach to prevent blows and collisions.
3. Difficult to apply in a real-life struggle (street fight)
Taekwondo is an excellent means of self-defense against someone who:
- Has no fight experience and
- Has been learning Taekwondo and fights according to rules
However, in a street brawl, it is not a particularly effective defense technique. You may be wondering why this is the case.
The reality is that Taekwondo focuses a lot on forceful kicks and not so much on using one’s hands. And even then, punches or hits with the hand to an opponent’s face are not allowed.
This suggests that combat in close quarters would be tough. It is a good idea to add other martial arts to your portfolio alongside Taekwondo or ensure you never get into a street fight.
4. The possibility of insufficient combat training
Although not everyone believes this, it is widely known that Taekwondo does not teach fighting techniques. Taekwondo does not possess any grappling tactics and hand-to-hand combat forms.
You won’t learn any face punches, and the emphasis will be primarily on kicking.
So if you want to dive into UFC fighting or other similar competitions, you will have to learn at least 1 other martial art aside from Taekwondo.
That would not necessarily be true if you were doing Muay Thai, Kickboxing, or BJJ.
Fascinated by the #Taekwondo – it’s a bit like really violent Riverdance #Olympics Go #JadeJones #BringOnTheGreat pic.twitter.com/EczyRsBKdy
— Lisa Sharman (@SharmL) August 18, 2016
Additional Taekwondo Pros
How does Taekwondo benefit your cardiovascular health?
Taekwondo is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health.
It is a powerful martial art that involves powerful kicks and punches, which can help you get in shape and stay healthy. Taekwondo is an excellent form of physical activity that can help you lose weight, improve your physical fitness, and increase your overall physical health.
The training sessions involved in Taekwondo are intense and involve a lot of physical activity.
This helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, as well as improving the body’s ability to use oxygen more efficiently. The intense physical activity also helps to burn calories, which can lead to weight loss. (source)
Additionally, the movements involved in Taekwondo help to improve balance and coordination, which can help reduce the risk of injury during other forms of physical activity.
Taekwondo is also a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. (source)
The intense physical activity helps to release endorphins, which are hormones that make us feel good. This can help reduce stress levels and improve overall mental health. Additionally, the focus on technique during training sessions helps to improve concentration levels and mental clarity.
Overall, Taekwondo is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health.
The intense physical activity involved in training sessions helps to strengthen the heart and lungs while burning calories for weight loss. Additionally, it helps reduce stress levels while improving concentration levels and mental clarity.
For these reasons, Taekwondo is an excellent form of exercise for those looking for good health and fitness benefits.
Is Taekwondo a full-body workout?
Taekwondo is a full-body workout that focuses on overall health, physical abilities, and motor skills. The main reason why Taekwondo is such a great full-body workout is because it puts much emphasis on the development of physical strength, flexibility, and endurance.
The practice of Taekwondo involves a variety of exercises that target different parts of the body.
These exercises include stretching, kicking, punching, and blocking techniques. All these exercises help to improve balance, coordination, and agility. Additionally, Taekwondo also helps to build muscle strength and endurance by using various forms of resistance training such as weight lifting and plyometrics.
The practice of Taekwondo also helps to improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and improving blood circulation throughout the body.
This helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. Furthermore, Taekwondo can help to improve mental health by reducing stress levels and improving concentration levels.
Overall, Taekwondo is an excellent full-body workout that can help to improve physical abilities as well as overall health.
It is an ideal exercise for young kids as it helps them develop motor skills while also providing them with an enjoyable activity that they can do with their friends or family members.
Furthermore, it provides a great way for adults to stay in shape while also learning self-defense techniques that can be used in dangerous situations.
Therefore, if you are looking for a great way to stay fit while also learning self-defense techniques then Taekwondo may be the perfect choice for you!
Does Taekwondo relieve stress?
Taekwondo is one of the most popular martial arts in the world and an excellent choice for relieving stress.
It is a great way to get physical exercise, which can help reduce stress levels. Taekwondo also teaches discipline and focus, which can help you stay calm and relaxed in stressful situations. (source)
Taekwondo is a good way to relieve stress because it helps you to focus on something other than your worries.
When you are practicing Taekwondo, you are focusing on the movements and techniques rather than your problems. This can help take your mind off of whatever is causing you stress and give you a sense of peace and relaxation.
Another benefit of Taekwondo is that it helps to build self-confidence. (source)
When you practice Taekwondo, you learn how to defend yourself against attackers, which can give you a sense of security and confidence in yourself. This can help reduce stress levels because it gives you the feeling that no matter what happens, you will be able to handle it.
Finally, Taekwondo is an excellent way to relieve stress because it encourages social interaction with other people who practice the same martial art as you do.
This can be a great way to make new friends and build relationships with people who understand what it’s like to be stressed out. Having someone who understands what you’re going through can be very helpful in reducing stress levels.
Overall, Taekwondo is one of the best ways to relieve stress because it provides physical exercise, teaches discipline and focus, builds self-confidence, and encourages social interaction with others who practice the same martial art as you do.
If you’re looking for an effective way to reduce your stress levels, then Taekwondo may be an excellent choice for you!
Additional Taekwondo Cons
Does Taekwondo mostly teach kicks?
Taekwondo is a popular martial art and fighting style that has been around for centuries. It is known for its flashy kicks and beautiful spinning leg kicks, but does Taekwondo mostly teach kicks?
The answer is both yes and no.
Yes, Taekwondo does teach a lot of time on kicking techniques. Kicking is the main focus of the martial art, and it is what makes it so unique.
However, there are other aspects to Taekwondo that are not focused on as much as kicking. For example, there is a lack of emphasis on hand techniques such as punching or blocking. This means that while you may learn some basic hand techniques in Taekwondo, they will not be as developed as the kicking techniques.
The cons of Taekwondo being focused mainly on kicking are that it can be difficult to apply in real-life situations.
Kicking can be flashy and impressive to watch, but it may not always be the best option when faced with an opponent in a real-life situation. This means that if you rely too heavily on your kicking skills in a fight, you may find yourself at a disadvantage against someone who has more experience with other forms of martial arts or fighting styles.
Another con of Taekwondo being focused mainly on kicking is that it can take away from other important aspects of self-defense such as grappling or ground fighting.
While these skills are important for self-defense, they often get overlooked in favor of flashy kicks and spinning leg kicks which can look impressive but may not always be effective in real-life situations.
Overall, while Taekwondo does focus mainly on kicking techniques, there are still other aspects to the martial art that should not be overlooked or forgotten about.
It is important to remember that while flashy kicks may look impressive, they may not always be the best option when faced with an opponent in a real-life situation.
Therefore, it is important to spend time developing all aspects of self-defense including grappling and ground fighting so that you can have an advantage over your opponents in any situation.
Why is Taekwondo disrespected?
Taekwondo is disliked in certain parts of the martial arts community because of its increased focus on sport and lower focus on being a martial art. But it is also frequently criticized as some schools award black belts in just 2-3 years.
And make no mistake; while that will sound cool to your 7-year-old, it’s setting someone up to failure to see themselves as a “black belt” that quickly.
True mastery takes a long time, and there’s no substitute for years of dedication and training.
And a Taekwondo black belt who earned their belt in 3 years will be no match for a BJJ black belt that got theirs in 10 years. As you saw in this article, Taekwondo was employed in numerous conflict scenarios throughout history and was a serious and dangerous martial art before becoming an Olympic sport in 1988.
However, it is still used as a combat sport in some areas, and it can be just as effective as it was before.
But if self-defense is the primary goal over sporting events, make sure to look for a school that aligns with your vision. And look for one where it takes at least 5 years to get a black belt. And even better is a school that doesn’t make any promises of that and simply awards them to students when they truly deserve it.
Does Taekwondo teach any grappling?
The answer is yes, although it may not be as comprehensive as other martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. But it’s also not taught at every school.
Taekwondo does teach some grappling techniques, but they are not the main focus of this martial art.
Instead, the emphasis is on striking and kicking techniques. This makes sense since Taekwondo was originally developed as a form of self-defense. Grappling techniques are important for self-defense, but they are not the primary focus of Taekwondo training.
That being said, there are some grappling techniques taught in some Taekwondo classes.
These include throws, joint locks, and ground fighting skills. While these skills may not be as comprehensive as those taught in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or other grappling arts, they can still be useful in a self-defense situation.
In addition to teaching some grappling techniques, Taekwondo also teaches students how to use their body weight and leverage to their advantage in a fight. This can be very useful when facing an opponent who is larger or stronger than you.
It also helps students develop their overall fighting skills and gives them an edge in any situation where physical strength is a factor.
Finally, it’s important to remember that no martial art can give you a false sense of security or make you invincible in a fight.
All martial arts require hard work and dedication if you want to become proficient at them. Taekwondo is no exception; even if it does teach some grappling techniques, it still requires dedication and hard work if you want to become proficient at it.
But if grappling is what you want, Tae Kwon Do is not the best choice.
Does Taekwondo have a high risk of injury?
While it is considered to be a relatively safe martial art, there is still a risk of injury associated with Taekwondo.
The most common injuries associated with Taekwondo are sprains and strains, which can occur when practicing the fast techniques of the martial art.
To reduce the risk of injury, it is important to warm up properly before training and to wear protective gear such as shin guards and gloves when sparring or using a punching bag. It is also important to have an experienced sparring partner who can help you practice safely.
In addition to the risk of injury from fast techniques, there is also a risk of injury from full contact sparring or body contact drills.
These drills are part of the training in many martial arts schools and should only be done with proper protective gear and under the supervision of an experienced instructor. Beginner classes should focus on learning basic techniques without full contact or body contact drills until students have developed more advanced skills.
Overall, Taekwondo does have some risk of injury associated with it but this can be minimized by following safety guidelines such as:
- warming up properly before training
- wearing protective gear when sparring or using a punching bag
- having an experienced sparring partner
- avoiding full contact or body contact drills until more advanced skills are developed
With proper safety precautions in place, Taekwondo can be enjoyed safely by practitioners of all levels.
In the preceding paragraphs, we learned about the disadvantages of Taekwondo.
But we also looked at the benefits of Taekwondo and whether Taekwondo is safe for girls. Taekwondo is safe for both genders, and it is a tool that can be used in self-defense and other related situations. It also helps girls build self-confidence and feel empowered.
Wonder how Judo compares to Taekwondo?
I compared both of those in a recent article. Both are Olympic sports, but do the similarities stop there? Are there any techniques that seem similar? Which one is better?
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Image by Andrew Yuan from Pixabay