THE INTERNATIONAL TAEKWON-DO FEDERATION (ITF) WAS FOUNDED IN MARCH 22ND 1966 BY GENERAL CHOI HONG HI. ITF IS A WAY OF LIFE AND A TRUE MARTIAL ART.
Taekwon-Do is a version of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defense.
Translated literally "Tae" stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist-chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist. "Do" means an art or way - the right way built and paved by the saints and sages in the past.
Taken collectively "Taekwon-Do" indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defence as well as health, involving the skilled of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the moving opponent or opponents.
Taekwon-Do is more than just that, however. Though it is a martial art, its discipline, technique and mental training are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. It is this mental conditioning that separates the true practitioner from the sensationalist, content with mastering only the fighting aspects of the art.
Taekwon-Do also implies a way of thinking and life, particularly in instilling a concept and spirit of strict self-imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral rearmament. This concept is one of the reasons why Taekwon-Do is not just another style of fighting but considered a true artof self-defense by its practitioners
There are six belts: White, Yellow, Green, Blue, Red and Black. White is given to beginners and Black is given to students who have progressed through the grades and have a solid foundation for learning the techniques of Taekwondo.
Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwon-Do.
Signifies the earth from which a plant sprouts and takes root as the foundation of Taekwon-Do is being laid.
Signifies the plant's growth as Taekwon-Do skills begin to develop.
Signifies the Heaven towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Taekwon-Do progresses.
Signifies Danger, cautioning the the student to exercise control and warning the opponent to stay away.
Opposite of white, therefore signifying the maturity and proficiency in Taekwon-Do, also indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.
THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF TAEKWON-DO TRAINING DEPENDS LARGELY ON HOW ONE OBSERVES AND IMPLEMENTS THE TENETS OF TAEKWON-DO
It can be said that courtesy is an unwritten regulation prescribed by ancient teachers of philosophy as a means to enlighten human beings while maintaining a harmonious society. It can be further be as an ultimate criterion required of a mortal.
In Taekwon-Do, the word integrity assumes a looser definition than the one usually presented in Webster's dictionary. One must be able to define right and wrong and have a conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt.
There is an old Oriental saying, "Patience leads to virtue or merit, One can make a peaceful home by being patient for 100 times." Certainly happiness and prosperity are most likely brought to the patient person. To achieve something, whether it is a higher degree or the perfection or a technique, one must set his goal, then constantly persevere.
This tenet is extremely important inside and outside the dojang, whether conducting oneself in free sparring or in one's personal affairs. A loss of self-control in free sparring can prove disastrous to both student and opponent. An inability to live and work within one's capability or sphere is also a lack of self-control.
"Here lie 300, who did their duty," a simple epitaph for one of the greatest acts of courage known to mankind. Although facing the superior forces of Xerxes, Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermopylae showed the world the meaning of indomitable spirit. It is shown when a courageous person and his principles are pitted against overwhelming odds.