This site provide historical information on the martial art of Tae Kwon Do as well as our school.
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Goals and Values
Trinity Taekwon-Do takes great pride in offering a structured and disciplined martial arts program for all students that is designed to encourage, enhance and “raise up” its members.
As a Taekwon-Do School we maintain the following Goals and Values:
Trinity Taekwon-Do : Goals and Values
Promote and Instruct Taekwon-Do to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Build student’s Mind, Body and Spirit through positive influences and strong role models.
Develop and shape Student’s character through Taekwon-Do.
Provide a safe and conscientious environment for learning.
Offer quality instruction at an affordable cost.
"Train Hard or Go Home"
Through Taekwon-Do training and the benefits therein, there isn’t a task too hard, a goal too high or an achievement too lofty. Students at Trinity Taekwon-Do are always asked to "Give It Their All" and are consistently praised and positively reinforced to learn that they can do anything they put their mind to.
Our Logo - History and Strength
Originally there were three (3) schools, Broomfield, Wheatridge and Northglen. The three (3) original schools are signified by the three points of the triangle. While there is only one class now, this is our history.
The equilateral triangle represents the strength of traditional Taekwon-Do and its ability to endure. This is the same basic shape of the ancient pyramids of Egypt which have endure throughout the ages. As these have endured, so will Trinity.
The interlocking rings signify the friendship that is shared between the primary instructors, Master Bob Neidig, Master Pam Neidig and Master Charles Avila and their commitment to Taekwon-Do. These instructors, their knowledge and experience are the core of Taekwon-Do leadership at our Trinity. These ideals of friendship and commitment are strengths that differentiate Trinity Taekwon-Do.
Our class logo is composed of all the colors within the belt system of Taekwon-Do as developed by General Choi Hong Hi.
Our school tag line, "Building...Mind, Body and Spirit", are in concert with the philosophies of traditional Taekwon-Do and its tenets.
This is our history and our strength.
What is Taekwon-Do
Taekwon-Do is a Korean martial art originally developed by GrandMaster General Choi Hong Hi (1918-2002).
Literally translated: Tae means to jump, fly or smash with the foot; Kwon means fist or to punch or destroy with the hand or fist; and Do means the art or way.
In it's purest form, Taekwon-Do is the mental and physical techniques of unarmed combat for self-defense as well as health. It involves the skill application of punches, kicks, blocks, sweeps, takedowns, throws and dodges with bare hands and feet for the rapid destruction of a moving opponent or opponents...
Trinity Taekwon-Do perseveres to provide consistent instruction in the original Taekwon-Do techniques of the founder.
Master Neidig (VIII), Mrs. Neidig (VII) and Master Avila (VII) have all attended International Instructors seminars taught by General Choi prior to his passing.
"Modern Taekwon-Do differs greatly from other martial arts. In fact, no other martial art is so advanced with regard to the sophistication and effectiveness of its technique or the over-all physical fitness it imparts to its practitioners.
Since the theories, terminology, techniques, systems, methods, rules, practice suit, and spiritual foundation were scientifically developed, systematized, and named by the author (General Choi Hong Hi), it is an error to think of any physical actions employing the hand and feet for self-defense as Taekwon-Do. Only those who practice the techniques based on the author's theories, principles and philosophy are considered to be students of genuine Taekwon-Do." - General Choi Hong Hi (1991)
So where and when did Taekwon-Do begin?
Modern Taekwon-Do was formed and started by General Choi during his involvement with the South Korean Armed Forces (29th Infantry Division). It was during the time from March of 1946 to April of 1955, the foundation of Taekwon-Do was created by General Choi. In April of 1955 the name "Taekwon-Do" was given to his systematic approach toward self-defense, fitness and life. This marital arts system is founded in scientific principle and Newtonian physics to derive maximum power and efficiency.
In March of 1959 General Choi led a military demonstration abroad and its was during this time that his vision for Taekwon-Do was solidified. From this point on General Choi dedicated his life and energy toward the world-wide propagation of Taekwon-Do.
General Choi passed away in 2002 and for those of us blessed by his earthly presence, the honor to see him and learn as his students is incomparable to any other experience.
Interested readers are encouraged to seek out original works on Taekwon-Do by General Choi Hong Hi.
Master Robert Neidig Jr (VIII Dan) and the senior black belts of Trinity Taekwon-Do have all benefited from the personal instruction of General Choi and his student, Senior GrandMaster C. E. Sereff (IX Dan), President of USTF (Retired).
Trinity Taekwon-Do honors General Choi Hong Hi through its dedication to genuine Taekwon-Do under the guidance of Senior Master Neidig and Senior Grandmaster C. E. Sereff.
Who was General Choi Hong Hi?
General Choi Hong Hi was born on November 9th, 1918 in the rugged and harsh area of Hwa Dae, Myong Chun District in what is now D.P.R of Korea. In his youth, he was frail and quite sickly, a constant source of worry for his parents.
Even at an early age, however, the future general showed a strong and independent spirit. At the age of twelve he was expelled from school for agitating against the Japanese authorities who were in control of Korea. This was the beginning of what would be a long association with the Kwang Ju Students' Independence Movement.
After his expulsion, young Choi's father sent him to study calligraphy under one of the most famous teachers in Korea, Mr. Han II Dong. Han, in addition to his skills as a calligrapher, was also a master of Taek Kyon, the ancient Korean art of foot fighting. The teacher, concerned over the frail condition of his new student, began teaching him the rigorous exercises of Taek Kyon to help build up his body.
In 1937, Choi was sent to Japan to further his education. Shortly before leaving , however, the youth had the misfortune to engage in a rather heated argument with a massive professional wrestler who promised to literally tear the youth limb from limb at their next encounter. This threat seemed to give a new impetus to young Choi's training in the martial arts.
In Kyoto, Choi met a fellow Korean, Mr. Him, who was engaged in teaching the Japanese martial art, Karate. With two years of concentrated training, Choi attained the rank of first degree black belt. These techniques, together with Taek Kyon (foot techniques), were the forerunners of modern Taekwon-Do.
There followed a period of both mental and physical training, preparatory school, high school, and finally the University in Tokyo. During this time, training and experimentation in his new fighting techniques were intensified until, with attainment of his second degree black belt, he began teaching at a YMCA in Tokyo, Japan.
Choi recounts a particular experience from this period of time. There was no lamp-post in the city that he didn't strike or kick to see if the copper wires ahead were vibrating in protest.
"I would imagine that these were the techniques I would use to defend myself against the wrestler, Mr. Hu if he did attempt to carry out his promise to tear me limb from limb when I eventually returned to Korea."
With the outbreak of World War II, the author was forced to enlist in the Japanese army through no volition of his own. While at his post in Pyongyang, North Korea, the author was implicated as the planner of the Korean Independence Movement and interned at a Japanese prison during his eight month pretrial examination.
While in prison, to alleviate the boredom and keep physically fit, Choi began practicing this art in the solitude of his cell. In a short time, his cellmate and jailer became students of his. Eventually, the whole prison courtyard became one gigantic gymnasium.
The liberation in August 1945 spared Choi from an imposed seven year prison sentence. Following his release, the ex-prisoner journeyed to Seoul where he organized a student soldier's party. In January of the following year, Choi was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the new south Korean army, the "Launching Pad" for putting Taekwon-Do into a new orbit.
Soon after, he made company commander in Kwang-Ju where the young second lieutenant lighted the torch of this art by teaching his entire company and was then promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to Tae Jon in charge of the Second Infantry Regiment. While at his new post, Choi began spreading the art not only to Korean soldiers but also to the Americans stationed there. This was the first introduction to Americans of what would eventually become known as Taekwon-Do.
1947 was a year of fast promotion. Choi was promoted to captain and then major. In 1948, he was posted to Seoul as the head of logistics and became Taekwon-Do instructor for the American Military Police School there. In late 1948, Choi became a lieutenant colonel.
In 1949, Choi was promoted to full colonel and visited the United States for the first time, attending the Fort Riley Ground General School. While there, this art was introduced to the American public. And in 1951, brigadier general. During this time, he organized the Ground General School in Pusan as Assistant Commandant and Chief of the Academic Department. Choi was appointed as Chief of Staff of the First Corps in 1952 and was responsible for briefing General MacArthur during the latter's visits to Kang Nung. At the time of armistice, Choi was in command of the 5th Infantry Division.
The year 1953 was an eventful one for the General, in both his military career and in the progress of the new martial art. He became the author of the first authoritative book on military intelligence in Korea. He organized and activated the crack 29th Infantry Division at Cheju Island, which eventually became the spearhead of Taekwon-Do in the military and established the Oh Do Kwan (Gym of My Way) where he succeeded not only in training the cadre instructors for the entire military but also developing the Taek Kyon and Karate techniques into a modern system of Taekwon-Do, with the help of Mr. Nam Tae Hi, his right hand man in 1954.
In the latter part of that year, he commanded Chong Do Kwan (Gym of the Blue Wave), the largest civilian gym in Korea; Choi was also promoted to major general.
Technically, 1955 signaled the beginning of Taekwon-Do as a formally recognized art in Korea. During that year, a special board was formed which included leading master instructors, historians, and prominent leaders of society. A number of names for the new martial art were submitted. On the 11th of April, the board summoned by Gen. Choi, decided on the name of Taekwon-Do which had been submitted by him. This single unified name of Taekwon-Do replaced the different and confusing terms; Dang Soo, Gong Soo, Taek Kyon, Kwon Bup, etc.
In 1959, Taekwon-Do spread beyond its national boundaries. The father of Taekwon-Do and nineteen of his top black belt holders toured the Far East. The tour was a major success, astounding all spectators with the excellence of the Taekwon-Do techniques. Many of these black belt holders such as Nam Tae Hi, President of the Asia Taekwon-Do Federation; Colonel Ko Jae Chun, the 5th Chief of Taekwon-Do instructors in Vietnam; Colonel Baek Joon Gi, the 2nd Chief instructor in Vietnam; Brigadier Gen. Woo Jong Lim; Mr. Han Cha Kyo, the Head Instructor in Singapore and Mr. Cha Soo Young, presently an international instructor in Washington D.C. eventually went on to spread the art to the world.
In this year, Choi was elevated to two illustrious posts; President of his newly formed Korea Taekwon-Do Association and deputy commander of the 2nd Army in Tae Gu.
The Korean Ambassador to Vietnam, General Choi Duk Shin was instrumental in helping to promote Taekwon-Do in this nation locked in a death struggle with the communists. That same year General Choi Hong Hi published his first Korean text on Taekwon-Do which became the model for the 1965 edition.
In the year of 1960, the General attended the Modern Weapons Familiarization Course in Texas followed by a visit to Jhoon Rhees Karate Club in San Antonio, where the author convinced the students to use the name Taekwon-Do instead of Karate. Thus Jhoon Rhee is known as the first Taekwon-Do instructor in America.
This marked the beginning of Taekwon-Do in the United States of America.
Choi returned to Korea as the Director of Intelligence of the Korean Army. Later that same year, he assumed command of the Combat Armed Command with direction of the infantry, artillery, armored, signal and aviation schools.
The Year 1961, incidentally, was the year of maturation for both Choi's military career and Taekwon-Do, with the command of the largest training centers in Korea and the newly assigned command of the 6th Army Corps.
Taekwon-Do spread like wildfire, not only to the Korean civilian and military population but to the U.S. soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division which was under his operational control. Through his students, Taekwon-Do was even introduced to the greatest military academy in the world. West Point, In the same year, he also made Taekwon-Do a compulsory subject for the entire armed and police forces in south Korea.
1962, Choi was appointed as Ambassador to Malaysia, where, as a dedicated missionary of Taekwon-Do, the art was spread. In 1963, the Taekwon-Do Association of Malaysia was formed and reached national acceptance when the art was demonstrated at the Merdeka Stadium at the request of the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rhaman.
The same year, two important milestones took place; the famous demonstration at the United Nations building in New York, and the introduction of Taekwon-Do to the Armed Forces of Vietnam under Major Nam Tae Hi, In February of the following year, a Taekwon-Do Association was formed in Singapore, and the groundwork was laid for forming associations in the outer reaches of Brunei.
The same year, Ambassador Choi made a trip to Vietnam with the sole purpose of teaching the advanced Taekwon-Do patterns that he perfected after years of research to the instructors group headed by Lt. Col. Park Joon Gi, in person. This was indeed a new era for Taekwon-Do in that he was able to draw a clear line between Taekwon-Do and Karate by completely eliminating the remaining vestige of Karate.
Late this year, he was re-elected to be the President of the Korea Taekwon-Do Association upon returning home, which gave him a chance to purify the Taekwon-Do society by cleaning up the political circles within its organization.
In 1965 Ambassador Choi, retired two star general, was appointed by the Government of the Republic of Korea to lead a goodwill mission to West Germany, Italy, Turkey, United-Arab Republic, Malaysia, and Singapore. This trip is significant in that the Ambassador, for the first time in Korean history, declared Taekwon-Do as the national martial art of Korea.
This was the basis not only for establishing Taekwon-Do Associations in these countries but also the formation of the International Taekwon-Do Federation as it is known today. In 1966, the dream of the sickly young student of calligraphy, who rose to Ambassador and the Association President of the most respected martial art in the world came true. On the 22nd of March, the International Taekwon-Do Federation was formed with associations in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, West Germany, the United States, Turkey, Italy, Arab Republic of Egypt and Korea.
In 1967, the father of Taekwon-Do received the first Class Distinguished Service medal from the Government of Vietnam and he helped to form the Korea-Vietnam Taekwon-Do Foundation, presided by Gen. Tran van Dong. That same year the Hong Kong Taekwon-Do Association was formed. In August, Choi visited the All American Taekwon-Do tournament held in Chicago, Illinois, where he discussed expansion, unification, and the policy of the United States Taekwon-Do Association with leading instructors. This visit led to the formal establishment of the U.S. Taekwon-Do Association in Washington, D.C. on November 26th, 1967.
During his visit, Choi also met with Robert Walson, fourth degree black belt and one of the foremost American authorities on Taekwon-Do, to lay the ground work for a new edition of a book on Taekwon-Do.
In late 1967, the author invited Master Oyama to the I.T.F. Headquarters in Seoul to continue the discussion they had earlier at Hakone, Japan, whereby Master Oyama would eventually change his techniques to that of Taekwon-Do.
In that same year, the President of the I.T.F. selected five instructors from the Armed Forces for Taiwan, at the request of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. This request was channeled through General Chung II Kwon, then the Prime Minister of South Korea.
In 1968, the author visited France, as the chief delegate of the Korean Government, to attend the Consul International Sports Military Symposium held in Paris. Taekwon-Do was a major topic on the agenda. Delegates from 32 countries witnessed demonstrations of Taekwon-Do by a team of experts. That same year, the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association was formed and the author visited Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and India with the hope of spreading Taekwon-Do.
When Choi returned to Korea he was presented with the first Sports Research Award from south Korea for his dedicated work on behalf of the Korean martial art.
In 1969, Choi toured Southeast Asia to personally investigate the preparations of each country for the First Asian Taekwon-Do Tournament that was held in September in Hong Kong. Immediately after the tournament, the author undertook a worldwide tour of twenty-nine countries to visit instructors and gather photographs for the first edition of his previous book "Taekwon-Do". (copyright 1972)
August 1970, the author left for a tour of twenty countries throughout Southeast Asia, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Choi, of course, held seminars for international instructors every place he went and helped spread and weld the International Taekwon-Do Federation into a cohesive force.
In March 1971, Choi attended the Second Asian Taekwon-Do Tournament, held at Stadium Negara in Malaysia, which was opened with the declaration of Tun Abdul Rhajak, the Prime Minister, and closed with the presence of their Majesties.
Also in this year, the author was asked by Gen. Kim Jong Hyun, head of the Army Martial Art department, to select qualified instructors for the Republic of Iran Armed Forces.
The world tour of 1972 was quite retrospective in that Choi had an opportunity to introduce Taekwon-Do to those heads of state of Bolivia, Dominica, Haiti and Guatemala respectively.
In this year, Choi moved the headquarters of International Taekwon-Do Federation, with the unanimous consent of member countries, to Toronto, Canada, envisaging to spread this art eventually to the countries of Eastern Europe, according to the milestone he set up years before.
During these travels, the author has been especially interested in promoting Taekwon-Do among the youth of the world. The President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation has been instrumental in introducing the art to numerous universities in Europe, America, the Middle East and the Far East.
During the months of November and December 1973, General Choi and a specially selected I.T.F. Demonstration Team, consisting of Kong Young II, Park Jong Soo, Rhee Ki Ha, Pak Sun Jae and Choi Chang Keun, all 7th degree black belts, toured Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Far East. A total of 13 countries were visited and new I.T.F. branches established in 5 of these countries. The tour was an overwhelming success with a total of more than 100,000 people watching the demonstrations in Egypt alone. At each stop, general Choi and the Demonstration Team were hosted by ranking representatives of the local governments.
1974 was indeed an exuberant and long remembered year for Choi, because the founder of Taekwon-Do was not only able to proudly present the superiority of techniques as well as the competition rules of this art, but also to bring his dream into reality by holding the first World Taekwon-Do Championships in Montreal.
In November and December of this year, he led the 4th International Taekwon-Do Demonstration Team consisting of 10 of the world's top instructors to Jamaica, Curacao, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela and Surinam.
In 1975, Taekwon-Do alone had the privilege to demonstrate at the Sydney opera house for the first time since its opening. General Choi visited Greece and Sweden to conduct seminars later in this year. In the middle of 1976 he toured Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Europe to inspect Taekwon-Do activities, giving seminars at the same time. In November of the same year, Choi went to Holland to declare the opening of the First European Taekwon-Do Championships held in A msterdam.
September 1977, the founder of Taekwon-Do visited Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia following the Tokyo meeting in which he publicly denounced the South Korean President Park Jung Hee who had been using Taekwon-Do for his political ends. Later that year he visited Sweden and Denmark to aid in the formation of their National Associations of Taekwon-Do.
In May of 1978, General Choi toured Malaysia, Pakistan, Kenya and South Africa accompanied by Rhee Ki Ha. In this year he led the 5th International Taekwon-Do Demonstration Team consisting of Choi Chang Keun, Rhee Ki Ha, Park Jung Tae and Liong Wai Meng to Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia. In September of the same year the Second World Taekwon-Do Championships was held in Oklahoma City, U.S.A.
In June 1979, the All Europe Taekwon-Do Federation was formed in Oslo, Norway. After this historic event General Choi toured Sweden, Denmark, West Germany, France and Greenland accompanied by Khang Su Jong and Rhee Ki Ha. In November of that year he led the 6th International Taekwon-Do demonstration team consisting of Kim Jong Chan, Choi Chang Keun, Rhee Ki Ha, Park Jung Tae, Lee Jong Moon, Chung Kwang Duk, Kim Suk Jun and Michael Cormack to Argentina.
The year 1980 was indeed an unforgettable one for the father of Taekwon-Do, both for himself and the future of his art. He and 15 of his students, including his son Choi Joong Hwa, made a monumental trip to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. This was the first time Taekwon-Do was introduced to the people of North Korea, Choi's birth place. In November of this same year, the first All Europe Taekwon-Do Championships was held in London with 18 countries participating.
In January of 1981, Gen. Choi made a visit to Queensland, Australia, accompanied by Choi Chang Keun, to declare, open the first Pacific Area Taekwon-Do Championships. At this time he helped to form the South Pacific Taekwon-Do Federation as well as the Australian Taekwon-Do Federation.
In June of the same year, the author led the 8th International Taekwon-Do Demonstration Team to Tokyo, Japan. In October, he conducted a seminar for the founding members of Taekwon-Do in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and in November he proudly presented the unified Taekwon-Do demonstration team consisting of North and South Korean instructors to the historic meeting called North and Overseas Korean Christian Leaders, held in Vienna, Austria. In August, President Choi visited Argentina to declare the opening of the Third World Taekwon-Do Championships held in Resitancia, Chaco.
In January 1982 the President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation formed the North America Taekwon-Do Federation in Toronto, Canada. In this year, the author was finally able to realize his long anticipated dream (since 1967) when a Taekwon-Do gym opened for the first time in Japan under the auspices of patriot Chon Jin Shik. It was indeed a very busy year for the President in that he visited Puerto Rico in July accompanied by Master Park Jung Tae, to conduct seminars.
During the months of October and November he toured Greenland, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Finland, accompanied by Master Han Sam Soo, Park Jung Taek and Choi Joong Hwa to promote Taekwon-Do. He also attended the First Intercontinental Taekwon-Do Championships held in December in Naples, Italy.
In October of the same year Gen. Choi met with Mr. Csandi, the Chairman of programming committee of I.O.C. in Budapest, Hungary to discuss the recognition of I.T.F. by the I.O.C. In January 1983, General Choi made a visit to Colorado, U.S.A accompanied by Master Lee Suk Hi, the President of North America Taekwon-Do Federation, to grade Charles E.Sereff, the President of the U.S. Taekwon-Do Federation, for 7th degree.
In February 1983, the author toured Latin America including Argentina, Columbia, Panama and Honduras to conduct a full scale seminar. During his stay in Honduras he helped to activate the Central American Taekwon-Do Federation. During the months of March, April and May he toured Santa Barbara, California, Europe and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to conduct last minute preparation of the encyclopedia, the last product of his life-lo ng research.
In October and November of the same year, he made a visit to Yugoslavia and Italy accompanied by Park Jung Taek and Choi Joong Hwa to prepare photographs to be used for the Encyclopedia. In April 1984, President Choi declared the opening of the Fourth World Taekwon-Do Championships held in Glasgow, Scotland. In the same month, he visited Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee, in Lausanne accompanied by Master Rhee Ki Ha, Charles Sereff and Kim Yong Kyu to prove that only the International Taekwon-Do Federation is the world governing body of true Taekwon-Do.
In September the author invited key instructors such as Lee Suk Hi, Rhee Ki Ha, Park Jung Tae and Choi Joong Hwa to Pyongyang to finalize the publication of the Encyclopedia. In fact, this was the time when the relocation of the I.T.F. to Vienna, Austria was seriously discussed.
In October of the same year, the President made an official visit to Budapest, Hungary to declare the opening of the 3rd All Europe Taekwon-Do Championships. This indeed was of particular importance as it was the first large scale international event held in a socialist country as far as the Taekwon-Do tournament is concerned.
In the following month, General Choi visited New York City along with masters Lee Suk Hi and Park Jung Tae to declare open the 3rd annual General Choi's Cup in North America. In December the 5th I.T.F Congress meeting was held in Vienna, where it was unanimously decided to relocate the I.T.F. here by March of the next year. Also at the meeting, President Choi Hong Hi was re-elected for another term. Mr. Jun Chin Shik, the President of Japan International Taekwon-Do Federation, masters Lee Suk Hi and Rhee Ki Ha were elected as Vice Presidents with master Park Jung Tae as Secretary-General.
Without doubt, 1985 was one of the most significant years for the founder of Taekwon-Do as he was able to document all of the techniques he had researched for years by publishing the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do. He was also able to establish a strong foundation for the spreading of his art to the entire world, especially the socialist as well as the Third World countries by moving the International Taekwon-Do Federation to Vienna, the capital city of Austria.
In April of this year, President Choi visited Puerto Rico accompanied by Tran Trien Quan, the President of the Canadian Taekwon-Do Federation, James Limand Kim Suk Jun to attend the 1st Latin American General Choi's Cup. In June, he visited East Berlin to attend the opening ceremony of the 24th I.O.C. Congress.
In November of the same year, Gen. Choi, accompanied by Secretary-General Master Park Jung Tae and Tran Trien Quan, visited Norway to honor the opening of the 1985 Scandinavian Taekwon-Do Championships.
In December, various festivals celebrating the 30th anniversary of Taekwon-Do was held in Quebec, Canada sponsored by the Taekwon-Do Federation of Canada were highlighted with the presence of the Father of Taekwon-Do, Gen. Choi Hong Hi.
In June 1986 the founder took DPRK Taekwon-Do demonstration team to the People's Republic of China. This visit eventually became the motivation for the Chinese people to adopt the Korean martial art, Taekwon-Do.
1987 was a significant year for General Choi because he showed once again the indomitable spirit as well as perseverance to the Taekwon-Do world by declaring the 5th World Championship in May in Athens, Greece, despite persistent interference of the South Korean dictatorial regime.
In December of the same year, president Choi began to formulate the Promotion and Popularization Foundation of ITF boosted by the pledge given by Mr. Chon Yon Shik, the elder brother of senior vice-president Mr. Chon Jin Shik, in the amount of 100,000,000 Japanese Yen.
The year 1988 was culminated by two important events. In May, the Hungarian government hosted the 6th World Championships in Budapest which was by far, the largest in scale, finest in technique and also for the first time, televised via satellite throughout Europe.
In August, the Father of Taekwon-Do was at last able to realize his ultimate dream of introducing and teaching his art without regard to religion, race, national or ideological boundaries, by leading the I.T.F. demonstration team to Moscow, U.S.S.R.
It is hoped that all instructors will follow his example by devoting part of their time towards introducing the art into the school systems in their respective areas.
Merely introducing the art, however, is not enough. The instructor must also concern himself with imbuing and maintaining a positive influence that will eventually serve as a guiding light to all students.Then and only then, can the instructor consider himself an apostle of Taekwon-Do.
General Choi passed away in 2002 but not before his lifetime dream had come to fruition. He had successfully introduced the World to Taekwon-Do. His living spirit shall be missed but his commitment and fervor for true Taekwon-Do continues on with each of use today.
At Trinity Taekwon-Do we continue on in the General's footsteps providing instruction and guidance in the true form of Taekwon-Do as laid down by our forefather.
Taekwon-Do Tenets: Core Values
A Taekwon-Do students actions and behavior, both inside and outside the Do Jang, reflect on his/her school, his/her instructor and the art of Taekwon-Do. The tenets of Taekwon-Do provide a framework for right conduct and behavior. Students should strive to embody the tenets, both in body and spirit.
Courtesy (Ye Ui)
Taekwon-Do students should attempt to practice the following elements of courtesy to build up their noble character and to conduct the training in an orderly manner as well.
- To promote the spirit of mutual concessions.
- To be ashamed of one's vices, contempting those of others.
- To be polite to one another.
- To encourage the sense of justice and humanity.
- To distinguish instructor from student, senior from junior, and elder from younger.
- To behave oneself according to the etiquette.
- To respect others' possessions.
- To handle matters with fairness and sincerity.
- To refrain from giving or accepting any gift when in doubt.
Integrity (Yom Chi)
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 the conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt. Examples of poor integrity include:
- The instructor who misrepresents himself and his art by presenting improper techniques to his students because of a lack of knowledge or apathy.
- The student who misrepresents himself by "fixing" breaking materials before demonstrations.
- The instructor who camouflages bad techniques with luxurious training halls and false flattery to his students.
- The student who requests rank from an instructor, or attempts to purchase it.
- The student who gains rank for ego purposes or the feeling of power.
- The instructor who teaches and promotes his art for materialistic gains.
- The student whose actions do not live up to his words.
- The student who feels ashamed to seek opinions from his juniors.
Perseverance (In Nae)
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 of a technique, one must set his goal, then constantly persevere. Robert Bruce learned his lesson of perseverance from the persistent efforts of a lowly spider. It was this perseverance of tenacity that finally enabled him to free Scotland in the fourteenth century. One of the most important secrets in becoming a leader of Taekwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance. Confucius said: "One who is impatient in trivial matters can seldom achieve success in matters of great importance."
Simply put: "Try and Try again. Never give up!".
Self-Control (Guk Gi)
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. According to Lao-Tzu "the term of stronger is the person who wins over one's self rather than someone else."
Restated: Be in constant control of your actions, behaviors and spirit. "If you have nothing good to say... don't say anything at all." The same goes for actions and behaviors.
Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)
"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 Thermoplyae showed the world the meaning of indomitable spirit. It is shown when a courageous person and his principles are pitted against overwhelming odds. A serious student of Taekwon-Do will at all times be modest and honest. If confronted with injustice he will deal with the belligerent without any fear or hesitation at all, with indomitable spirit, regardless of whosoever and however many the number may be.
Confucius declared: "It is an act of cowardice to fail to speak out against injustice." As history has proven, those who have pursued their dreams earnestly and strenuously with indomitable spirit have never failed to achieve their goals. "Pursue one's own goal".
Indomitable Spirit is the never ending fire burning deep inside that can not be quenched or drowned and is fed by vigilance to the other tenets.
Taekwon-Do Student Oath
A students commitment to Taekwon-Do and the Way are demonstrated through the Tenets and founded in the Student Oath. These principles provide a "road" for right living in Taekwon-Do.
- I shall observe the Tenets of Taekwon-Do.
- I shall respect my instructors and seniors.
- I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do.
- I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
- I shall build a more peaceful world.
As a matter of practice, the Student Oath and Tenets should be recited at the end of every class prior to dismissal from the Do Jang (Training Hall).
The following guidelines are simple goals for both students and instructors, but define the roles and relationships between the two.
- Never tire of teaching. A good instructor can teach anywhere, any time, and always be ready to answer questions.
- An instructor should be eager for his/her students to surpass him; it is the ultimate complement for an instructor. A student should never be held back. If the instructor realizes his student has developed beyond his teaching capabilities, the student should be sent to a higher ranking instructor.
- An instructor must always set a good example for his students and never attempt to defraud them.
- The development of students should take precedence over commercialism. Once an instructor becomes concerned with materialism, he will lose the respect of his students.
- Instructors should teach scientifically and theoretically to save time and energy.
- Instructors should help students develop good contacts outside the do jang (training hall). It is an instructor's responsibility to develop students outside as well as inside the do jang.
- Students should be encouraged to visit other do jangs and study other techniques. Students who are forbidden to visit other do jangs are likely to becomes rebellious. There are two (2) advantages for allowing the students to visit other gyms: (1) not only is there the possibility that a student may observe a technique that is ideally suited for him/her, but; (2) he may also have a chance to learn by comparing his techniques to inferior techniques.
- All students should be treated equally, there should be no favorites. Students should always be scolded in private, never in front of the class.
- If the instructor is not able to answer a student's question, he should not fabricate an answer but admit he does not know and attempt to find the answer as soon as possible. All too often, will a lower degree black belt dispense illogical answers to his students merely because he is afraid of "losing face" because he does not know the answer.
- An instructor should not seek any favors such as cleaning the studio, doing repair works, etc. from his students.
- An instructor should not exploit his students. The only purpose of an instructor is to produce both technically and mentally excellent students.
- Always be honest with the students, and never break or betray a trust.
- Never tire of learning. A good student can learn anywhere, any time. This is the secret of knowledge.
- A good student must be willing to sacrifice for his art and instructor. Many students feel that their training is a commodity bought with monthly dues, and are unwilling to take part in demonstrations, teaching and working around the do jang. An instructor can afford to lose this type of student.
- Always set a good example for lower ranking students. It is only natural they will attempt to emulate senior students.
- Always be loyal and never criticize the instructor, Taekwon-Do or the teaching methods.
- If an instructor teaches a technique, practice it and attempt to utilize it.
- Remember that a student's conduct outside the do jang reflects on the art of Taekwon-Do, the student's Taekwon-Do school and the student's instructor.
- If a student adopts a technique from another do jang and the instructor disapproves of it, the student must discard it immediately or train at the guy where the technique was learned.
- Never be disrespectful to the instructor. Though a student is allowed to disagree with the instructor, the student must first follow the instruction and then discuss the matter later.
- A student must always be eager to learn and ask questions.
- Never betray the instructor.
Enabling Personal Fitness
Taekwon-Do practice improves personal health. Every class starts with rigorous stretching of the muscles in the extremities and core. Taekwon-Do practice develops long lean muscles attuned to fast reactions and strengthen through repetitive behavior. Through these endeavors, physical balance improves and helps to protect the practitioner against injury cause by unexpected falls and accidents in normal life.
Cardiovascular health and breathing abilities improve through fast pace free-sparing and physical conditioning. Typical training involves the constant movement of the entire body and raises the pulse rate and oxygen characteristics of the heart and lungs over an extended period. This increased ventilation is termed an aerobic effect and provides the following benefits:
- Helps the lungs operate more efficiently.
- Enlarges the blood vessels, making them more pliable and reducing the resistance to blood flow, thus lowering the diastolic blood pressure.
- Increases the blood supply, especially red blood cells and hemoglobin.
- It makes the body tissue healthier by supplying it with more oxygen.
- It conditions the heart, providing more reserve for emergencies.
- It promotes better sleep and waste elimination.
The training tends to be a normalizer of body weight in that it results in a gain of solid tissue for the under-weight and a loss of body fat for the obese. The estimated calorie consumption for a vigorous Taekwon-Do workout is about six hundred calories per hour, one of the highest for any sports activity. Since the expenditure of about 3,500 calories results in a weight loss of one pound, it can be seen that a weekly training schedule of only six hours will result in weight loss of one pound per week.
It is through the constant practice of this discipline that the benefits are learned. The body becomes strengthen, the spirit invigorated and personal longevity enhanced.
Theory of Power
How is it that Taekwon-Do practitioner's can wield such unbelievable power in kicks and punches?
This is a common question that the average person may ask after a demonstration of the raw power that Taekwon-Do techniques can deliver to an opponent. This power is attributed to the utilization of a person's full potential through the mathematical application of Taekwon-Do techniques. For instance, the average person uses only 10% to 20% of their potential. Anyone, regardless of size, age or sex can condition them self to use 100% of their potential and harness the same destructive force for use in self-defense.
Taekwon-Do training under the tutelage of qualified instruction results in a high level of reaction force, concentration, equilibrium, breath control and speed. These are the key ingredients that when combined together create the recipe for unbelievable power.
Here is a brief summary of these elements:
Reaction Force (Bandong Ryok)
Newton's law third law describes the relation between action and reaction forces. Consider a simple example: A speeding automobile crashes into a wall with a force of 2000 lbs; The wall exerts and equal and opposite force. Every action has equal and opposite reaction.
Another example is illustrated when two automobiles collide head-on. The resultant force (experienced by the occupants of each auto) is the combined speed of the two autos. If auto #1 is traveling at 55mph and auto #2 at a speed of 45mph, the resultant collision experienced by the occupants of both vehicles is 100mph. This is the same as a single auto colliding with a wall at 100mph. As anyone knows the results of this event are catastrophic to both the vehicle(s) and occupants.
As an opponent rushes toward you at a high speed, by the slightest blow to his head, the force with which you strike his head would be that of his own attack plus that of your own blow. The two forces combined; his, which is large and yours, which is small are quite impressive. Another reaction force is your own. The combined motion of drawing the opposite fist away from the opponent (to the belt) aides to increase the power delivered to the opponent. This action creates angular momentum around the vertical axis of the body and increases the overall power to the target.
Concentration (Jip Joong)
Through application of an attack or defense using the smallest attack area, the resultant force delivered during the attack or defense can be maximized. Walking in deep snow can be very difficult, but walking with snowshoes makes this task more easy. The snowshoes distribute the force (weight) of the man on the snow over a larger surface area. Taekwon-Do attacks or defenses should use the proper tool (smallest surface area) to deliver the maximal force.
Concentration is also used during the attacking or defensive motion. During the motion, the entire body is relaxed and remains fluid (in motion) toward the target. Only at the last split-second do the muscles of the body fully tense to increase the power of the delivered technique. The simple rule is: Relax...Power! This is a rather simple concept, but is only fully developed over years of repetitive, conscious training.
Equilibrium (Kyun Hyung)
Balance is of the utmost importance in any type of athletics. In Taekwon-Do, special attention must be followed before, during and after the application of any self-defense technique. A well balanced technique is more effective and devastating. Un-balanced techniques are easily repelled or countered.
Balance in movement from Taekwon-Do stance-to-stance is critical. The motion should be fluid right to the absolute moment of the attack/defense. At the moment of the attack, the stance should be performed with proper balance (centered weight distribution) and tension of muscles. The overall effect creates a strong foundation, firmly rooted (in stance), to maximize the actionary force while counter-acting the reactionary forces (above).
Many new students Taekwon-Do techniques resemble more of a "robot-like" motion rather than the graceful, fluid motion of overall balance. Like concentration, development of balance in Taekwon-Do technique takes years to fully master.
Breath Control (Hohup Jojul)
Controlled breathing not only affects one's stamina and speed but can also condition a body to receive a blow and augment the power of a blow directed against an opponent. Through practice, breath stopped in the state of exhalation at the critical moment when an attack is landed against a pressure point can prevent a loss of consciousness and stifle pain. Quickly exhaling at the moment of impact and stopping the breath during the execution of the technique causes the abdomen muscles to tense and assists in concentrated delivery of power toward the target.
An important rule to remember: Never inhale while focusing an attack or defense against an opponent. Not only will this impede movement (balance) but will also yield diminished power to the target.
Students should also learn controlled breathing (at all times) to feign (deceive) fatigue. Experienced opponents shall see these signs (fatigue) as an opportunity to capitalize in their own attack.
Newton's second law (F = MA) describes the proportional relation between mass and acceleration of the mass to generate maximal force (kinetic energy). In Taekwon-Do the practitioner's mass is relatively fixed. To date no single person can increase their overall mass (body weight) in a single instance. Fluctuations in weight normally occur but generally over a period of time. While this is true, the practitioner body mass can be leveraged in a number of methods to increase the overall effectiveness (power) of the Taekwon-Do technique. These methods include: utilization of the hip at the instance of attack or defense; and utilization of "sine wave" motion prior to and at the moment of attack/defense.
Additionally, the overall mass of the body can be leveraged by increasing the speed at which the practitioner's body moves toward the target. This concept is embodied by the second component of Newton's second law, acceleration.
Speed of the attack or defense toward the target is the single most critical area where the practitioner can control maximum generation of force. Newton's second law, F = MA, describes this relationship where:
- A = (Change in Velocity) per unit time: and
- V = (Change in length) per unit time.
Decreasing the time it takes to deliver an attack or defense to the target can substantially increat the power of the technique. Likewise increasing the speed of the attack toward the target has the same effect. All other factors held constant, a technique rapidly delivered to the target will be more powerful than the same technique begin delivered in a slower fashion.
The general formula for calculation of the power of any technique is kinetic energy and is revealed by : P = KE = 1/2 * M * (V * V) where:
- P = Power;
- KE = Kinetic Energy;
- M = Mass; and
- V = Speed (Velocity).
It's obvious to see that increasing the speed of the attack toward the target has a multiplicative (doubled) consequence toward generation of overall power.
Like the other elements effecting power, fully developing maximal speed in execution of any technique takes time and practice.