- What is a Taekwon-Do uniform called?A Taekwondo uniform is called a DOBOK (pronounced do-bo). It should be white with as few logos on as possible. This symbolises purity of mind. “Belt” in Korean is TI, by the way.
- How long does it take to achieve black belt?This is almost impossible to answer as it depends on how often the student trains, how hard they train and how quickly they learn. Students who are more dedicated and train hard will obviously achieve their black belt before other less devoted students but to put a time span on it is difficult. I would say that even the most dedicated of students should train for about two to three years before being allowed to Dan test.
- What are the differences between Taekwon-Do, Karate, and Kung Fu?Most Asian martial arts trace their history back to China, but in essence, Taekwon-Do formally originated in Korea, Karate in Japan (via Okinawa), and Kung Fu in China. Each art shares some common elements with the others, but each one developed using different principles to maximise its effectiveness. In Taekwon-Do, we generally use a greater percentage of leg techniques to give an increased reach advantage and to keep opponents outside their preferred striking range. Karate and Kung Fu practitioners generally use a greater percentage of hand and arm techniques, compared to Taekwon-Do, but that is not to say that we neglect those techniques!
- Is martial art training dangerous?It is a common misconception that martial art training is dangerous, with a relatively high risk of injury. In UTF Taekwon-Do, all members learn about safety, respect and self control in training. While there is always some risk of physical injury, most members will encounter no injuries or only very minor injuries. Typically, the types of injuries seen in school sports (even non-contact sports such as basketball or football) are more severe than what we encounter in our traditional martial art training.
- Is Taekwon-Do good for health and fitness?Taekwon-Do has many benefits, of which better health and fitness are just a couple. Apart from strength, endurance, balance, coordination, and flexibility, Taekwon-Do is also excellent for building up mental toughness and calmness, developing strong concentration skills and for stress relief. Bear in mind that outcomes will depend on how much effort you put into training, and that any exercise should be undertaken intelligently and safely. Taekwon-Do involves all the major muscle groups, both in individual exercises and in paired exercises (where you and a training partner provide physical resistance to each other). A lot of our training focuses on mobility (avoiding an attack) and kicking, which both involve moving your entire body weight, and will help ensure that you will burn off any excess fat quickly. If you put in a reasonable amount of effort, you should have an excellent all-around cardiovascular workout.
- How fit do I have to be to start training?Many beginners do express concerns about how fit they should be before starting their Taekwon-Do training. Most people will need to have a basic level of fitness so that they can participate in class to a reasonable degree, but we welcome and support each individual at their current level of fitness, including people with disabilities.* We do not put pressure on beginners to ‘keep up’ in terms of physical fitness; it is no problem at all to do your best, and then ‘step out’ for the remainder of an exercise. It is important to remember that most Taekwon-Do practitioners, including instructors, are just ordinary people who were not necessarily very fit when they started their own journey in Taekwon-Do
* The Universal Taekwon-Do Federation does not discriminate against anyone, with exception to membership or belief in/adherence to any organization that promotes violence or hatred. We welcome people with physical limitations and all disabilities, and we enthusiastically embrace and address their challenges.