If martial arts are something that has ever appealed to you, you’ve probably found that it can sometimes be difficult to know which one to choose. Karate, Kung Fu, Judo, Aikido, Jujitsu; the list goes on forever and often people don’t know what distinguishes one from the other and whether any of them are similar. Fortunately, Taekwondo combines techniques and movements from a variety of martial arts and is something that can be enjoyable and useful for anyone, whether you simply want to keep fit or join the black belts and see this exciting sport as a way of life.
To set you up with a bit of history, Taekwondo originated in Korea and focuses on combat and self-defence as well as flexibility, strength and fitness. The name of the sport comes from the Korean words “Tae” meaning “to kick”, “kwon” meaning “punching” and “Do” meaning “way” or “method”. From this you can see how Taekwondo aims to make you use your whole body and teaches you the application of a variety of techniques such as jumping kicks, punches, blocks and the stances that are required for these moves. For those of you that do not quite like the sound of all the combat, you’ll be pleased to know that Taekwondo is about so much more than just fighting. Not only will you benefit physically from training but this sport also trains you mentally drawing upon discipline, concentration and moral character.
Here at Lancaster, we are lucky to have a friendly and passionate Taekwondo society that train twice a week. It doesn’t matter what level you are or how serious you want to take the sport, you will be warmly welcomed into the sessions and can attend as much or as little as you like. In training the focus is primarily on executing kicks, blocks and punches using pads as well as body armour when practising sparring. Not only will you use these moves in combat, but you will also use them in the patterns that you learn, which are a great challenge to both the mind and body. At the end of every term you will have the opportunity to grade if you want to and take part in local competitions throughout the term. In keeping with the tone of the society though, there is no pressure to do either of these things.
Training takes place on Monday’s 6-8pm and Wednesdays 8-10pm in the George Fox foyer with one hour costing £2.50 and two hours costing £4. The first hour in each session is aimed at beginners and the second session is aimed at intermediate and advanced members. However, as you may now expect, you can attend all sessions no matter what level you are. There are so many great skills you can gain from this sport and it’s a great way to release some tension that can so often come from a packed day at university. So come along and kick some stuff; trust me, you’ll have fun.