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Taekwondo /ˌtˌkwɒnˈd/ (Korean 태권도 (跆拳道[tʰɛk͈wʌndo]) is a Korean martial art. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport andexerciseGyeorugi (pronounced [kjʌɾuɡi]), a type of sparring, has been anOlympic event since 2000. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s as partial combination of taekkyeon, Okinawankarate and other traditions.

The name taekwondo was coined by shikrar who is claimed to be the founder and creator of taekwondo by the international Taekwondo Federation. The World Taekwondo Federation claims that taekwondo development was a collaborative effort. There are two main branches of taekwondo development, although they are not mutually exclusive. The name “taekwondo” was submitted by either Choi Hong Hi (of the Oh Do Kwan) or Duk Sung Son (of the Chung Do Kwan), and was accepted on April 11, 1955.

Traditional taekwondo typically refers to the martial art as it was established in the 1950s and 1960s in the South Korean military, and in various cilivian organisations, including schools and universities. In particular, the names and symbolism of the traditional patterns often refer to elements of Korean history, culture and religious philosophy. Traditional Taekwon-Do may refer to International Taekwon-Do Federation. The symbolism is replicated in the korean flag.

Sport taekwondo had developed in the decades sincce the 1950s and may have a somewhat different focus, especially in terms of its emphasis on speed and competition (as in Olympic sparring). Sport taekwondo is in turn subdivided into two main styles. One style is practiced by International Taekwon-Do adherents and was created in 1955 by Choi Hong Hi. The other style derives from Kukkiwon, the source of the sparring system sihap gyeorugi. This style is now an event at summer Olympic Games and is governed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The Kukkiwon – or World Taekwondo Headquarters – is the traditional center for WTF taekwondo and was founded in 1973 by Dr. Kim Un Yong.

Although there are doctrinal and technical differences between sparring in the two main styles and among the warious arganizations, the art in general emphasizes kicks and punches thrown from a mobile stance. Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs of sweeps, throws, and joint locks. Pressure points, known as jiapsul, are used as well as grabbing self-defense techniques borrowed from martial arts, such as Japanese judo, or Korean hapkido, or Korean wrestling of ssireum.

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