Taekwondo, like other martial arts, is much more than kicking and punching. Tradition, discipline, and self-control help. Taekwondo is a martial artist’s way of life, not just a self-defense programme.
Every reputable Taekwondo school should have these traits.
Modern schools are abandoning Taekwondo’s traditions. They emphasise on sparring and spectacular exhibitions.
Not a sport, Taekwondo. Respect its history and tradition as a martial art. If a school is traditional, look for these signs.
Koreans practise Taekwondo. Martial art movies popularise Kung Fu and Karate in the West. Dojo, sensei, and sifu are well-known. Taekwondo schools employ Korean terminology. Dojang means training location, sabonim means teacher, etc.
Good TKD schools teach pupils Korean terms for kicks, strikes, body parts, and other words. Learn more about Taekwondo terms by reading our list.
Modern TKD schools often emphasise sparring. Sparring is the most thrilling part of martial arts training, but it’s not enough. Important features include forms, strength training, conditioning, and stretching.
Respect is shown at TKD schools by bowing and saluting. Students should respect their sabonim, other students, and outsiders.
Martial arts need discipline. Teachers should reprimand pupils to maintain order and respect.
Students need self-discipline. This is one of Taekwondo’s most essential blessings for all parts of life.
Karate Kid? This legendary movie shows what a martial artist should be — and shouldn’t be.
Mr. Miyagi is a self-disciplined, unassuming guy who demands respect without trying. Cobra Kai chief John Kreese is a braggart.
Taekwondo schools shouldn’t teach a conceited mentality.
What makes an excellent Taekwondo school is clear. Let’s tour the world’s greatest Taekwondo schools (in no particular order).
Grandmaster Byung Yul Lee founded one of America’s premier Taekwondo schools in 1969. His pupils are now extremely accomplished professors at his institution, continuing his legacy. National champions, Pan Am champions, U.S.A. team players, and U.S. and Olympic coaches are on the roster.
World Taekwondo Academy is one of the oldest Taekwondo schools in the US. It’s the nation’s #1 Taekwondo club for two years running.
The school claims its Taekwondo curriculum may boost confidence and power. The institution provides programmes for adults, women, and kids as young as 3. Respect and discipline are emphasised in a safe and entertaining environment.
This institution offers online lessons if you don’t live locally.
Grandmaster Kim Jae Hun started this Boston school in 1974. MIT admitted him in 1971.
He taught Taekwondo at local universities. His analytical approach was distinct from a Taekwondo school’s. He combined Western university knowledge with Taekwondo mastery.
Three years later, JH Kim Taekwondo Institute opened. The network now includes campuses in Singapore and Korea.
Analytical thinking is still emphasised. Every pupil must not only master the skills, but also comprehend why they work. Encourage technical talks.
Students can specialise in Taekwondo and learn Olympic-style sport Taekwondo. To fully comprehend Taekwondo, everyone must learn the entire system.
Manchester’s 2002 school is newer. GB Taekwondo trains British Olympic, Paralympic, World, and European Taekwondo competitors.
As the country’s worldwide representatives, they produce high-quality pupils. The academy offers many tournaments annually to train its full-time Olympians.
This Taekwondo school doesn’t accept walk-ins. The British government funds the programme to produce world champions and Olympians.
Every year, athletes ages 13 to 18 are drafted (openly recruited). Martial artists can apply. Individuals must show Olympic-level potential to join the Development Programme.
Let’s visit Egypt’s top Taekwondo school. Two Olympic competitors who trained in Cairo won gold in 2020.
High-quality training funded by the Egyptian government has put Egypt in the top 20 for Taekwondo.
This 2011 Singapore Taekwondo group is young. Grandmaster Eom Seong Soo, 8th Dan, heads the school.
His achievements and certificates include:
- WTF Master Award
- Korea Taekwondo Association Judgement Certificate
- Korea’s Taekwondo Lead Kyung Gi
- Kyung Gi Do Taekwondo Association’s Best Leader
…and more. He also makes sure all his Taekwondo teachers are competent.
KyungHee Taekwondo Singapore is an accredited dojang of KyungHee University Taekwondo Union. This organisation has produced Olympic, Asian, and Korean National Team medalists.
Hawaii’s top Taekwondo school Hee Il Cho’s Taekwondo Center is ideal. Grandmaster Cho has almost 60 years of Taekwondo experience as a student and instructor, and it shows in his students.
The school aspires to serve its “ohana” by promoting peace, benevolence, honesty, and honour (Hawaiian for family).
Action movie fans may recognise Master Cho. He was in Best of the Best (1989), Fight to Win (1987), Bloodsport (1996), and Future War (1997).
Grandmaster Hee Il Cho created AIMA in 1980. (AIMAA). This organisation helps martial arts schools establish and grow, fostering self-discipline, honour, and peace.
Unifying martial arts systems was radical in the 1980s. Most martial artists cared more about establishing their art’s superiority than transferring knowledge.
Hee Il Cho’s Taekwondo Center in Hawaii is the AIMAA’s international headquarters.
Grandmaster Sun Ki Chong created San Jose’s World Class Taekwondo. This three-time Korean National Champion coached the US Team.
Nationally-certified teachers are committed to fostering a supportive community. Each lesson focuses on technique. Taekwondo is a way of life, not a fitness activity, at the school.
This school promotes self-esteem, self-defense, discipline, and confidence. These martial artists are physically and psychologically well-rounded.
INSEP was created in 2001 in France. They did a great job gathering the greatest French Taekwondo athletes.
INSEP athletes have won 8 Olympic medals (half of France’s total) and Taekwondo World Championship medals. The French Taekwondo team is now among the world’s 10 best.
INSEP focuses on top athletes like GB Taekwondo and does not provide public admission classes. The institute offers intense training for 14- to 18-year-old top athletes.
In the 1970s, Korean military advisors brought Taekwondo to Iran, and the country loved it.
Soon after, Iranian Taekwondo athletes competed globally. 1975 was the 2nd World Taekwondo Championships. Iran earned bronze. Iran has won 54 Taekwondo World Championship and 6 Olympic medals.
World Taekwondo: Iran is where the finest athletes train, despite having over 5,000 schools. Grandmaster Shin Chul Kang founded the school at Seyed Mostafa Safavi’s request.
No journey to Taekwondo schools throughout the world is complete without a stop in Seoul, South Korea.
1982 saw the founding of the Kukkiwon World Taekwondo Academy. The school celebrates the sport’s physical strength but also emphasises social leadership. Virtue and Taekwondo spirit are highlighted.
In 2008, the institution began a master’s programme for the handicapped. The institution has created 140,000 Taekwondo leaders.