Korean Martial Arts:
Taekwondo, hapkido, and kumdo are some of Korea's most popular cultural exports. With active practitioners worldwide, students and parents will often find martial art studios that advertise training in one or more of these disciplines.
Here, we will take a closer look at hapkido as a possible cross-training option for the taekwondo athlete. It is recommended to build a strong foundation in one art (ie. first or second degree black, or three to five years of consistent study) before cross-training in another. This ensures that the athlete's taekwondo training is not diluted.
Many hapkido techniques will seem circular and dynamic to the taekwondo athlete. Hapkido training tends to combine spinning and bi-directional kicks in sequence. Below are some examples of training sequences that may already be familiar to the taekwondo athlete.
Front kick -- side kick
Front kick -- back kick
Front kick -- roundhouse kick
Hook kick -- roundhouse kick
Low side kick -- high side kick
High spinning heel kick -- low spinning heel kick
For a more extensive list (or to learn more about hapkido), please see this book by Marc Tedeschi.
If you would rather watch something, there is also a beginner's DVD available. This particular resource has been highly praised for its thoroughness, with close-up views and slow-motion replays.
The CUTA Northern typically follows the standard taekwondo regulations set forth by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). That means athletes can expect to compete using standardized sparring gear, with electronic sensors available for black belt competitors. Athletes can also expect to perform the authorized WTF forms in both traditional and sports divisions.
In the past, CUTA Northern has received USAT sanctioning. This means athletes and referees received Team USA points for participating, which may or may not be relevant depending on an individual's level-up and certification goals. Team USA points typically last for one year before expiring.
In the past, CUTA Northern has included USAT membership renewal (one year) as incentive for athletes to sign up for the event. This incentive will likely remain attractive as long as the event fees remain competitive with that of other martial arts events.
In the past, CUTA Northern has not gained much traction in forms and breaking competition. This may be due to political factors among the organizations in the area. There are also other events like the Stanford Open and Napa Open that may be more attractive to poomsae players in Northern California.
CUTA Northern is still considered and treated as a local event. It may not be worth the costs associated with driving, flight, or hotel for competitors who live further away.
Maybe you were looking for some karate classes, or you curiously typed in "karate near me" hoping to take some martial arts classes. Then a few studios offering karate lessons popped up, and some taekwondo schools appeared as well.
Whether you are a parent looking to enroll your child, or an adult seeking to finally get in shape, you might be wondering... isn't taekwondo (also known as tkd) just another form of karate for kids?
Well.. not exactly.
As popular as it is in North America, Asia, and Europe, taekwondo has become much more standardized than the varied disciplines of karate. Don't let the rainbow of different colored belts fool you, nor let the masters speaking of discipline categorize this into just some karate for toddlers. While taekwondo has become one of the best martial arts for kids, taekwondo kids aren't the only ones enrolling in these martial arts classes.
Martial arts training is a lifetime activity for which younger kids can develop a greater appreciation of as they grow older. Meanwhile, late teens and adults can start anytime and learn to play the game at a more sophisticated level.
With regional, national, and international taekwondo tournaments categorized by skill level and age, there's something here for everyone.
To get inspired by some of the best athletes, as they show off their skills against challenging opponents, see if you can make it out to one of these events.
USAT National Championship, hosted by USA Taekwondo.
U.S. Hanmadang, hosted by USA Taekwondo.
WTF President's Cup, hosted by Pan America Taekwondo Union.
AAU National Championship, hosted by Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
U.S. Open (G2), hosted by Pan America Taekwondo Union.
But if you would rather start off with a smaller, local tournament located conveniently near your home, have no fear. Even though the skill levels may be a bit lower than what you would see at the events listed above, it might just be enough to get you going.
See a comprehensive list of taekwondo tournaments near you by clicking HERE.
Well, what are you waiting for?