When learning traditional taekwondo it is important to discuss, acknowledge, learn, and participate in all the traditional aspects of taekwondo. It’s what makes up the fundamental “meat and bones” of what taekwondo is.
Like many modern day martial arts, traditional taekwondo has a long history, in fact as an organized and developed training form, it dates back some 2000 years. It also has a more modern incarnation which has evolved during the last century right up until today, where the sport of taekwondo has developed to the point of being an Olympic sanctioned sport with a major international following and participation.
Aspects of traditional taekwondo
All taekwondo training will have aspects of traditional taekwondo in it, whether it be in the purely traditional taekwondo class where the student will be taught traditional patterns, various taekwondo striking and blocking techniques, sparring skills, self-defense techniques, Korean taekwondo terminology, right through to the spirit and attitude that one strives for when participating in taekwondo training. These same traditions, skills, and etiquette can even be seen in the highly developed and evolved modern sport taekwondo.
When learning traditional taekwondo it is important to discuss, acknowledge, learn, and participate in all these traditional aspects of taekwondo. It's what makes up the fundamental "meat and bones" of what taekwondo is.
For the taekwondo exponent who chooses to enter the realm of competition taekwondo, these same traditional taekwondo skills and philosophies will serve as an important foundation. In a sport environment these traditional taekwondo skills have evolved in a way which is very specific to the rules of competition taekwondo. Techniques have been adapted and refined to more effectively point score on specific body targets.
For many taekwondo students their goals and ambitions relate to learning traditional taekwondo, advancing through the ranks, and fulfilling their potential as a taekwondo exponent. For others their ambitions lie in reaching their potential as a competition taekwondo player. Learning and developing all aspects of traditional taekwondo is vital in both instances.
The key point when discussing taekwondo belts is that while the belt colors might vary throughout the various schools, associations, and organizations, the 10 gup levels will remain consistent and offer a reference point throughout the industry.