So Taekwondo is a striking based martial art, originating in Korea. It is characterised by its focus on a variety of head-height kicks, jumping/spinning kicks, mid-air switch kicks, as well as various fast kicking techniques. A quickening of reactions is a basis for a lot of the motions, and then throwing as much muscle power into one small space as quick as possible.
Taekwondo has proven to be yet another devastating striking form when used by the right practitioner in MMA. Although, many of the techniques are high-risk-high reward, acrobatically impressive kicks, many of which can be low percentage, meaning they require perfect timing to land in an MMA fight.
However, the variety of Taekwondo kicking techniques, can cause massive damage to an opponent if landed, because of how much spinning/jump muscle force that is put into the kicks.
With all that being said, many Taekwondo techniques can leave you exposed to wrestling/jiu-jitsu/judo takedowns. So you will notice that Taekwondo based strikers in MMA utilise their kicking techniques with more caution, as one mistimed spin kick could end up with you being taken down.
However it has to be also said, there is no doubt in my mind that Taekwondo is one of the most beautiful forms of striking martial arts to visually watch in motion, when an expert is expressing themselves in an MMA contest as we will see later.
Compared to many other martial arts histories that we have explored, Taekwondo is really one of the newest and youngest martial arts in existence. Boxing, Wrestling, Karate, Muay Thai, have been practiced for hundreds and thousands of years by humans on this planet.
Taekwondo on the other hand was developed in the 1940s and 50s, by various martial artists that incorporated elements of Karate and Chinese martial arts, then fused them with indigenous historical Korean martial arts, such as Taekkyeon, Subak, and Gwonbeop (these martial arts do have a very long history).
The Grand Master of Taekwondo is widely considered to be the polarising figure Choi Hong Hi, who founded the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) in 1966.
Choi was a General in the South Korean army, and although within the ITF he is considered the most important figure in Taekwondo history, interestingly the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) portray Choi as a dishonorable figure in Taekwondo history, by omitting him from their versions of history, or through abusive statements.
Choi was born in 1918, in Hwa Dei, North Korea, which at the time was under Japanese control. Chois father sent him to train under Han II Dong, who was master of Taek Kyon (ancient Korean martial art of foot fighting).
Choi after this went to Japan and studied Shotokan Karate under legendary Karate master Funakoshi Gichin which again added to Chios considerable Martial Arts skills at this point.
Then after a long career in the Army in 1955, Choi decided to combine elements of Taek Kyon and Karate to develop a form he called Taekwondo which means “way of the hand and foot” and so it came to be named from that date forward.
Emergence in the World:
Since the year 2000, Taekwondo has been a full contact Olympic event worldwide, its electrifying stand up exchanges always attract good viewers, which has been even more satisfying seeing some great Taekwondo martial artists transition into MMA.
Heres a few of the best Taekwondo martial artists in MMA – Anthony Pettis, Daron Cruickshank, Rose Namajunas, Bruno Korea, Benson Henderson, Sage Northcutt, Hong Young Ki, John Makdessi, Edson Barboza, Akop Stepanyan, Ed West, James Moontasri, Anderson Silva and Yair Rodriguez.
Heres some of these fighters displaying their Taekwondo skills in MMA –
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