Overview of Taekwondo

Taekwondo is an exciting martial art that combines a variety of kicks, strikes, and blocks into a dynamic system of sport and fun. Although taekwondo is perhaps mostly familiar as an Olympic sport, it is primarily a healthy activity requiring strength and flexibility to perform powerful striking and kicking combinations.

More importantly, taekwondo is an activity that reinforces positive characteristics helping individuals become better citizens of the community. Through regular training, participants develop and learn the value of self-training, self-discipline, self-confidence, self-defense, and self-respect.


What are the Benefits?

With regular training, participants improve physically, mentally, and, in many cases, emotionally.

PHYSICAL.    Obvious benefits are seen almost immediately with improved balance/posture, flexibility, strength, coordination, and aerobic fitness. These characteristics are essential for taekwondo success. Longer term benefits include the ability to apply these characteristics to other activities. For example, using a baseball bat for power or percentage; swinging a golf club or tennis racket well; or, handling a soccer ball through several defenders.

MENTAL.    In addition to the physical benefits, our program is designed to exercise the mind also: memorizing prearranged movements (forms); be able answer questions related to the use of their growing skills (use skills in the proper context); and, develop an awareness of what’s going on around them and how they relate to their environment (improve concentration and exercise good judgement). According to parents, teachers, and principals, many children improve their performance in the classroom after spending even a short amount of time with us.

EMOTIONAL.    Taekwondo training can be a stablizing factor for many participants. Meeting challenges in a highly supportive and structured environment can have powerful results. Taekwondo offers a unique environment where participants can yell and kick and hit things — and it’s OK. This intense release of nervous energy can surprisingly have an overall calming effect. Combined with an emphasis on positive social skills, participants develop the tools to manage and apply their energy in constructive ways — at home, school, and on the field.

BOTTOM LINE: Taekwondo training provides a solid foundation for future success with a positive — and balanced — combination of body, mind, and emotion.

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At my taekwondo classes, I learned that everyone should help each other. By sharing our goodwill, all of the MSMAP participants learn to step up and act.

• • • • •

Vitaliy Tveritin
2014 & 2018 Black Belt
(Began 2008)



Technical System

Taekwondo includes the following five elements:

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Competition: Four Types

Taekwondo includes four different types of competition. Each type of competition adds a level of focus and purpose that makes the training that much more exciting: sparring, forms, breaking, and self-defense.

NOTE: Safety is always a priority. Members participate according to their experience and can decline participating in any drill and watch and learn should they feel like doing so.

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A Note About Competition

Many people frown upon the idea of mixing martial arts with competition, believing that the martial art is compromised in some way. Others may feel that competition itself is detrimental to their overall well-being.

MSMAP takes the approach that competition is a helpful learning tool for a complete taekwondo training experience. Dr. Ken Min, a pioneer of martial arts in the United States, describes taekwondo as “more than an art of action, but a physical expression of the human will to survive and as an activity to fulfill man’s spiritual cravings.”

He further describes the benefits of how taekwondo competition within the Olympic movement offers unique benefits unavailable from other martial arts:

“Both the Taekwondo an Olympic movements share the common spirit of challenging human beings to overcome their limitations and strive for both physical and spiritual perfection. They also share the drive to overcome national and cultural boundaries and to transcend the barrier that keep people apart.”Source

In other words, it’s not about the winning and losing; it’s about creating a better world through the positive action and dedicated effort of responsible individuals.

Learn more about Dr. Ken Min in our Taekwondo History section:
Go to: Taekwondo History: Taekwondo in the U.S.

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I want to be a safe person to be around. I like to find the diplomatic solution as the way to work things out. I’d rather make friends than enemies.

• • • • •

Griffin Hough
2010 Black Belt
(Began 2001)

Griffin's Story


Promotion Exams

Approximately twice per year (generally summer and winter), we hold a rank promotion examination. These exams allow members who have trained and prepared during the previous months to be tested for their next rank. The rank system starts at white belt (10th geup) and moves up through yellow belt, green belt, blue belt, red belt (1st geup), and black belt (1st dan and up).

Eligible candidates for the promotion exam are expected to fulfill all rank requirements.
Go to: Taekwondo Exam Information

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On The Way To Black Belt

Our curriculum is based upon the international standards set by the Kukkiwon, the world taekwondo authority. Promotion Exam requirements follow those of the University of California-Berkeley Martial Arts Program (UCMAP) thereby assuring that participants who successfully pass each promotional examination have their rank recognized around the world.

Griffin in action

The Kukkiwon serves as the issuing body for taekwondo dan rank (black belt degree) promotion requirements and certification. In addition, the Kukkiwon conducts research and instructional seminars and is home to the World Taekwondo Academy, which trains and certifies Taekwondo instructors through its leadership course.

Learn more about the Kukkiwon in our Taekwondo History section:
Go to: Taekwondo History: Kukkiwon

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Safety is Always Important

A safe training environment is the most important goal of the Mount Shasta Martial Arts Program. We want people to walk out the door at the end of training in relatively the same condition that they walked in. In addition to respecting the safety of themselves, all members are required to respect the safety of others.

A Safe Environment = A Productive Environment. The importance of a safe training and learning environment cannot be stressed too much. For our quality learning process to offer results, a safe environment is essential. We offer a modern space with high-quality mats to go along with a structured, modern, and effective curriculum.

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All Are Welcome

People of all ages are welcome to participate in taekwondo. We encourage everyone who is interested to try our program and learn if its for them. Children under 7 years of age must be accompanied by a parent. Even better, the parent is encouraged to participate, free of charge with their child(ren) to get themselves and their children started towards meaningful training.

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More Information

Go to: Children and Taekwondo
Go to: Children and Martial Arts
Go to: Ready to Join

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In The News
Recommended Resources
Fundraising Help
TKD Techniques Info

Step-by-Step Progress
Learn the basic techniques, and then build up to more sophisticated and challenging techniques. Just like learning the “A, B, C’s”, taekwondo relies upon a methodical approach that allows anyone of any age to improve their skill and health.

TKD Competition Info

Thrilling & Dramatic Action
Discover how taekwondo competition is one of the most fun and exciting activities for kids, teens, and adults. The variety of techniques, level of required skill, and amazing coordination combine to make a unique opportunity to test the skills.

TKD Exam Info

The Road to Black Belt
Learn more about how rank promotion exams allow participants to face challenges well, prove their skills, and take charge of their destiny!

TKD Children Info

A Wonderful Journey Towards Excellence
Taekwondo is an excellent way for children — both boys and girls — to develop lifelong habits for achieving excellence and success in whatever they choose to do. We use a unique, structured combination of discipline, respect, high energy enthusiasm, and good manners.

TKD History Info

The Origins of Taekwondo
Learn how taekwondo started and who the masters were that made it happen. Plus, learn how taekwondo evolved over the past 60 years to become one of the most popular and creative martial arts in the world.

Exciting Olympic Action!

Don’t Blink: Olympic Taekwondo Action!
A select list of videos and information about Taekwondo competition in the Olympics. See fast, furious, spectacular action and stunning kicks.

Children practice good manners & citizenship

Plant the seeds of success...today!
Learn more about the specific benefits of MSMAP’s unique taekwondo training for children: safety, fun, discipline, confidence, & good manners.


Join the action — it’s easy.
We offer the most comprehensive and effective martial arts training — and value — around. More training, more activities, more fun. Find out for yourself!

“Taekwondo Philosophy in the Olympic Movement”
by Dr. Ken Min
12th Men’s & 5th Women’s World Taekwondo Championships
1st World Taekwondo Symposium
Manila, Philippines
November 15-21, 1995