A senior National Poomsae team of eight athletes and two coaches from Australian Taekwondo will contest the World Poomsae Open Challenge in Muju, Korea, from November 3-5.
One of the main reasons why Taekwondo is the world’s most popular martial art, with over 70 million practitioners, is its inclusive nature.
With physical movements and striking patterns that can be tailored to people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities, Taekwondo is truly a sport for everybody.
Whether you have highly developed strength and flexibility, or need assistance building these attributes, Taekwondo can significantly boost your health, fitness and overall wellbeing.
Here’s what studies tell us about the benefits Taekwondo can deliver to everyone.
Kids of all abilities
Dynamic combinations of kicks, punches and blocks give children exceptional strength and stamina. Engaging in these physical activities whilst barefoot also establishes good balance and posture control. Studies have shown that kicking whilst standing on one leg creates excellent lower limb and spinal alignment as well as cardiovascular fitness.
Taekwondo enhances kids’ self-image and mental health as it provides a physical outlet for their fear, anxiety, and repressed emotions. Tackling complex patterns also requires a great deal of practice and patience, which helps kids to become more patient and resilient to stress.
Taekwondo is also a fantastic sport for children with disabilities as it allows them to physically express themselves without having to compete against others. Calinog et al.’s study found that Taekwondo classes significantly improved the confidence of children on the Autism spectrum aged between seven and eight. Further studies have highlighted that Taekwondo is extremely beneficial for Autistic children’s balance and spinal alignment.
Children with developmental coordination disorder, amputees, wheelchair users and musculoskeletal impairments, have also experienced significant improvements in their motor skills, muscle strength and sensory organisation through Taekwondo.
Adults of all abilities
Stress is one of the biggest issues effecting adults’ physical and mental health, making it difficult for them to cope with their busy lifestyles and responsibilities. Taekwondo offers a great solution to this problem by helping people take control of their body, mind and spirit.
An American study found that Taekwondo’s combination of physical exercise and the tenets of its art and philosophy helped University students to significantly decrease their stress levels and increased their ability to handle their study schedules.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that Taekwondo is a great tool for adults aiming to improve their aerobic fitness, body composition and flexibility. It is one of the top sports choices for building anaerobic power and capacity, particularly amongst adults with disabilities in East Asia, and an excellent means of building lower body strength for young adults with Down Syndrome.
Researchers in Korea Kim et al. have also found that Taekwondo is an excellent sport for those who would like to be active member of a culturally diverse community.
Elderly people of all abilities
While we generally think of the benefits Taekwondo can deliver to younger generations, its versatile training methods, which can be tailored to each student, mean that it can also deliver substantial health benefits to older Australians.
Many studies have highlighted that Taekwondo is an extremely effective tool for improving, maintaining or restoring elderly peoples’ key functions and movements. For example, Cromwell et al. compared a group of twenty people (average age 72.7) participating in Taekwondo classes with another group of non-exercising respondents (average age 73.8). The study’s Taekwondo participants showed far greater balance and walking ability, which are major risk factors for falls.
An Australian study showed similar improvements, along with enhancements to hand-eye coordination and flexibility, amongst participants with an average age of 72.7. Chen’s research confirmed that these functional improvements substantially reduce the risk of life-threatening falls.
Taekwondo can also help older people to lose weight and build muscle at their own pace, allowing them to reduce their risk of bone disorders and heart disease.
For more information on Australian Taekwondo’s Inclusion Campaign, or If you’d like to chat with someone who’s already on their taekwondo journey, you can visit the official campaign page.
If you’d like to find out more about Taekwondo, check out the Australian Taekwondo site.
Winning an Australian sports medal is no easy feat. The national award, bestowed upon those who exhibit sporting excellence, is an incredible achievement for any athlete in a competitive and high-achieving sporting nation like our own. Even more remarkable and rare is to see both a coach and an athlete win the award simultaneously.