Taekkyeon - Korea: is a martial art with a dance-like appearance in some aspects. A Goguryeo mural painting at the Samsil tomb shows Taekkyeon was practiced as early as the Three Kingdoms Era and transmitted from Goguryeo to Shilla.The earliest existing written source mentioning Taekkyeon is the book Manmulmo (also Jaemulmo), written around 1790 by Lee, Sung-Ji. Taekkyeon is also frequently romanized informally as Taekkyon or Taekyon.
Taekkyon contains many kinds of techniques, including hand and leg techniques as well as joint locks, and head butts. Today, however, different styles sometimes do not emphasize all techniques. In all styles, just like in past centuries, kicks are most dominant. Taekkyon teaches a great variety of kicks, especially low kicks such as (ddanjuk) and jumps.
The movements of Taekkyon are fluid and dance-like with the practitioners constantly moving. It is unique because of constant bending and streching of knees which is called o-kum jil. The motions of Taekkyon may be similar to the motions of Taekwondo, but the techniques and principles differ a lot from those of other Korean martial arts. For example, Taekkyon does not make use of abrupt knee motions. The principles and methods used to extend the kick put more emphasis on grace rather than strength.
Taekkyon uses many sweeps with straight forward low kicks using the ball of the foot and the heel and flowing crescent-like high kicks. There are many kicks that move the leg outward from the middle, which is called gyot cha gi, and inward from the outside using the side of the heels and the side of the feet. The art also uses tricks like inward trips, wall-jumping, fake-outs, tempo, and slide-stepping. The art is also like a dance in which the fighter constantly changes stance from left to right by stepping forward and backwards with arms up and ready to guard.
Low kicks, frequent in Taekkyon, are used to block the opponents kick. These kicks include leg sweeps as well as direct blows to the knee. There are around 10 different basic techniques of this set of techniques called ddanjuk.
As a sport
When Taekkyon is practiced in competition, it uses a limited subset of techniques, focusing on grappling and kicking only. Points are scored by throwing (or tripping) the opponent to the ground, pushing him out of the ring, or kicking him in the head. There are no hand strikes or headbutts, and purposefully injuring your opponent is prohibited. (The head kicks are often quite sharp, but usually not full force, and fighters may not attempt to wear the opponent down with body blows as in western boxing or muay thai). Matches are sometimes decided by the best of three falls—the first fighter to score two points wins. However, different modern associations employ slightly different rules. To an untrained eye, the matches are cautious but exhilarating affairs. The contestants circle each other warily, changing their footwork constantly and feinting with low kicks, before exploding into a flurry of action which might leave one fighter flat on his/her back.
Please refer to our references as we have used a few different sources for the basic explanation of each martial art discipline. Many of our direct links, images and text will be from the site Wikipedia which is not known for the most accurate information when it comes to doing a thesis or studying for ones P.H.D. but does have a large collection of data that is well organized. Much of the text regarding martial arts styles on Wikipedia seems to generally sum up each discipline as good as many other sources. We do not intend to re-invent the wheel, but we do want to roll you in a good direction in order to get a glimps of each style.