The Kiai

All the martial arts have their own cry or “kiai”, which is often quite terrifying.

This is apparently the expression of the sudden release of energy from the body. A romantic interpretation of the kiai has made it famous in the West under the name “cry that kills”. In actual fact the kiai is a setting up of wave lengths’ between two contestants. He who has the greatest amount of subtle energy “ki” makes it known by the kiai.

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Choosing a Martial Arts Style and Club

It is VERY important that you make an informed decision about the style of martial art you wish to practise and the club you choose to practise at.

A. Choosing the style

  1. Check out our Styles section to gain a quick overview of the different martial arts styles, then have a look at our club directory to see what styles are available in your area).
  2. Assess your physical condition. Do you have any physical limitations that might affect your ability to practise a certain martial arts style (for example knee problems)?
  3. Determine whether the martial art is a “hard” or “soft” style. Offensive techniques, such as punching and kicking, indicate a hard style, which tends to be physically intense. Defensive techniques, such as blocking and redirecting, indicate a soft style, which can be less physically challenging and suited to older students and those with physical limitations.
  4. Identify techniques as either striking or grappling. Striking (i.e. Karate, Kungfu) is attacking with fists, feet, elbows and knees. Grappling (i.e. Judo, Ju-jutsu) uses joint locks and throws to control an attacker.
  5. Does the legacy of any of the arts appeal to you more than others? For example the high kicks in Tae Kwon Do began as a way for foot soldiers to attack mounted soldiers.
  6. A good idea is to watch the different styles that interest you before making a choice. Many clubs will have an observation area, so you can watch while a class is being taught. Just ask the instructor if it is OK for you to watch and if you have any questions ask the instructor.
  7. Do you want to be an Olympian? At present (2009) only Judo and Taekwon-Do are Olympic sports.

B. Choosing the club

This is an important step as it is likely you will train with your club for many years so make sure you have made the right decision.

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Glossary of Japenese terms



Age Tsuke: Rising Punch
Age Uke Gyaku Ashi: Upper Block (Reverse Foot)
Age Uke: Rising Block
Ago: Chin
Ashi Waza: Foot Techniques
Ashi: Foot
Ashibo Kake Uke: Leg Hooking Block
Ashikubi Kake Uke: Ankle Hooking Block
Atama: Head
Ate Waza: Smashing Technique
Atemi: Striking The Vital Points
Awase Tsuke: U Punch

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Glossary of Korean terms

A Summary of Korean Terminology for TaeKwonDo compiled by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This document is an attempt to compile a list of Korean terminology used in the study of TaeKwonDo.  In years past, the terminology used was based upon Chinese.  Since then however, most styles have "upgraded" to use a more "modern" Korean terminology that is more "in sync" with the semantics of the Korean language.  Wherever possible, I have tried to use this "new" (more modern) terminology.  [older terms appear in brackets{}.]

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First Degree Blackbelt - Expert or Novice?

One of the greatest misconceptions within the martial arts is the notion that all black belts are experts.

It is understandable that those unacquainted with the martial arts might make this equation; however, students should certainly recognise this is always not the case. Too often, novice black belts advertise themselves as experts and eventually even convince themselves that they are one.

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