HISTORY OF THE TTA
The Traditional Taekwondo Association was set up by Grandmaster T.K. Loh in 1989 in order to spread Taekwondo the way it was originally intended - as a holistic concept of training the mind and body. The TTA looks to provide its students with an understanding of the capability of the human mind and body, and aims to instil the ideas of mental strength and a persevering spirit.
The TTA also aims to enable its practitioners to focus and concentrate their mind on the varying tasks and obstacles that Taekwondo presents as well as attaining the indomitable spirit to overcome them, thus building their confidence level and providing them with the humility attained through their achievement.
The TTA seeks to provide its students with leadership training and to develop a sense of self-discipline as well as the discipline of their focus, coupled with an ability to conduct themselves with proper decorum and etiquette. With the mushrooming of Taekwondo schools all over the world, the Traditional Taekwondo Association will stay firm in its resolve to maintain the traditional aspects of Taekwondo practices.
Grandmaster Loh, with his experience and knowledge, has maintained the true way of Taekwondo in the form of the Traditional Taekwondo Association. He has never devalued the journey a student has to make, the hardships, the joy as well as the steadfast attitude the student has to cultivate in favour of commercialism and sport. Coupled with his medical knowledge and Taekwondo expertise, training in the Traditional Taekwondo has been most effective in producing the highest quality of Taekwondo student.
Although it is possible to trace its roots back over a thousand years, the practise of Taekwondo, as a distinct martial art did not exist prior to the mid twentieth century. Taekwondo is a name coined in 1955 to unify a number of native Korean martial arts, the origin of which can also be traced back through Korean history with various evolutionary influences drawn from Japanese and Chinese martial arts.
In its early days, Taekwondo was seen by many as nothing more than a Korean interpretation of Japanese Karate. However, during the second half of the twentieth century, the martial art of Taekwondo changed dramatically and established its own distinct identity. This was mostly as a result of Korean attempts to purge foreign influences as well as the application of modern western medical science to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of techniques.
In Korea, the practise of Taekwondo spread from the Army into schools and universities, and dojangs (schools) appeared everywhere to spread the art to the general public. Internationally, instructors and demonstration teams travelled the world. By the early 1970s, interested governments had called for instructors to establish schools and teach in their countries, initially in the armed forces and than to the public at large.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Taekwondo as a sport grew in popularity, and was accepted as a demonstration sport at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic games, before becoming a permanent sporting event at the Olympics in 2000. It is currently estimated that there are over fifty million Taekwondo practitioners worldwide in over 167 countries.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE TTA
The ultimate goal of Taekwondo is the attainment of a harmony of physical, mental and spiritual centres to achieve what is often referred to as 'oneness'. This means that a person will do the right thing at the right time without uncertainty, be it avoiding a deadly blow, expressing gratitude or coming to another's aid. Such a person is said to express an intuitive response to life unencumbered by hesitation or self-doubt.
The road to this goal is long and arduous and for some may seem impossible. Still, even after a relatively short period of training many will begin to experience a heightened sense of calm and focus. Students will find that they can apply this to other aspects of their life such as work, and parents will notice an improvement in their children's self discipline and integrity. The reason for this is as follows: One of the most stressful things a person can do is fight, so if a person can fight with their mind free of tension, fear or anger, then other events in their life that might otherwise be a source of stress, can be handled objectively and effortlessly. This is achieved as the novice undergoes:
Fitness & co-ordination training
Good co-ordination, toning, reduction of weight, improved flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning, increased strength, general fitness.
Self confidence, self-discipline, better judgement, self control, stress reduction, better self image, positive attitude.
The student learns to work with fellow members as part of the team in class and interrelation between peer groups, seniors and juniors.
The student takes on more responsibility in terms of looking after juniors and guiding them. At the same time, he or she learns to seek guidance from his or her seniors and is responsible towards them.
The student learns to persevere and develop a strong tenacity to be responsible for his or her actions and achieve set goals and tasks.
With the aquiring of skills which convert his or her hands and feet into lethal weapons, the student learns to abide by the tenants and oath of Taekwondo to achieve a sense of fair play, justice and loyalty to ethics of Taekwondo.
Not all Taekwondo schools advocate these methods. These are the ways of the Traditional Taekwondo Association.