Tae Kwon Do

Most MMA fighters regard taekwondo as a taekwondon't. The martial art has no use in the cage, they insist. Its kicks are useless, they argue. The leg techniques may be fast, but they lack knockout power, they complain. Those fighters clearly don't know Anthony Pettis. Recently signed by the Professional Fighters League, he has an extensive background in the Korean art as taught by the American Taekwondo Association, and he never shies away from telling people the source of the spectacular kicks he uses to win in the cage.

Back in the mid-1980s, I lived in Pusan, South Korea, for the purpose of furthering my martial arts education. One day, our instructor entered the dojang and asked if there were any particular techniques we wanted to learn. Hmm …

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World Taekwondo

The European Taekwondo Championships wrapped up on Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria with Russia dominating the men's categories while Great Britain reigned on the women's side. The British nabbed three titles in the women's events lead by two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones who took her third European championship capturing the 57 kg division with a 20-5 victory over Turkey's Hatice Kübra İlgün. Jones will seek to become the first British woman to win individual gold at three different Olympics when she competes at this year's Tokyo games.

The Russian men also earned three titles lead by 2017 world champion Maksim Khramtsov, who garnered his second European crown at 80 kg.


Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, along with First Lady Yumi Hogan, issued a proclamation declaring April 5 as Taekwondo Day in the state. Delivered via video message, Hogan enumerated the positive qualities developed through taekwondo training as well as citing the martial arts' role in helping Maryland residents remain strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hogan, who received an honorary ninth degree black belt in taekwondo during a trade mission to Asia in 2015, first proclaimed a Maryland Taekwondo Day in 2016. Though the official proclamation reads in part that "Taekwondo is a venerable martial art developed over the course of two thousand years..." in reality taekwondo was first developed in the 1950s.


The California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that USA Taekwondo could be held legally responsible for failing to protect athletes from sexual abuse allowing a suit brought by three former competitors to proceed. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by three female taekwondo athletes against elite coach Marc Gitelman (pictured). They accused Gitelman, who was sentenced to more than four years in prison, of repeatedly abusing them between 2007 and 2014 while they were minors including assaulting them in the dorms at the Olympic Training Center.

Though the three women won a $60 million judgment against Gitelman in 2017, which he's been unable to pay, the original ruling cleared both USA Taekwondo and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee of liability. But an appellate court later ruled USA Taekwondo, though not the USOPC, can be held responsible due to their closer relationship with the coach and the athletes. Thursday's ruling upholds that decision allowing the resumption of the suit against USA Taekwondo.