We are a student-run club whose mission is to spread our love of the sport of Taekwondo through the University of Toronto community. We run registered classes at Hart House for people of all skill levels, from beginners to black belts. We strive to provide a safe and fun environment for everyone to practice and refine their skills. We also get together outside of training at our many socials, such as Pub Nights, Beach day, our annual trip to Hart House Farm, and more. Since UofT is often soul-crushingly lonely, being part of the club gives us a chance to meet new people, stay healthy, train hard and take a break from school!
Originally the Trinity College Taekwondo Club, the club was created in 2006 by a group of Taekwondo enthusiasts and practitioners. Before the club, there had not been any real or proper attempt to offer a qualified level of instruction to the students. The founding group members realized that there lacked a dedicated club that seriously understood or demonstrated the physical and mental discipline of the sport and art. With such thoughts in mind, the founding members of UTTO strove to offer a strong focus on safety, self-defence, fitness, physical self-control, and mental discipline to all club members.
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. In addition to being the national sport of South Korea, it is regarded as the world’s most popular martial art, if measured by the number of practitioners. Taekwondo is currently well known for its dynamic and fast kicking techniques, although it also involves a variety of other hand techniques as well. There are two styles of Taekwondo. The majority of UTTO practices the style which originates from the Kukkiwon and is governed by World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The other martial art style is governed by the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF). The two styles are technically and doctrinally different, but still retain many similarities.
Taekwondo contains both artistic and athletic aspects. An important part of the artistic aspect are Poomsae, which literally means "form" or "pattern". They are sequences of typical Taekwondo techniques. One of the main requirements of attaining a higher rank in Taekwondo belt tests is to demonstrate sufficient skill in performing the appropriate Poomsae. Poomsae are also often tested in competitions at many levels, including internationally.
Under WTF rules, Olympic Taekwondo sparring is a strategic, full contact technical sport. A typical match usually involves two fully equipped competitors, one referee, 4 score keeping referees and a square ring 10 meters wide. 1 point is awarded for a proper kick to the chest, 2 points awarded for a successful kick to the head. Grappling and grabbing techniques are not allowed and are penalized if utilized. There are three 2-minute rounds per match under the regulated time and the competitor with the most points after the 3 rounds wins the match. In the event of a tie, a fourth "sudden death" match will ensue. For the most updated rules, visit the WTF site.