In the 1940s and 1950s, Taekwondo was formed by Korean martial artists with great influence on other martial arts such as karate. Taekwondo isn’t just a combat style but is also used to teach discipline and control.
Its practitioners consider it more than just a hobby but a way of life itself, changing the way they think, act, and in certain situations even muscle memory on how to handle different tasks. It can be argued it requires more versatility than most other forms of martial arts as its use of the feet not many others can even compare with.
Taekwondo is now known as one of the more popular modern martial arts even being officially participated in the Olympics. For the ability to stay in the spotlight, continue pulling more people to learn this martial art, and help keep current Taekwondo practitioners interested Taekwondo Demonstration Teams are often used.
What is a Taekwondo Demonstration Team?
Most big Taekwondo schools have demonstration teams and at special events, you will see these practitioners performing Taekwondo for others to see. These practitioners are usually in the advanced to expert skill range usually well up there in the belt system and attend special classes to learn advanced techniques that are mixed with almost a form of choreographed dance for better demonstration purposes.
You can usually tell the demonstration team members apart from the other students from the school just by their uniform as they will often have special uniforms to signify, they are part of it. They perform extraordinary acts for others to see to display their knowledge and let others know what you can expect from their Taekwondo School.
Demo Team members usually live and breathe Taekwondo and want to help spread that knowledge to others by representing their school in these performances.
How Were Demonstration Teams Started?
Taekwondo Demonstration Teams were started for recruiting new people to the martial art and their school allowing schools to continue to grow and spread knowledge of the martial art to other’s that may of not ever got to experience it otherwise.
My first time watching one of these shows I remember being mesmerized and I’m sure I’m not alone with that feeling. This feeling is what they want to instill in people as it can just maybe make them curious and start looking into it and if they decide to make this jump it will help the school grow and keep the tradition being passed on to the next generation.
Having a demo team also allows for more advanced students to get to continue learning and give back to the schools they call home, so in making demo teams this brings new students to the school and longevity of the veteran ones. The popular idea behind the start of the demo team is for people as a team to grow and express their love for Taekwondo together and to others.
How Do You Join a Demo Team?
You may be wondering by now how does someone join a Taekwondo Demonstration Team right? Normally most schools have tryouts for this with other requirements being involved as well. This can be stuff like:
- Maintaining certain grade averages in school.
- Have been attending the Taekwondo school for a certain period minimum, sometimes up to years.
- Be highly active at the Taekwondo school and able to make all demo practices along with their regular ones as well
- Be at least a certain rank, some schools I have seen even up to black belt.
This encourages and rewards students who are disciplined both inside and outside their Taekwondo school for their actions. Also, this gives up and coming students something to look forward to with clear guidelines in what will be expected in order to join and help contribute even more to their school.
Demonstration Team Members Training
The training the demo team members go through can be rigorous but rewarding. It’s generally advanced techniques mixed with almost a choreographed dance that causes students to have to think in a new way when learning how to do so.
Plus not only do most schools require you to meet your demo team training but you will also have your regular training sessions as well which can put more strain on the student but pushes their abilities to a new high.
The demo team training will teach precise timing of the abilities they have learned to make it look very fluent and keep their team members and themselves safe while doing so.
They also learn how to do incredible feats appearing to defy gravity itself for the common eye like breaking boards in quick succession, how to be in sync with their other team members and how to overcome the nervousness of stage fright.
The average training for this seems to be anywhere from an hour to 2 and a half hours each. This much time together develops even more of a team-first mindset as they may be spending just as much time with them as they do their families at home and gets rid of the individual attitude.
This benefits everyone involved as nobody wants to injure the people they are training with and sets the example for those looking to join in the future.
What is a TaeKwonDo Demonstration Show Like?
A Taekwondo Demonstration Team show is like one that you may have not ever experienced before. These are people so dedicated in their art that they can pull off breathtaking feats that most only think you can see in the movies. As stated earlier my first time watching one of these I was mesmerized, all the long hours these practitioners spent honing their craft shines and not just behind closed doors but for potentially the world to see.
The shows generally will consist of many different parts highlighting incredible acrobatics, combat skills, and discipline with it all going hand in hand. For some combat I have seen them, partner, up, and see some 1 on 1 light sparring displayed showing the abilities they have learned in use.
Some of the most magnificent things I have seen from Taekwondo Demonstration Teams are people holding boards up high in the air sometimes even standing on others shoulders making a human pyramid 10 feet high for another team member to jump off his feet from the floor and kick the board in half without anyone even falling.
This is pure trust to your other team members knowing you are not going to get hit and take a long hard fall to the floor. Then the choreographed striking at perfectly the same time is a spectacle to watch everything so smooth and deliberate not a second between any of the demo team members.
Some of the more advanced Taekwondo Demonstration Teams can even have multiple boards in many different angles with a team member spinning and flipping through the air kicking them all at once before their feet ever even hit the ground.
The dedication it can take to get to this level can be years as your going to have to be incredibly physically fit, teach yourself the muscle memory of exactly when to do each part of these sequences and the mental toughness to stay this committed and take all the hard falls that is sure to come with this.
How Long and Where are Demo Shows?
The time these shows last can vary greatly, I’ve seen anywhere from a few minutes to up to an hour but noticed the better ones, in my opinion, seem to be about 20-25 minutes. The reason for this is that it gives plenty of time to get in all the acts without having spaced time in between as filler so it’s a constant moving to keep the excitement going.
You will normally see these at events like open houses, Taekwondo events, and several other places like maybe a public show at a mall. Sometimes some demo teams even will travel overseas to perform at different places allowing the different cultures to be shared.
This allows Taekwondo Demonstration Teams to be able to perform for both people who are and who aren’t already knowledgeable about martial arts. The amount they have these shows can vary greatly depending on the school but the more they do the more attention the school can catch and the more confident the team will become.
Taekwondo Demonstration Teams have now set themselves as almost a necessity for any large schools and can sometimes be what turns a small school into a large one. The commitment it takes to be part of a demo team can be grueling but very rewarding for an experienced practitioner wanting to continue learning and help his or her school out.
Everyone as individuals has their own goals to Taekwondo but a demonstration team takes them goals and ideas forms them all together as one and lets them continue on their paths together showing Taekwondo isn’t just another Martial Art but like I said earlier a way of life for many who practice this sport.