book cover of Taekwondo: Traditions, Philosophy, Technique by Marc Tedeschi; the most comprehensive book ever written on the world's most popular martial art; 896 pages, 8600 photos, Traditional and Olympic-Style.
The most comprehensive text
ever written on the world’s most
widely practiced martial art—Taekwondo.
Expertly integrates traditional and
modern approaches, sport and self-defense,
in a single definitive text.

This ground-breaking text is the first to offer Taekwondo in its totality, documenting the traditions, philosophy, and techniques of the world’s most widely practiced martial art. In more than 8600 photographs spanning 896 pages, renowned Taekwondo masters and elite competitors demonstrate over 700 core Taekwondo techniques, including stances, footwork, hand strikes, elbow strikes, standing kicks, jump kicks, ground kicks, avoiding and blocking skills, step and self-defense sparring, Olympic-Style sparring, breaking techniques, and solo forms and patterns. Techniques are named in both English and Korean throughout.

Highly detailed introductory chapters provide an authoritative overview of Taekwondo’s history, philosophy, current structure, and contemporary issues, and thoroughly review breathing and meditation, warmups and flexibility exercises, and vital targets. To address the highly specialized and constantly evolving needs of sport competitors, in-depth chapters on Olympic-Style sparring cover basic concepts, current trends, core techniques, tactics and strategies, terminology, competition rules, referee signals, and more than 90 core attacking and counterattacking techniques used by world-class competitors. For forms enthusiasts, 250-plus pages provide a comprehensive overview of 49 forms and patterns embraced by major federations, such as the WTF and ITF.

Inclusive of virtually all Taekwondo styles, this unprecedented work integrates traditional and modern approaches, sport and self-defense, in a single text. Written and designed by the author of the 1136-page Hapkido—widely acclaimed the most comprehensive book ever written on a single martial art—this indispensable work is the definitive text on Taekwondo, and destined to become a classic of martial arts literature.


Taekwondo: Traditions, Philosophy, Technique
Author: Marc Tedeschi
Language: English
First Edition, May 2003
Published by Weatherhill
Second Edition, April 2015
Published by Floating World Editions
896 pages, or 840 pages plus 62-page supplement
8.5 x 11 inches, hardcover
Over 8600 monochrome photos
Maps, diagrams, glossary, bibliography, index
First Edition: 896-pages, ISBN 978-0834805156
Second Edition: 840 pages, ISBN 978-1891640735
Taekwondo: Reference Material, ISBN 978-1891640742,
a 62-page supplement to the 840-page second-edition


To help readers comprehend the vast material defining Taekwondo, this book is organized into seven parts:

Part 1 is an overview of history, philosophy, personalities, and technique.

Part 2 is an overview of the basic technical elements that compose Taekwondo. More than 380 fundamental skills are documented, including stances, footwork, arm strikes, kicks, and blocks.

Part 3 shows how the basic technical skills outlined in Part 2 are used for practical self-defense. More than 100 typical techniques are shown in detail.

Part 4 provides a comprehensive overview of the principles, current trends, and techniques that define Olympic-Style sport competition. More than 100 typical techniques are shown.

Part 5 is an overview of principles and skills used in breaking techniques.

Part 6 is a comprehensive overview of 49 major forms and patterns used by different Taekwondo styles.

Reference material is located in appendices at the back of the book and includes promotion requirements, Korean terminology, a cross-index of technique names as used by major styles (in English and Korean), a reading list, and a detailed index for locating specific techniques.

The book’s seven parts are summarized below. Each of these seven parts contains numerous chapters, numbered for convenience. A detailed table of contents is found by clicking on more detail, as provided below (scroll down).


Part 1: Overview

1.  Introduction
2.  History
3.  Philosophy
4.  Preparation
5.  Technique Overview
more detail...

Part 2: Basic Elements

6.  Breathing + Meditation
7.  Warmups
8.  Stances
9.  Movement
10.  Targets
11.  Attack Points
12.  Strikes Overview
13.  Arm Strikes
14.  Leg Strikes
15.  Avoiding + Blocking
more detail...

Part 3: Self-Defense

16.  Self-Defense Overview
17.  Step Sparring
18.  Self-Defense Sparring
more detail...

Part 4: Olympic-Style

19.  Olympic-Style Overview
20.  Attacks
21.  Counterattacks
22.  Competition Rules
23.  Referee Signals
more detail...

Part 5: Breaking

24.  Breaking Overview
25.  Breaking Techniques
more detail...

Part 6: Forms

26.  Forms Overview
27.  P’algwae Forms
28.  T’aeguk Forms
29.  WTF Black Belt Forms
30.  ITF Patterns
more detail...


Promotion Requirements
Korean Alphabet
Korean Pronunciation
Korean Terms
Cross-Index of Technique Names
Further Reading
Index of Techniques
more detail...

“Simply put, Taekwondo: Traditions, Philosophy, Technique is the most comprehensive work ever written and illustrated on the world’s most widely practiced martial art . . . expertly integrates traditional and modern approaches, history, and sport and self-defense . . . the definitive work on the subject, and of mammoth scope. If you want a worthwhile investment in a single Taekwondo book, I recommend that you buy this one. You won’t be disappointed.”
– John Corcoran, Managing Editor of MA Success magazine
and coauthor of the classic Martial Arts: Traditions, History, People

“An excellent job in compiling a very detailed list of techniques . . . a rich reference source for the beginning as well as intermediate Taekwondo student . . . The author is to be commended for his excellent organization and presentation of the material throughout the book . . . an historical asset.”
– Journal of Asian Martial Arts

5starsAn Outstanding Achievement in Martial Arts Literature
“As far as books on the martial arts go, this masterpiece is in a class of it’s own. As far as books on specific styles go, in this case the Korean art of Tae Kwon-do, there is nothing like it available on the market today. Nor will there be anything to match it in the coming years, I believe. A fantastic piece of literature that displays vast knowledge of the art’s philosophy, traditions, history, and techniques. Superbly researched, superbly written, and superbly read!”
– (England)

5starsExcellent Comprehensive Resource
“Marc Tedeschi has produced one of the finest Taekwondo resources available in print. The photography is outstanding. The information and layout are easy to follow and comprehend. Each section, e.g., philosophy, history, punches, kicks, blocks, self-defense, sparring, etc., is a joy to read and study. As for the section on forms: wow! The step-by-step charts, the corresponding pictures, and the form diagrams are the best I have ever seen. This resource is a must for any serious student of Taekwondo. I for one appreciate his attempt to cover both the WTF and ITF styles of Taekwondo, since it demonstrates the rich diversity of this popular martial art.”
– (USA)

5starsA Comprehensive Work
“In the coming years, I believe this book will become the standard reference for Taekwondo enthusiasts, due to its completeness and outstanding design. The description of techniques, accompanied by abundant illustrations, are easily understood and comprehended. In addition, there are also very interesting chapters on the history and culture from which Taekwondo originated. I also find the depiction of the forms to be very good, considering that such a broad scope is not easily given in book form (P’algwae, T’aeguk, WTF Black Belt, and ITF Patterns). In my judgement, this book shows Taekwondo in its totality; not only its sport aspects, but other qualities as well. Contemporary trends in Taekwondo are also taken into consideration. The result: genuinely impressive.”
– (Germany)

5starsA Stunning Book
“As an enthusiastic student and instructor of Taekwondo this book is a real treasure. By reading this book one is able to compare the main forms of this martial art. Whichever style of Taekwondo you follow, with this book you can practice and therefore compare alternative approaches. This book may be instrumental in bringing the main styles closer together. If you have worn out your official style ‘bible’ and the pages are falling out, before you buy a new copy consider buying this book instead.”
– (England)

5starsA Font of Information
“Stunning pictures, in-depth explanations of the patterns, clear and easy to understand instructions and well-rounded information covering the majority of Tae Kwon Do ‘styles’ . . . this is most certainly a book well-worth adding to your library.”
– (UK)

5starsReally Nice Book . . .
“After the author’s book on Hapkido, I was full of expectations about his work on Taekwondo. I am not disappointed! A really beautiful book, with lots of explicative and nice pictures of very high quality, very clear design, foot diagrams, explanations of techniques, etc . . . with some awesome parts, like the chapters about footwork and Olympic-sparring that are really clear and comprehensive (and usually left aside in most Taekwondo books). The chapters about step-sparring and self-defense are really worth reading too . . . You cannot learn martial arts from a book, but this book is really a good complement to your training; it contains nearly all the techniques you might train in your dojang (with their English and Korean names), and it may help you keep your motivation and [desire] to learn the art. It shows how beautiful, powerful and dynamic Taekwondo can be! The pictures are definitely a lot better than in other martial arts books, so this book deserves to get the highest rating! I would recommend this book to any Taekwondo student [who wants] an overview of Taekwondo and a nice book about the art they train in.”
– (Sweden)

4starsDefinitive Guide to Taekwondo
“Mr. Tedeschi has written a wonderful follow-up to his Hapkido textbook and it does not disappoint. Contained within it are roughly impartial analysis of Taekwon‑Do’s history and includes all the patterns recognised by the WTF / Kukkiwon and the official ITF patterns too; this is in addition to a very helpful WTF < ‑ > ITF terminology section [cross-index], which is especially helpful if like me you practice both WTF and ITF Taekwondo . . . The footwork section and discussion on tactics such as open/closed stances translates well over to ITF sparring too. The breaking section is well handled with the modern evidence that has linked the destruction training‑of‑old to peripheral nerve damage and arthritis and makes no bones that this could very well happen to you. It serves to treat you as an adult, informing you of this, so you are under no illusions from the outset; then discusses techniques . . . [This is] an all-inclusive Taekwondo textbook without dogma from the ITF or WTF; overall its a rare gem and gives a well-balanced appraisal of what unfortunately is a very politically polarised art, as anyone who studies Taekwondo will know certainly in time. As we are all family Taekwondo-wise lets put the ITF‑WTF divide aside and learn from one another, making Taekwondo stronger and as successful as it possibly can be. Taekwon.”
– (UK)

5starsOne You Need
“Get this Taekwondo book and sell any others you have in your library. Mr. Tedeschi does it again with this book . . . the ultimate reference guide. I have purchased four books by Marc Tedeschi and haven’t been disappointed, except when I resold my Hapkido book.”
– (USA)

5starsAn Excellent Resource!
“Marc Tedeschi’s Taekwondo is a detailed, well rounded, extensive resource for the art. Instead of only containing one set of forms like some books, the book has hundreds of forms with play‑by‑play moves that help you follow along. It has an extensive section on the philosophy and history of the art that is essential for Taekwondo study. It really has everything—stances, kicks, forms, philosophy and more. Beautifully done and intent on every detail, I highly recommend this book!!”
– (USA)

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