MARTIAL art that originated in Korea, taekwondo is a continuous programme for people interested in learning self-defence skills. It was first introduced into Hongkong in the 1980s.

Participants move up the ranks by passing tests. They train in the basic forms of kicking, sparring and patterns during lessons.

The skill level of a participant is revealed by the colour of his/her belt, as different colour represents different level and there are two scales in each colour.

Beginners start with a white belt and proceed to yellow, green, blue, brown and black. At the black belt level, there are ten other grades named dan. The first dan is the lowest with the 10th dan being the highest ranking in taekwondo.

Each summer, the Hongkong Taekwondo Association joins the Urban Council and Regional Council in offer two-month courses for beginners. In addition, district youth centres also offer courses of different level throughout the year. Each costs about $150.

For more information, contact Mr Lo Po-shu, of the Hongkong Taekwondo Association, on 891-2036.