recommended Reading and Training aids
For a basic but comprehensive student handbook, covering all of your Patterns and terminology, you can purchase either a Coloured Belt or Black Belt manual from your instructor. These are ring-bound, A5 size and fit very conveniently in your kit bag.
The Full Taekwon-Do Encyclopedia
The most ideal training aid for any student is obviously the full encyclopedia, written by General Choi himself. It is the most comprehensive manual for training you can own.
The encyclopedia is a fifteen volume series, which is probably, in reality, only for the most serious students. However, there are a couple of formats in which you can access it.
Both the hard copy and a CD-Rom of the full encyclopedia are available from Comdo.com.
You can download a copy of an older edition of the full encyclopedia for free from Blue Cottage Taekwon-Do. However, it is worth bearing in mind that there are a few areas where it is not quite up to date with current versions.
For interest, Blue Cottage also offers a free download of the first ever edition of the full encyclopedia, which is a fascinating opportunity to see how Taekwon-Do has evolved over the years.
The Condensed Encyclopaedia
As the title suggests, this is a more condensed, edited version of the full encyclopaedia. This gives the student a very thorough manual that is a bit more portable. There are more recent editions, but the 1999 edition is considered the most up-to-date and correct version, and is therefore the copy that we follow. Comdo.com also supply this book.
This is Taekwon-Do
by First Grand Master Rhee
This is Taekwon-Do Vol 1 is a full colour book plus CD-Rom, designed to provide a comprehensive backdrop to a student's training in Taekwon-Do. It works as a reference guide and inspiration, covering everything from the physical aspects such as Patterns and Sparring, to explaining the spiritual and moral aspects with Dojang etiquette, the Tenets etc. The CD-Rom contains all the Patterns from white belt to black tag, in both video and 3D form, with adjustable views, plus teaching points on various areas of your training. The CD-Rom contains the Korean terms for every Pattern movement, spoken by FGMR, so you can hear how it should be pronounced.
This package is available from Amazon. More details on This-is-TKD.com. The producers of the book have created an App by the same name, available in Android and ITunes.
by Paul Zaichik
Flexibility is something we all need to gain or improve on as a Taekwon-Do student. Having explored several of the multitude of programmes available over the years, this is the most effective programme we have found. It can all be done at home, without any specialist equipment, and Zaichik explains everything very simply. All you need is a bit of perseverance! The book can be purchased alone, but we would recommend the book and DVD combo, found here at elasticsteel.net.
A Killing Art
by Alex Gillis
Finally, while this book is not a training manual, it provides a very honest and interesting read about the history of Taekwon-Do, including both ITF (our style) and WTF (Olympic style). Available from Amazon.