Taekwondo is one of the most popular styles of martial arts. Requiring some of the most intense physical talents along with mental focus, countless martial artists enjoy progressing their Taekwondo skills. However, not every aspect of Taekwondo is ideal. So, what are the pros and cons of learning Taekwondo?

High-adrenaline trainingStrikes are focused on kicking
Teaches exemplary disciplineLittle to no grappling technique
Heart healthLack of self-defense training
Confidence boosterRisk of injury, especially to the head
Full-body engagementCost of participation and equipment
Communal inclusivityYears of commitment

Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of learning Taekwondo compared. Not everything about the martial arts style is perfect, but it does appeal to thousands of people who would beg to differ. The most important thing is deciding whether Taekwondo is best for you.

The Pros of Learning Taekwondo

As mentioned above, there are several pros and cons to learning Taekwondo. To make matters easy, below are explanations of the pros and cons, as well as an in-depth comparison that might help you make up your mind concerning your stance on Taekwondo.

Keep in mind that while Taekwondo is not the only martial art you can practice, it is extremely popular for various reasons.

Is There Benefit to the High-Intensity Adrenaline Training?

When you participate in a high-intensity sport like Taekwondo, your body releases endorphins. This can be extremely beneficial as a stress-reliever. Also, both in tournament fights and real-world self-defense situations, these endorphins can block some of the current pain in your body, making you better able to perform Taekwondo.

The adrenaline rush you may feel during Taekwondo training is an excellent way to relieve yourself of any anxiety or stress weighing you down in your daily life.

It is often said that violence should not be an option, but in a secure environment monitored by professional teachers, kicking pads or sparring with your partner has its advantages.

Exemplary Discipline Is Part of the Training

Taekwondo is a brutal sport. Simply put, it is not going to be an easy journey. You have to be willing to give 110% every single session if you want to make Taekwondo worth your time. With that said, the initial techniques taught in Taekwondo lessons are intended to help you learn the importance of focus.

With exercises meant to improve your focus on your mind, you will learn humility during the process. It will teach you to respect your:

  • Teacher
  • Peers
  • Even your opponents

From giving your full attention to your teacher to bowing to your opponent before a fight, Taekwondo shows the ritualistic discipline required for successful progress.

There Is Benefit to Your Cardiovascular Health

Taekwondo is also great support for cardiovascular health. Constant motion, high-intensity strikes, spinning, and more can greatly improve your heart health. Studies have proven that high-intensity training like Taekwondo is substantially better for your heart than basic cardio exercises like running or jumping rope.

Even if you are not looking to specifically improve your cardiovascular health, there is nothing wrong with getting ahead of the curve. Cardiovascular health is great in the long run. As you will find out shortly, there are several other health benefits to practicing Taekwondo.

Confidence Boost For Better Performance

Any style of martial arts is sure to raise your confidence. Particularly if you have struggled with keeping up your physical activity or are dealing with any other problems in your life, Taekwondo teaches you to get in touch with your abilities and learn the best ways to use them to your advantage.

On top of a confidence boost for personal growth, mastering the aspect of confidence for competitive fighting is also an ideal way to get a leg up on your opponent. If you are sure of yourself and your potential, you will be better prepared to face tougher competition. Not to mention, it can help you in real-life situations when you need to protect yourself and others.

Is there Full-Body Engagement During Training?

Similar to the benefits of Cardiovascular Health, Taekwondo is great for your entire body.

Countless people note that Taekwondo has helped them lose substantial weight while putting on sufficient muscle. By incorporating your entire body into Taekwondo training, your constant movement targets all sorts of areas that build as you progress.

You might be thinking that Taekwondo is too much to handle if you are just looking to get or stay in shape. However, consider all the trips you take to the gym. The chances are that every day is not always as exciting as previous workouts.

When you train in Taekwondo, there is always something to look forward to. You are not always doing the same workouts. You use what you learn early on and apply it to your skills as you improve.

Communal Inclusivity in the School

Along with the mental strength that Taekwondo teaches, it can also improve your overall mental health. Finding a Taekwondo school with great teachers and students is an excellent way to find a group to spend time with. Although you may let some of your anger out while sparring with an opponent, the violence can, and should, be left on the mat.

Finding a Taekwondo school with people of similar ages as you are even better. You can enjoy a day of spinning and kicking followed by a night out with some new friends. Suppose you move to a new city and struggle to find people to hang out with. Joining any type of martial arts school is a great way to get involved.

Cons of Learning Taekwondo

Although there is an extensive variety of advantages to learning Taekwondo, you must also keep the negative aspects in mind. Some of the cons below are specific to Taekwondo, while others are struggles to keep in mind for any style of martial arts training. Nonetheless, it is only fair to consider the negative parts of Taekwondo along with its advantages.

Does Taekwondo Focus on Tactics Other Than Kicking?

If you are looking to join a martial arts school that incorporates various strikes and defense techniques using different body parts, Taekwondo is not for you. Taekwondo focuses heavily on kicks.

There is very little emphasis on punching, both for attacks and blocks. However, the kicks are much more advanced than other martial arts styles.

Still, just know that Taekwondo might include the cool flips and spins you see on television, but you should not expect to receive in-depth training on other moves. If you prefer a different style, there should be plenty of martial arts schools in your area that focus on other types of fighting.

Little to No Grappling Technique

Another martial arts aspect that Taekwondo lacks is any particular focus on the ground game. Some of the most exciting moves to learn and implement include holds and twists while grappling on the ground. Unlike styles such as Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling, Taekwondo does not give much attention to this aspect of fighting.

Grappling on the ground is also one of the most effective martial arts practices in terms of losing weight and getting stronger. While the kicks in Taekwondo will definitely improve your physique, you should not expect quick results. Taekwondo, as will be discussed in more detail later, takes an immense amount of patience and dedication.

Is there a Lack of Self-Defense Training in Taekwondo?

The last and perhaps most important thing that Taekwondo fails to emphasize is self-defense.

Many people join martial arts schools in a serious attempt to learn self-defense mechanisms for real-life situations. Taekwondo is not the martial arts style for that. It focuses on attacks to stun and defeat one’s opponent. It is a sport of offense, not defensive or protective in nature.

While mastery of stand-up attacks is great for competitions, it may not be well suited for real-life situations. The chances are that you are not going to get by with spinning kicks at an assailant in public. However, it is not worth worrying about situations such as these if you do not consider them in the beginning. Some people take Taekwondo simply for the sport, and that is perfectly justifiable.

Risk of Injury During Fights

Because of the intensity of Taekwondo, it poses a lot of threats during combat. A hard enough kick to the head can cause a concussion or other head injuries. Plus, since Taekwondo is mostly kicking, you have to deal with blows from body parts much heavier and stronger than punches. With a lack of self-defense training, these shots can be hard to defend.

In addition, the toll Taekwondo takes on your body can cause strains in all sorts of places. Improper execution of a jump or spin can easily result in painful, time-restricting injuries to muscles and bones. In the best circumstances, your teacher will implement proper stretching techniques before training, but you can never fully prevent an injury.

Do Taekwondo Costs Add Up?

As with any other martial arts style, whatever school you join is going to have its fair share of expenses. With Taekwondo, you can expect to have to pay for:

  • A membership fee
  • Belt usage
  • Headgear
  • Other equipment

These expenses can add up very quickly.

One of the most important things to consider before investing in a Taekwondo school is how transparent it is about what you will have to pay. This is not specific only to Taekwondo. Just be wary when deciding where to spend your money.

Time Consumption For Training

Taekwondo takes an immense amount of training. As a result, you can expect to spend long hours honing your craft. The venture is not for the faint of heart. If you take Taekwondo seriously, you may not have time for many other leisure activities.

As has been mentioned, you must motivate yourself to stay determined through your Taekwondo training. If you do not have the willpower to give your best effort every time you walk into the Taekwondo school or step foot on the mat for competition, Taekwondo is not for you.

Is Taekwondo a Good Fit For You?

When looking at the pros and cons of learning Taekwondo, it may be difficult to compare each individual aspect. Make sure to go back over each pro and con if you are still struggling to decide if it is the right fit for you.

To recap, below are some of the main things to compare.

Taekwondo is one of the most unique martial arts styles you are going to find. On the flip side, it lacks some of the training that other styles focus on. You will not experience the inclusiveness that other fighting styles might offer with little to no focus on:

  • Punches
  • Ground game
  • Self-defense

Another comparison involves the physical capability required to perform Taekwondo. That is not to suggest that someone out of shape cannot learn and practice Taekwondo, but if you fall into this category, know that it is going to require intense commitment right from the beginning.

If you are willing, you can greatly benefit from the pain your body will go through when learning Taekwondo. However, again, it is not for the faint of heart.

What Taekwondo Is Not

The last thing that many learned people of Taekwondo note is that with the confidence boost that comes with learning the mental aspects of Taekwondo, one should not mistake this confidence for an ego boost. There is a huge difference between believing in yourself for a competitive fight and getting too cocky to the point of becoming confrontational on the street.

Just because you know Taekwondo does not give you the right to take your talents for granted. Most times, a teacher can recognize this struggle early on, but if you decide to learn Taekwondo and become egotistical about your progress, things can get dangerous quickly. Many aspects of martial arts revolve around a sound mind, free of any behavioral problems.

Among other factors, these aspects should be held into heavy consideration before you decide to learn Taekwondo. Carefully weigh the pros and cons further if you still cannot decide, but be aware that for every advantage, there is likely an equal but opposite disadvantage.


Taekwondo is a unique style of martial arts. With that being said, it is nearly impossible to find a related sport that checks each and every one of your boxes. If the pros outweigh the cons, then you should definitely feel free to try learning Taekwondo.

However, dwelling on flaws in the sport will lessen the enjoyment of your participation. If it is not for you, it is not for you. There are plenty of other options out there.