South East Australian Taekwondo
The Korean word 'Tae' means to kick, jump or smash with the foot. 'Kwon' means punching or destroying with the hand or fist. 'Do' means art or way. Therefore Taekwondo is the art of using the hands and the feet.
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Taekwondo, the art of self defence originated in Korea over 2000 years ago.  It was then known as 'Tae Kyon' a form of foot fighting.  Throughout the centuries hand techniques were introduced. General Choi Hong Hi (pictured right) is argueably the founder of Taekwondo as it is practiced by many schools today (to read more about traditional Taekwondo click this link).


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Brett Kelly (pictured right) found traditional Taekwondo to be very effective, but, with his knowledge of boxing and science believed that it could be improved upon. Thus, South East Australian Taekwondo was born. S.E.A.T Taekwondo is the modernised form which is more effective and more relevant to todays society.
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Over the centuries Taekwondo has evolved into not only one of the most effective forms of self defence but also an exciting sport and a way of maintaining physical fitness.  South East Australian Taekwondo has been further developed and modernised, with more practical and direct techniques, to bring it up to date with today's needs.

South East Australian Taekwondo (SEAT) was founded by Brett Kelly. He trained under Graham Johnson in Queensland. Graham trained under Mr Chong Chui Rhee (a former senior member of the ITF). Brett Kelly found his training to be very effective, but, with his knowledge of boxing and science believed that this style could be improved upon. With the incorporation of boxing and modern science, South East Australian Taekwondo was born. Brett moved to Albury in 1979 and started South East Australian Taekwondo in the same year. This spread to southern NSW and Victoria. The style has been evolving since.[2]

In South East Australian Taekwondo the traditional long movements were significantly shortened and basic physics were applied to all kicks and blocks. The shorter distances the hands travel means that the blocks are quicker. The power is created through the technique by ensuring that the hips are turned into the block so that the block is performed with the power of the body and not just the strength of the arm. SEAT also focuses on timing, relaxing, speed through the technique and tensing on impact to ensure that the maximum power is achieved from the technique. SEAT applies basic physics to achieve this. For example, with side kicks, the aim is to kick with the heel only, this way the power is concentrated in a small surface area on the target rather than spread over a large surface area. This helps to make the kick a penetrating kick rather than a 'pushing' kick. SEAT prides itself on the speed and power that can be achieved in its striking techniques. The introduction of boxing into the style also helped to ensure that the techniques are very effective.

South East Australian Taekwondo focuses on practical self defence and not Taekwondo as a sport. SEAT has evolved to be more practical than other styles of Martial Arts. We still very much respect the trational styles and believe they have their place in training systems.

  1. image from "Historique" (1 May 2010)
  2. N.Boehm & S.Reeves, 2009.
© South East Australian Taekwondo 2010