About Taekwondo

“Tae” means “foot,” “leg,” or “to step on”
“Kwon” means “fist,” or “fight”
“Do” means “the way” or “discipline”

About Taekwondo

Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, and teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing one’s spirit and life through training the body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, and stands among the official sports included in the Olympic Games.

Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of the word “Tae” “Kwon” “Do“. It is composed of three parts in English spelling, though it is one word in Korean. “Tae” means “foot,” “leg,” or “to step on”; “Kwon” means “fist,” or “fight”; and “Do” means the “way” or “discipline”. If we put these three parts together, we can see two important concepts behind “Tae Kwon Do”.

First, Taekwondo is the ‘way’ of using Tae and Kwon ‘fists and feet,’ or all the parts of the body that are represented by fists and feet. Second, it is a way to control or calm down fights and keep the peace. This concept comes from the meaning of Tae Kwon ‘to put fists under control’ (or ‘to step on fists’). Thus Taekwondo means “the right way of using all parts of the body to stop fights and help to build a better and more peaceful world.


What makes Taekwondo different?

  1. Taekwondo is a traditional Korean Martial Arts developed over 5,000 years. Taekwondo is similar in ways to other martial arts from across Asia, and shares some features with them. But in the course of evolution it has gained many different styles to set it apart from the martial arts surrounding countries such as Japan and China.
  2. Taekwondo is systematic, educational and has a scientific approach. It is taught through curriculum. Because of the structure taekwondo has to offer it is now taught as a major in over 20 universities and colleges worldwide.
  3. Taekwondo can be characterized by unity: the unity of body, mind, and life, and the unity of the pose [“poomsae”] and confrontation, and cracking down. When you study and practice Taekwondo, you should make your mind peaceful and synchronize your mind with your movements, and extend this harmony to your life and society. This is how in Taekwondo the principle of physical movements, the principle of mind training, and the principle of life become one and the same. On the other hand, the right poomsae lead to the right confrontation, which will eventually produce great destructive power.
  4. Taekwondo is 1 of three martial arts Olympic sports. It was firstly a demonstration event in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, and became an official medal event in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. In 2010 it was also accepted into the Commonwealth Games. Taekwondo successfully put its name on the map of international sports, particularly of those on the Olympic Program, and has become one of the most widely practiced sports in the world with 70 million practitioners from 200 member countries.