Tae- Kicking, Kwon-Striking with fist, Do- The Way
Taekwondo means "The Way of Fist and Foot Fighting." Although an ancient and once secret Korean art of weaponless self-defense, it is now a Korean sport in which either two persons practice methods of unarmed fighting or one person can exercise for both physical fitness and self-defense. Still primarily a defensive art of self-protection, Taekwondo has in the past two decades also rapidly developed as an injury-free international competitive sport that resembles a composite of the French foot fighting known as Savate and boxing. Technically, it is a unique style of Oriental martial arts combining Korean foot techniques with Chinese hand techniques.
The Taekwondo student has through many years of tedious daily practice developed their feet and body into hidden weapons of defense. They can respond with lightning-like speed and explosive force should they be physically attacked. Taekwondo has been called the ultimate in self-defense because it trains reflexes so keen and accurate that students can effectively defend themselves from attack by multiple assailants, yet they are also able to spar vigorously with fellow student without heavy protective garments and in complete safety.
Unlike most other sporting activities, Taekwondo promotes the improved formation of one's character. In the friendly yet competitive atmosphere of this amazing art form, students workout, sweat, and put out their all together, pushing each other to their upper potential and beyond - 100%, 150%, 200%, or more. Flexibility and agility are essential.
The Taekwondo master teaches the importance of both physical and mental conditioning by building up his student's self-confidence, self-respect, and self-discipline. The dance-like rhythm of this incredible art, especially during form practice, is a pleasure to watch. When free-sparring, punches and kicks are pulled and good technique is shown; moreover, this is not to be a bloody street brawl. After workout, not only does one's heartbeat and breathing rate need to be slowed, but also one's spirit needs to be calmed through meditation.
Although knowing valuable self-defense skills generates a tremendous sense of security, the true martial artist should be able to walk away from potential or threatening fight situations without a loss of self-esteem; moreover, ego gratification is never required.
Ultimately, the sound mind in a sound body will succeed at its life's calling.