Many confuse the sport side of Taekwondo with the martial art side. Others bring Karate and Taekwondo together not knowing the aspects that make them different. So what is Taekwondo? First off, Taekwondo is the world's most popular martial art with over 70 million practitioners in over 136 countries. Taekwondo is a systematical approach to self-defense with an emphasis on kicking techniques. This key aspect is based on the belief that the legs are the greatest assets a martial artists has. Taekwondo is famed for its practical use of techniques. This fame made Taekwondo an Olympic Sport. These are more so facts rather than explain what Taekwondo really is. The true meaning of Taekwondo actually resides in the translation, which revolves around two central ideas: the physical and the mental.
The "tae" and "kwon" in Taekwondo refer to the physical nature of the martial art. "Tae" meaning to smash with the foot, and "kwon" meaning to smash with the fist denotes the transformation of the physical capabilities of the practitioner. As you train Taekwondo you gain flexibility, strength, speed, agility, stamina, balance, and endurance. The techniques preformed through Poomsae, sparring, and practices, help to build on all these categories simultaneously. As the physical of the practitioner enhances, many other attributes enhance as well. This includes character, mental sharpness, self-esteem, self-confidence, and a sense of self worth. All these things reside in the "do" of Taekwondo. "Do" translates into "the way." "Do" is how practitioners live Taekwondo. Apart from learning the different techniques, students also indulge in the study of Taekwondo. This study includes the history, philosophy, Tenets of Taekwondo, and Student Oath to achieve balance between the physical and mind. Put together, Taekwondo translates into "The Way of the Hand and Foot." This meaning signifies a practitioner's ability, mind set, and way of life.