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Tae kwon do - A Basic Introduction to Taekwondo

Updated on October 8, 2010

Taekwondo Sparring

Taekwondo - Modern Sparring Sport
Taekwondo - Modern Sparring Sport

Taekwondo - An Introduction

Taekwondo, also spelled Taekwon-do, is a popular modern martial art. Taekwondo is the ancient Korean art of self-defense. The Korean word "Taekwondo" is literally translated as "foot, hand, way". These words infer a lot about the art and sport of Taekwon-do.

The first word, foot, in the literal translation of this ancient self-defense sport denotes the use of the foot as the primary fighting style. The foot is the primary arsenal for the Taekwondo enthusiast and is the primary weapon for self-defense for kicking. It has been said that the foot and corresponding kicking techniques constitute up to 70% of the forms used in Taekwon-do.

The word 'hand' infers the use of the hands for punching, chopping, strikes and/or finger jabs, which is estimated to make-up the remaining 30% of the practitioner's self-defense fighting arsenal.

The word 'do' means 'way', which inherently implies that Taekwondo is more that just a self-defense sport but also a way of life. The 'way' transcends the physical compents of the sport of Taekwon-do - such as kicking, punching, breaking boards or competition - but also encompasses a mental and spiritual component. Taekwon-do is more about self-discipline of the mind, body and spirit - it is a philosophy.

Properly incorporating the mental, behavioral and spiritual components of Taekwondo will definitely ensure that all participants of this great ancient sport enjoy the vast mental, physical and spiritual benefits of Taekwon-do.

All the Best,

Daniel Tetreault

Daniel Tetreault writes topical articles on a variety of sporting activities. Daniel obtained his Bachelor's of Science Degree at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, Canada. He is a registered Kinesiologist with the BCAK and a Taekwondo enthusiast with the WestCoast Taekwon-do club in Victoria, BC.

The Philosophy and Ideals of Tae Kwon Do


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    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 5 years ago from US of A

      TKD is a great art; unfortunately some schools focus too much on the sport that people forget it is really a martial art.

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      Karolina 5 years ago

      Fantastic hub, looking forward to come back and see your new posts. Thank you.

      My art gallery

    • drvosjeca profile image

      drvosjeca 6 years ago

      Taekwondo is great sport and i just love training it. Like most of the martial arts it is good for selfdefense and great workout.

      thanks for sharring

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      TKD Uniforms 6 years ago

      Taekwondo is not a joke and can be a very good form of self defence if used properly, and about getting hurt on the streets there should be no use of violences if you can escape without trouble in the first place.

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      DERN 7 years ago


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      larrycharlesjr 7 years ago

      Daniel, Thacker was giving you a compliment when he said "good break down of the meaning of Taekwondo" he then went to further elaborate his point of why he was complimenting you...

      "A lot of articles (including mine) miss the most basic question, What does taekwondo mean?"

      He was not asking you a question or contradicting himself, he was saying most people (including himself) did not answer that question, and he was giving you credit because you did.

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      Ahemd Alkadi 7 years ago

      Taekwondo could be defined as " the art of the foot and fist" or " the technique of kicking and punching".

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      Younis Osmani 8 years ago

      i want to know what dose taekwondo mean & how we can win in taekwondo

    • danieltetreault profile image

      danieltetreault 9 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia Canada

      thacker, sorry but I don't understand your 'question'. You state, "Good break down of the meaning of Taekwondo" and then you go on to say, "What does Taekwondo mean?" Your question seems to contradict yourself.

      Perhaps you are meaning or inferring something else? Like, maybe you mean 'what does tae kwon do' mean to a culture or to a person?

      Thanks thacker for taking the time to visit my Hub on Tae Kwon do!

      Sincerely, Daniel.

      PS thacker are you involved actively with a DoJang? Are you currently practicing Taekwon-do? What belt are you? I just starting practicing Taekwon-do about 1 month ago. I will be testing for my yellow belt in about one more months time.

    • thacker profile image

      thacker 9 years ago

      Good break down of the meaning of Taekwondo. A lot of articles (including mine) miss the most basic question, What does Taekwondo mean?

      Thanks Daniel

      - thacker