To put it simply, Taekwon Do is a version of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defense. It is more than just that, however. It is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defense; a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive physical and mental training.
It is a martial art that has no equal in either power or technique. Although it is a martial art, its discipline, technique and mental training are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. It is this mental conditioning that distinguishes the true practitioner.
This is one of the reasons that Taekwon Do is called an art of self-defense. It also implies a way of thinking and life (DO), particularly in instilling a concept and spirit of strict, self-imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral rearmament.
Translated literally “Tae” stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot. “Kwon” denotes the fist, chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist. “Do” means an art or way – the right way – built and paved by wise ancestors. Thus taken collectively, “Taekwon Do” indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defense as well as health.