HISTORY OF TAEKWONDO
Tae Kwon Do is a true martial art with its roots in ancient Korea. Translated from Korean, Tae Kwon Do means "foot hand way". Its beginnings date back at least to 540 AD to the Hwarang-Do warrior society charged with protecting their country. In fighting, the members of the Hwarang-Do inspired their followers' confidence by punching barehanded through their opponents' wooden armor. They could spin-kick with such height and power that their feet were like swords. But Hwarang-Do was more: members pledged to live an ethical life that recognized the importance of loyalty to country, parents, and the brotherhood of man, and to promote the cause of justice. Taekwondo is a martial art independently developed over 20 centuries ago in Korea. Over the many years it has become a popular international sport. The main feature of Taekwondo is that it is a free-fighting combat sport using the bare hands and feet to repel the opponent. Taekwondo literally means the way of kicking and punching. It consists of sharp strong angular movements with free flowing circular movements to produce a balance of beauty and power. With the addition of Taekwondo's trademark kicking techniques it is a complete system of self defense and personal improvement. All of its activities are based on the defensive attitude that originally developed for protection against enemy attacks. The most important fact about Taekwondo is that it is not only a superior art of self-defense, but of the mind as well. It gives its practitioners self-confidence that provides an advantage over weaker opponents. This mental characteristic along with the physical ability is beneficial to the mental life of individuals as well as to their families and friends. With its practical means of self defense, its complete regiment of physical conditioning, and its aid to improved concentration and mental performance, Taekwondo offers a total fitness program integrating body, mind and spirit. Today, Taekwondo is the most recognized Korean Martial Art. Taekwondo first came to be recognized as a system of self-defense in the 1950's when a group of leading Korean martial artists came together and unified their various art forms under a single style of hand and feet fighting. They named their style Taekwondo, and in the last 30 years have developed it into one of the most effective styles of unarmed self-defense in the world today. The popularity for Taekwondo is international and its evolution and development as an international amateur sport have grown quickly..