Taekwondo is a Korean form of martial arts, characterized by punching and kicking techniques, with an emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques.
The literal translation for Taekwondo is “kicking,” “punching,” and “the art or way of”. Taekwondo is a kind of martial arts in which one attacks or defends with hands and feet anytime or anywhere, without the use of weapons. The physical training undertaken in Taekwondo is purposeful and fosters strength of mind through mental armament.
Taekwondo practitioners wear a uniform, known as a dobok. It is a form of self defence and was developed during the 1940s and 1950s by Korean martial artists with experience in martial arts such as karate, Chinese martial arts, and indigenous Korean martial arts traditions such as Taekkyon, Subak, and Gwonbeop.
The oldest governing body for Taekwondo is the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), formed in 1959 through a collaborative effort by representatives from the nine original kwans, or martial arts schools, in Korea.