(Excerpt from the Taekwon-do Encyclopedia)

TAEKWON-DO... A way of life. What exactly is the meaning of Taekwon-do ? To put it simply, Taekwon-do is a version of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defence. It is more than just that, however. It is the scientific use of the body in the methods of self-defence, 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. Though 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 separates the true practitioner from the sensationalist, content with mastering only the fighting aspects of the art.

This is one of the reasons that Taekwon-do is called an art of self-defence. It also implies a way of thinking and life, particularly in instilling a concept and spirit of strict self-imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral rearnament.

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. Thus taken collectively, Taekwon-do indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defence as well as health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks, and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the moving opponent or opponents.

Incessant training is essential to keep oneself in top form and physical condition. In training, all the muscles of the human body will be used. From the use of one's muscles, it will be possible to harness all available power generated by every muscular contraction. It will then be neccessary to deliver such power to the human target especially to where the most vulnerable points or vital spots of one's opponent are located, in particular when the opponent is in motion. Most of the devastating manoeuvres in Taekwon-do are based specially on the initial impact of a blow plus the consequential additional force provided by the rebound of the opponent's moving part of the body. By using the attacker's force of momentum, the slightest push will upset his or her equilibrim and topple him or her over. Actions will become conditioned reflexes.