Taekwondo is a Korean Martial Art that originated from South Korea. In Korean, “Tae” means to strike or break with the fist. “Kwon” means to strike or break with the foot, and “Do” means Way, Method, or Path. All together, the Art loosely means “The way of the hand and foot.” Taekwondo combines combat techniques, sport, exercise, self defense, meditation and philosophy. Taekwondo was recognized as an Olympic sport as of 2000.
In the literal translation of Tang Soo Do, the word “TANG” means T’ang Dynasty of China. China and Korea share a cultural background which existed between 617 -907 AD. “SOO” means hand, but implies defensive strike with the hand or fist. “DO” means way of life or art. Thus “TANG SOO DO” means the <a id=”FALINK_2_0_1″ href=”http://newwavema.com/tkd-history/#”>Korean</a> classical <a id=”FALINK_3_0_2″ href=”http://newwavema.com/tkd-history/#”>martial art</a> which was influenced by the Tang method of martial art.
One source has estimated that as of 2009, Taekwondo is practiced in 123 countries, with over 30 million practitioners and 3 million individuals with black belts throughout the world. In the same year, the South Korean government published an estimate of 70 million practitioners in 190 countries. Kukkiwon International statistics determine that of the 70 million practitioners, there are only approximately 4,000 Masters of the art.