Some of the earliest records of martial arts practices around the world date back to 50 B.C. in the region that is now South Korea. An array of wall murals has been discovered in tombs around the area depicting men in fighting positions. Ancient Korean dynasties and kingdoms began practicing self-defense techniques thousands of years ago. These techniques have been passed down generation to generation over centuries. They have evolved rapidly, spanned the globe and turned into what we now know as Tae Kwon Do.
Tae Kwon do is a Korean Martial Art that has its origin over 2,000 years ago. The word "tae" in Korean translates to "smash or kick with the foot." Similarly, "kwon" means to "strike with the hand or fist." Finally, "do" means "the way." Put that all together and Tae Kwon Do means the "Way of kicking and punching." The art of Tae Kwon Do combines powerful kicks and strikes with skills of blocking, dodging, foot sweeps, and joint locks to form a very effective style of self-defense.
Tae Kwon Do is popular among the people of both genders and of many ages. It develops the physical aspects: strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina. For example, breaking of wooden boards, bricks or tiles requires both physical mastery of the technique and the concentration to focus power.
While Tae Kwon Do offers peace of mind to practitioners in the form of self-defense, it also provides a great deal of physical conditioning and has recently been recognized by the International Olympic Committee as an Olympic sport. The 2000 Sydney Olympics was the first time Tae Kwon Do was showcased on such a gigantic scale.