Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, that teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing our spirit and life through training our body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, and stands among the official games in the Olympics.
"Tae" "Kwon" "Do" is composed of three parts as shown in the English spelling, though it is one word in Korean. "Tae" means "foot," or "leg,"; "Kwon" means "fist," or "hand"; and "Do" means the "way" or "discipline." Taekwondo can be characterized by unity: the unity of body, mind, and life, and the unity]. When you do Taekwondo, you should make your mind peaceful and synchronize your mind with your movements, and extend this harmony to your life and society. This is how, in Taekwondo the principle of physical movements, the principle of mind training, and the principle of life become one and the same.
How come we reach such a unity in Taekwondo? Taekwondo is a way of life, much like having a job, raising a family, or fighting for a cause. What makes Taekwondo different from these is that it is an activity for survival in extremely antagonistic situations. One must always overcome the enemy that is trying to cause harm. But simply winning a fight is not enough to guarantee one's safety, because the enemy may recuperate and attack again. Moreover, there may be many other enemies than the one that was just defeated. One cannot ever feel safe unless one gains permanent peace. To attain this permanent or lasting peace, one needs unity. This is what Taekwondo aims for. Otherwise Taekwondo would be no different from any other street-fighting skills.
Taekwondo pursues harmonious growth and improvements of life through its unique activities. This is why one could say Taekwondo is a way of life. To ultimately enable ourselves to lead more valuable lives, we would do well by finding the guiding principles deeply hidden in Taekwondo.