"Tae" means "foot," "leg," or "to step on";
"Kwon" means "fist," or "fight";
"Do" means the "way" or "discipline";
If we put these three parts together, we can see two important concepts behind "Tae Kwon Do".
First, Taekwondo is the right way of using Tae and Kwon 'fists and feet,' or all the parts of the body that are represented by fists and feet. Second, it is a way to control or calm down fights and keep the peace. This concept comes from the meaning of Tae Kwon 'to put fists under control' [or 'to step on fists']. Thus Taekwondo means "the right way of using all parts of the body to stop fights and help to build a better and more peaceful world."
History of Taekwondo
Taekwondo has been developing with the 5000-year long history of Korea, having been called by several different names. In Korea, Taekwondo began as a defence martial art called "Subak" or "Taekkyon," and developed as a way of training body and mind in the ancient kingdom of Koguryo, under the name of "Sunbae." In the Silla period, it had become the backbone of Hwarangdo that aimed at producing leaders of the country.
Taekwondo In Comparison To Other Martial Arts
Taekwondo today is somewhat similar to the martial arts in other oriental countries and shares some features with them. In the course of its evolution it has gained many different styles that existed in the martial arts of the countries surrounding Korea, like Japan and China.
But Taekwondo is also very different from many such oriental martial arts. First, physically it is very dynamic with active movements that include a mirage of foot skills. Second, the principle physical movements are in harmony with that of the mind and life as a whole. Third, it possesses dynamic poses from another perspective.
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.