The name taekwondo describes the main weapons that are used in the style. In Korean, tae means ‘foot’, kwon means ‘fist’ and do means ‘the art or the way’, so taekwondo can be translated as meaning 'the way of the foot and fist'.
TKD is known for its extensive use of kicking, which sets it apart from other martial arts such as karate. It is practiced for sport, self-defense and spiritual development. Training sessions include learning individual techniques of kicking, punching and blocking, which are practised in a set combination.
Students also practice basic sparring combinations; these are short, set sequences of attack and counter practiced between partners, after which students may practice free sparring as opponents.
Taekwondo as a sport and exercise is popular with people of both sexes and of many ages. Physically, taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina.
A taekwondo student wears a uniform (called a dobok), which is usually white, with a belt tied around the waist. The belt indicates the student's rank. The school or place where instruction is given is called the dojang.