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What Is Tae Kwon Do?

Grand Master James S. Benko

Tae Kwon Do may be the most maligned of arts. You are asked to believe that it was created for the destruction of one man by another. You are entertained by the smashing of boards and are told that this power is the goal of Tae Kwon Do

You hear high-pitched incantations and are led to believe that somewhere within these sounds lies the mystique of Tae Kwon Do.

This is show business. It is not Tae Kwon Do. Like all show business, the act will change whenever the opportunist believes that your mood has changed. But Tae Kwon Do does not change. It is constant in form and purpose. It was created by nonviolent men to discourage violence.

It does give power. A power of self-defense far more frightening than the mere shattering of boards. But it never once suggests an offensive use of this power. It does bring physical well being, for there is no discipline of man which trims, shapes or conditions the body as well.

It does bring a fluidity to motion, a grace to movement, and physical harmony. And it does more. It brings self-strength, self-knowledge, self-confidence, and self-control. It reaches toward "ki"... the development of a total being capable of meeting any challenge with calm and success. It brings one to himself. It is a "way" of life.

The journey from those first simple moves of self-defense to "ki" is a long one. We invite you now to take the first step of that journey.

Korean Pronunciation of Tae Kwon Do
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"Tae Kwon Do", Click here.

Literal Translation of Tae Kwon Do
A method of defending yourself with your hands and feet.

Tae - jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot.
Kwon - to punch or destroy with the fist.
Do - the "art" or "way" of.

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Copyright © 1974- James S. Benko and ITA Institute.
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