Taekwondo (also spelled tae kwon do or 'taekwon-do') is a hard martial art originating in Korea. An amalgamation of Chinese, Japanese, and traditional Korean fighting styles, taekwondo has become the world's most commonly practiced martial art, and is the national sport of Korea as well as an Olympic sporting event.
In Korean, derived from hanja, tae means "to strike or smash with the foot"; kwon means "to strike or smash with the hand"; and do means "way" or "path". Hence, taekwondo is loosely translated as "the way of the foot and the fist". Taekwondo's popularity has resulted in the divergent evolution of the martial art. As with many other martial arts, taekwondo is a combination of combat technique, self-defense, sport, exercise, entertainment, and philosophy. (Widipedia)