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November 21 1999 History of Tae Kwon Do The history of the development of Tae Kwon Do spans thousands of years through periods of innovation and unfortunately repression Tae Kwon Do translated literally means the art of kicking and punching Tae Kwon Do developed as a native Korean combat form that emphasizes kicking punching blocking and jumping as well as mental discipline This martial art form exists as a system for training the mind and the body emphasizing the development of a strong moral character Tae Kwon Do practitioners produce sharp strong angular movements along with with free flowing circular movements to produce a balance of beauty and power Tae Kwon Do is a free-fighting sport in which an individual uses bare hands and feet to repel an opponent The most important fact about Tae Kwon Do is that it is both a superb self defense technique as well as a method of developing mental discipline which provides its practitioners with self-confidence that allows an advantage over weaker opponents This mental development along with the physical conditioning is extremely beneficial to Tae Kwon Dos participants In addition to the practical benefits as a means of self defense Tae Kwon Dos complete regiment of physical conditioning as well as its ability to develop improved concentration and mental performance offers a total fitness program that integrates mind body and spirit Since Tae Kwon Do has evolved to exist primarily as a kicking art every practitioner much devote a substantial amount of time to the development of leg hip and back muscles The first step in training is a lengthy period of stretching exercise designed to make the practitioner limber and able to kick at any level or in any direction Tae Kwon Do practitioners also use a variety of stances to develop thigh strength which is a common practice in most modern martial arts Regular practice increases the length of time a
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