Unfortunately the martial art has become so popular that it has suffered from a severe case of McDojos & huge increase of the sport version over the traditional art, 10 year old black-belts are far too common & the McDojos are everywhere. The sport version is split into two branches
WTF & ITF where the latter allows boxing methods to be employed. Unfortunately the sport is nearly completely useless for self-defence due to its point-system emphasising high kicks over strategic attack, penalty on aggressiveness in combat & not allowing grappling/clinching which all other sport-arts allow on some level + in WTFs scenario restarts after contact.
There is then the even worse branch ATA which is scam-artists at its best, ATA isn't recognised by the Koreans as a real branch of Taekwondo & ATA refuse to compete in ITF/WTF competitions alongside charging high prices for training.
Traditional Taekwondo is like any other art, a complete system in all aspects with grappling/locks/takedowns & strikes + weapon combat. Unfortunately it is far & few between to come across, Taekwondo is a prime example of what can potentially happen when a martial art is turned into a sport, though this hasn't been the case for many sport-arts such as Judo which is a highly effective system adapted to many police forces.
Jack: You're aware that the high kicks are in most cases NOT the best option especially where you will most likely get attacked ie alleys & crowded clubs? Let alone Taekwondo doesn't prepare you for multiple attackers & the potential for weapons being involved OR escaping if your kick is grappled.
Oh and they also hand out belts like candy in many cases. Do the sport if you want but don't fool yourself John into thinking it will be reliable to use fully in a fight.
Tae = means to jump, kick or smash with the foot.
Kwon = means to punch or destroy with the hand or fist.
Do = means art, way or method.
In short Tae Kwon Do means Foot, Hand, Way.
Kwon- to punch with the fist
Do- art or way of the
In 1945 when Korea was liberated many seperate marital arts schools formed. General Choi Hong Hi (considered the father of Tae Kwon Do) started his own teaching a combination of Taekyon and Karate (Thus explaining TKD's similiarity to Karate). Many other schools taught this style but called it various names until 1955 when Choi Hong Hi submitted the name Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do encompasses many different styles of martial arts and is the most popular Korean martial art and even their national sport.
BTW, I'm a 3rd degree black belt and a Tae Kwon Do instructor, so while my knowledge of the history may be a little off, I know enough to say that anyone who says Tae Kwon Do is worthless is obviously a retarded douche bag. Also, I'm 17 and make $6.50 and hour, so I'm clearly not teaching TKD to "leech all your money away"
the true tkd, involving allso hand, knee and ellbow technics, more appropriate for the times where yo have to beat the crap out of someone while wanting to entertain your friends and impress the girls.