TaeKwon-Do is the scientific use of the body in a method of self-defence, a body that has gained the ultimate use of it's facilities through intensive physical and mental training. This training is the mortor for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. It is the mental conditioning that seperates the true practitioner from the sensationalist content on mastering only the fighting aspect of the art. This is one reason that TaeKwon-Do is called the art of self defence. It also implies a way of thinking and life, particularly in instilling a concept and spirit of strict self imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral rearmament.
Translated literally "Tae" stands for jumping or flying, to kick or smash with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist, chiefly to punch or destroy with the hand or fist. "Do" means an art or way, the right way built and paved by the saints and sages in the past. Thus collectively TaeKwon-Do indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self defence as well as health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the moving opponent or opponents.
TaeKwon-Do definantly enables the weak to posses a fine weapon together with the confidence to defend him or herself, and to defeat the opponent as well. Of course wrongly applied, TaeKwon-Do can be a lethal weapon. Therefore mental training must always be stressed to prevent the student from misusing it.
(Please note all the above text has been taken from the 1999 fifth edition encyclopedia)