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Taekwondo Martial Arts - Tae Kwon Do History, Styles & Philosophy

Taekwondo or Tae Kwon Do (Korean 태권도/跆拳道 [tʰɛ.k͈wʌn.do], English pronunciation /ˌtkwɒnˈd/,[1][2] or /ˌtˈkwɒnd/[3]) is a Korean martial art, characterized by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques.

Taekwondo is characterized by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques. In fact, World Taekwondo sparring competitions award additional points for strikes that incorporate spinning kicks, kicks to the head, or both.

To facilitate fast, turning kicks, Taekwondo generally adopts stances that are narrower and taller than the broader, wide stances used by martial arts such as karate. The tradeoff of decreased stability is believed to be worth the commensurate increase in agility, particularly in Kukkiwon-style Taekwondo.