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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||Kwon, meditation, mountainous, ninjas, philosophy, demonstration, martial, retreat, illustrate, self-defense, loyalty, forearm, torso, real-life, courtesy, education
||World Taekwondo Federation, South Korea, Olympic Games, Taekwondo Federation
By Colleen Messina
1 If you have ever seen a martial arts movie, you have probably been amazed by ninjas who could run up walls, fly through the air, and somersault backwards while kicking in all directions to defeat enemies! Special effects create many of these visual acrobatics, but real-life martial arts can be amazing, too. Taekwondo is a popular martial art today, and this martial art is famous for the quality and number of its kicks.
2 The word taekwondo comes from a combination of shorter words. According to the World Taekwondo Federation, the meaning of taekwondo is as follows. "Tae" means "foot, leg, or to step on." "Kwon" means "fist or fight." "Do" means "the way" or "discipline." These three words together illustrate the main ideas behind the practice of this martial art: the right way to use one's fists and feet to bring control to situations. Taekwondo is a mixture of art and self-defense.
3 Taekwondo developed over many centuries in Korea. Korea is a mountainous country in northeastern Asia that is now divided into North and South Korea. Historians debate about taekwondo's origins and history. Some believe that taekwondo was illustrated on wall paintings as far back as 50 B.C. These paintings show men in fighting stances. Others believe that these men were dancing, not fighting. No one will ever know for sure unless those wall people start talking!
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