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While Taekwondo’s roots can be traced to ancient martial art disciplines like Karate, Taekkyeon, Subak, and Gwonbeop, it is actually a relatively young fighting style. Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that was created in the 1940s and 1950s. As explained by Britannica, it has a distinctive focus on high standing kicks, jump kicks, and powerful punches. Over the past several decades this discipline has made a name for itself in the martial arts community. In fact, World Atlas reports that about 100 million people all around the world currently practice Taekwondo.

So what sets Taekwondo apart from the older styles it’s influenced by? Taekwondo is thought to be a combination of China’s “soft styles” and Japan’s “hard styles” of martial arts, emphasizing kicks and choreographed movements much more than most other disciplines. Not to mention, Taekwondo has a unique focus on spiritual growth, loyalty, respect, perseverance, and self-esteem.