Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "art". Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as "the art of the foot and fist" or "the art of kicking and punching."
As many other arts, it combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, and in some cases meditation and philosophy. In 1989, Taekwondo was claimed as the world's most popular martial art in terms of number of practitioners. Gyeorugi, a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000.