Taekwondo is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defense, a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive physical and mental training. This training is the mortar for building a strong sense of justice fortitude humility and resolve. It is this mental conditioning that separated the true practitioner from the sensationalist, content on mastering only the fighting aspect of the art.
This is one reason that Taekwondo is called an art of self-defense. 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 hit with the foot. "Kwon" denotes the fist, chiefly to punch or strike 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 Taekwondo indicates the mental training and the techniques of unarmed combat for self-defense as well as health, involving the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to rapid incapacitation of the moving opponent or opponents.
Taekwondo definitely enables the weak to posses a fine weapon together with confidence to defend him or herself and defeat the opponent as well.
Of course, wrongly applied, Taekwondo can be a lethal weapon. Therefore mental training must always be stressed to prevent the student from misusing it.
(Above text was taken from the Tae Kwon Do encyclopedia)