Taekwondo is an ancient Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. It is also the world's most popular martial art in terms of the number of practioners. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with the foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with the fist" and do means "way," "method," or "art." Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as "the way of the foot and fist" or "the way of kicking and punching." In addition, Taekwondo is a method of self-defense that incorporates both physical and mental training. Taekwondo is more than just a sport or physical fitness program, it is an investment for life. By developing an individual's physical and mental capabilities, Taekwondo can provide a renewed sense of confidence, an increase in focus and self-control as well as peace of mind and security. It increases stamina, flexibility, muscle tone, strength, cardiovascular health, coordination and helps to control weight. Thus, training in the martial arts is an investment in both your present and your future. Rank advancement is also available.