Taekwon-Do is a Korean martial art, similar to karate, with an emphasis on kicking techniques. The reasoning behind this is the leg is more powerful and has a longer reach than the arm. Translated, Taekwon-Do means "the way of the fist foot." As a sport, it's an event in the Summer Olympics.

Physical Strength and Balance

One of the main benefits of Taekwon-Do is improving both children and adult's strength and balance. Because Taekwon-Do depends on kicking, practitioners learn to balance their weight on one leg to leave the other one free to strike. This also helps strengthen the muscles of the torso. Taekwon-Do can also help improve coordination. Arm and leg muscles become stronger as a one practices strikes.

Concentration

Learning the patterns and sequences of Taekwon-Do requires concentration and attention, and sparring requires focus on both one's self and one's opponent. Taekwon-Do teaches breathing and meditation techniques to assist in learning focus.

Discipline and Respect

Taekwon-Do students must learn to follow directions from an instructor and are expected to show respect to the instructor. Students are also expected to show respect to their opponents before and after a sparring match. Don't expect Taekwon-Do to turn a hard-to-discipline child into an angel, though. But you might see an improvement in general politeness.

Taekwon-Do has Both Physical and Mental Benefits for Children.

Taekwon-Do, a martial art that originated in Korea, is one of the world's most popular martial arts. Mimi Johnson of the of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness recommends 6 years of age as a good starting age for kids taking martial arts, although some classes will take children as young as 3 years old. Taking Taekwon-Do or any other martial art will not bully-proof your child, nor will it necessarily impart practical self-defense skills that can be used in a street encounter. But the benefits it does provide can be enormous.

Physical Strength and Balance

One of the main benefits of Taekwon-Do is improving a child's strength and balance. Because Taekwon-Do depends on kicking, practitioners learn to balance their weight on one leg to leave the other one free to strike. This also helps strengthen the muscles of the torso. Taekwon-Do can also help improve coordination. Arm and leg muscles become stronger as a child practices strikes.

Concentration

Learning the patterns and sequences of Taekwon-Do requires concentration and attention, and sparring requires focus on both one's self and one's opponent. Taekwon-Do teaches breathing and meditation techniques to assist in learning focus.

Self-confidence

As children dedicate themselves to a goal in Taekwon-Do -- say, learning a particular strike, earning a belt or practicing how to break a board -- they gain confidence as they observe their own progress and increasing mastery. This self-confidence can then be carried over into other areas of your child's life.

Reduced Aggression

Taekwon-Do will not teach your child self-defense skills to directly deter bullies, but taking Taekwon-Do might prevent your child from becoming a bully. A study published in "Psychology in the Schools" in 2008 showed that martial arts participation reduced aggression in boys. The study also showed an increase in bystanders choosing to intervene in a bullying event after taking a martial arts course.