Tae kwon do is from three Korean words: tae means kick or jump; kwon means fist or hand; and do means the way. The name of the sport essentially means the way of the hand and foot. More than just self-defense, tae kwon do requires controlling mind over body. Focus, clarity of thought and confidence result in quick, clean and crisp tae kwon do techniques.
People who study tae kwon develop powerful torso muscles and agility in their arms and legs. In addition to helping develop fitness, tae kwon do can build self-confidence and instill a sense of discipline, qualities that can carry over into many other aspects of a person's life, according to the American Taekwondo Association.
A person who weighs 160 pounds burns 730 calories per hour doing tae kwon do. A person who weighs 200 pounds burns 910 calories, while an individual who weighs 240 pounds burns 1,090 calories an hour doing tae kwon do, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Tae kwon do involves muscle strengthening and aerobic components, both of which are important aspects of an exercise program. Aerobic activities can strengthen your heart, lungs, and blood vessels, while strengthening activities develop your muscles.