Taekwondo is a type of martial art that is based on the right way of using the fists and feet (and all body parts) as a unit to positively impact life. It consists of active and dynamic movements centered around head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, punching and striking, and blocking. It goes beyond self-defense or being an Olympic sport; it trains the mind & body, and helps to enhance one’s spirit and life. Taekwondo helps to develop self-confidence, posture, graceful movement, excellent coordination, greater self-control, attention to detail, improves strength, flexibility, endurance, speed, balance, and memory. Five principles in Taekwondo are Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit (hard to beat/conquer). Training techniques include Poomsae – movements that facilitate the learning of basic techniques associated with their level of knowledge; Sparring – testing basic techniques through free-style sparring (without interruption for several minutes), and point sparring (sparring is interrupted and then resumed after each point is scored); Board breaking – to demonstrate power and skill. Relaxation, meditation, breathing control, stretching, anaerobic and aerobic exercises are also used in training. Protective equipment is required for matches, which are head-guard, chest (trunk) protector, groin guard, forearm guards, hand protectors, shin guards, and a mouth guard. Taekwondo operates on a ranking system consisting of six solid color belts: white, yellow, green, blue, red (or brown), and black. The white belt is for beginners, while the black belt is the highest rank. Earning the black belt is a lifelong journey – it can take a number of years. Progressing to each rank requires attending a minimum number of classes within a predetermined period of time. There is one rank beyond the black belt, which is measured in degrees (or dans), and is represented by colored stripes on the student’s belt.