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Taekwon-Do history

Understand the history of Taekwon-Do

Taekwon-Do article

Taekwon-Do – One of the biggest and best martial arts in the world

  • General Choi Hong Hi (9 November 1918 – 15 June 2002), also known as General Choi, was a Korean army general and martial artist. General Choi was the founder of Taekwon-Do and The International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) organisation.
  • Technically 1955 signaled the beginning of Taekwon-Do as a formally recognised Martial Art in Korea. The board approved the name Taekwon-Do, which General Choi submitted.
  • General Choi combined elements of Taekkyeon and Shotokan Karate to develop a martial art that he called "Taekwon-Do" which literally means "foot, hand, the way" or "the way of hand and foot" and it was so named on 11 April 1955. 
  • Taekwon-Do began to spread throughout the world with the visit of a Taekwon-Do demonstration team consisting of 19 pioneers headed by General Choi Hong Hi to Vietnam and in Taiwan in 1959.

Afterwards General Choi Hong Hi introduced Taekwon-Do to the United States of America in 1960 while attending a Missile Course in Texas, USA.

In 1962, he introduced and disseminated Taekwon-Do to Malaysia and South East Asia, as a result of which a Taekwon-Do association was formed in Malaysia in 1963 and in Singapore in February 1964. It also spread to Brunei to lay down the foundations for forming its NGB (National Governing Body).

In 1965, General Choi toured Germany, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Malaysia and Singapore with his Team for staging Taekwon-Do demonstrations and organising the Taekwon-Do NGB in every country he visited, thus laying down the foundations to form The International Taekwon-Do Federation.
General Choi Hong Hi founded the International Taekwon-Do Federation on 22nd March 1966 comprising of 9 Taekwon-Do associations of Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, West Germany, USA, Turkey, Italy, Arab Republic of Egypt and South Korea and was elected as the first President of the ITF. The establishment of the ITF was of great significance in the history of Taekwon-Do.

The International Taekwon-Do Federation developed rapidly over the next decades overcoming all difficulties since its foundation. It has now expanded and developed into a huge international organization with over 50 million practitioners in 127 member countries.

General Choi Hong Hi who created Taekwon-Do and founded the ITF as its first President, dedicated his all to Taekwon-Do till the last moment of his life. He sadly passed away from gastric cancer in Pyongyang, North Korea on 15th June 2002.

All Koreans owe a debt of gratitude to General Choi for spreading Taekwon-Do globally, which also put Korea on the map as well as giving Korea a warm face to the world.

All Taekwon-Do practitioners around the world also owe a debt of gratitude to General Choi, as for without him, there would not be a Korean Martial Art called Taekwon-Do.

Today Taekwon-Do is one of the biggest and best martial art in the world, with millions of practitioners at all levels and continues to grow stronger.

Join our classes at Elite Taekwon-Do London to learn more about Taekwon-Do. Get in touch with us to find out how you can enrol.

Taekwon-Do poster
At Elite Taekwon-Do London, our sessions cover the origin of the art along with practical training. Call us on
07944 145 145
for classes in Wembley, Kensington and other London surrounding areas.
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