Complete history and chronology of Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do

Do means path or way. Tae indicates kicking and Kwon fist or punch. Thus the way of kicking and punching is the English translation.
Established on April 11 1955.

Throughout the Korean war (1950-1953), the martial art was tested in actual combat across the valleys of the Korean peninsula. During the war, Korean military leaders, politicians and martial arts promoters were very surprised to learn that from battle to battle, overall victories were won by Tang Soo Do trained soldiers. Due to the nature of the Communist guerrilla tactics as well as the lack of armoury supplies, the soldiers were forced in hand to hand combat, with one man against ten. This being a usual circumstance, not a rarity. This so pleased the military leaders and the President of the Republic of Korea, Syngman Rhee, that he realised how valuable Tang Soo Do skill was in battle and ordered that all soldiers must train in Tang Soo Do as well as drill. Not only was combat skill emphasised but mental conditioning as well. The code of Tang Soo Do - loyalty to the country, never retreat in battle, in killing choose with sense and honour; these traditional mental principals were commendable and valuable at that time.
In 1955, a research group was formed to study the martial art and give it a new name. The group was comprised of archaeologists, historians, masters of the martial arts and scholars. They suggested the name Tae Kwon Do which derived from Tack Kyun and means; Tae, to kick or strike with the feet, Kwon refers to punching with the hand or fist or knuckles, Do means way or method of life and philosophy. However, the new name did not appeal to the conservative Tang Soo Do practitioners at that time. Because of the flourishing popularity there were many sectors of the martial arts in Korea and all sectors called their own names, that is a leading name Tang Soo Do and Kong Soo Do, Hwa Soo Do, Tack Kyun, Kwon Bop and so on.
President Rhee, in profound respect for the art after witnessing a demonstration while inspecting the front line troops agreed to a new name Tae Kwon Do. Thereafter, people started to use the name Tae Kwon Do. The new movement to unite all Korean martial arts sectors created a new organisation, The Tae Kwon Do Association. This art is still recognised by the people as Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do, but a more dignified and classic name of this art is Tang Soo Do. While Tang Soo Do remains the pure style of the original art that is currently the most popular in the Korean peninsula, there are different styles of open hand fighting, each style influenced by the master instructor of the school. Techniques and training procedures differ slightly from school to school. Consequently each sector has developed and improved their techniques over the years. Some schools have even deteriorated through improper adherence, discipline and training. Therefore, there was a necessity of unification to climinate the above un-recommendable by-products and to set standards. In 1964 the first organisation called Dae Han Tae Soo Do Assn, (not Tae Kwon Do Assn), was formed by a very few sector leaders. In 1965 the above Dae Han Tae Soo Do Assn was joined with the Korean amateur athletic union, with a new name, Dae Han Tae Kwon Do Assn.

Founder: Hong Hi Choi




Grandmaster Kim Soo arrives from Seoul



The 1st World Taekwondo Championships organized by the Korea Taekwondo Association were held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 200 competitors and officials from 19 countries.



The World Taekwondo Federation was established at the inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon ...
The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), which governs sport-style taekwondo throughout the world, is founded in Seoul, Korea. It has just seven initial member countries. According to the federations recent statistics, about 75-million people from its 192 affiliated nations practice taekwondo today, while around 3,000 Koreans and 20,000 foreigners who qualify as International Master Instructors teach its competition-oriented brand of taekwondo around the world.



The Secretariat of the WTF was placed at the Kukkiwon and began operation.



1st Asian Taekwondo Championships were held in Seoul, Korea.



The WTF was affiliated to the General Association of International Sports Federations [GAISF].



The International Military Sports Council [CISM] adopted Taekwondo as its 23rd official sport for the World Military Championships.



European Taekwondo Union's inaugural meeting was held in Barcelona, Spain on the occasion of the 1st European Taekwondo Championships.



The World Taekwondo, English quarterly magazine, was first published as the official organ of the WTF [Later changed the name to the WTF Taekwondo on March 10, 1981].



Preparatory inaugural meeting of the Asian Taekwondo Union was held in Melbourne, Australia.



Inaugural meeting of the Pan American Taekwondo Union held on the occasion of the 1st Pan American Taekwondo Championships held in Mexico City, Mexico.



African Taekwondo Union was inaugurated in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the occasion of the 1st African Taekwondo Championships.



African Taekwondo Union was inaugurated in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the occasion of the 1st African Taekwondo Championships.



Program Commission of the IOC in its meeting in Lausanne decided to recommend recognition of the WTF to the IOC Executive Board and Session.



Taekwondo, English handbook, was first published.



The International Olympic Committee recognized WTF at its 83rd Session in Moscow.



The WTF was affiliated to the International Council of Sports Science & Physical Education [ICSSPE].



Taekwondo participated in the first World Games as an official sport.



Taekwondo was adopted by the Pan American Sports Organization [PASO]...



The WTF was affiliated to the International Group for Construction of Sports and Leisure Facilities [IAKS].



Taekwondo was adopted by the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa [SCSA] as an official sport of All Africa Games at its 10th General Assembly.



Taekwondo was adopted by the Olympic Council of Asia [OCA] as an official sport of the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, Korea at its 3rd General Assembly.



Taekwondo was adopted as a demonstration sport of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea at the 90th Session and Executive Board of the IOC in Berlin.



The Federation International du Sport Universitaire [FISU] adopted Taekwondo as an event for World University Championships at the FISU Executive Committee meeting in Zagreb, Croatia.



The WTF was affiliated to the Committee International pour le Fairplay.



WTF President and Secretary General gave a presentation of the sport of Taekwondo ...



The WTF News, English quarterly newsletter, was first published. The publication stopped in January of 1990 and resumed in January 1997.



Taekwondo was first staged in the Olympic Games as one of the demonstration sports in the 24th Olympic Games at Changchung Gymnaisum in Seoul, Korea.



The Central American Sports Organization adopted Taekwondo as an official sport of the Central American Games.



Taekwondo was adopted by the Bolivarian Directive Council as a regular program of the 1993 Bolivarian Games in Cochabamba, Bolivia.



Tae Kwon Do History
Goodwill Games, Inc. adopted Taekwondo as an official sport of the 3rd Goodwill Games.



Taekwondo was adopted by the Olympic Council of Asia [OCA] at its general meeting in Hiroshima as an official sport of the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan.



The WTF appointed unremunerated Regional Deputy Secretaries General in European, African and Pan American regions to activate Taekwondo promotion in these regions.



Taekwondo demonstration team toured to Spain, Portugal and Morocco on the occasion of the EXPO '92 in Seville, Spain



Taekwondo participated in the 25th Olympic Games at the Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona, Spain ...



WTF Vice President Josiah Henson, WTF Technical Committee Chairman Bong Sik KIM visited the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to give presentation for promotion of Taekwondo as an official Olympic sport.



Sydney Olympics 2000 Bid Limited invited a WTF official to visit Sydney..



The IOC informed WTF "Taekwondo is on the list of sports to be studied for their inclusion in the program of the Games of the 27th Olympiad in 2000."



The 11th World Taekwondo Championships and the 4th Women's World Taekwondo Championships ...



Dr. Un Yong KIM was awarded the Order of Commander by King of Monaco Rainier in recognition of his contribution to the Olympic Movement.



IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch .
Made a visit to Dr. Un Yong KIM at the Kukkiwon during his visit to Korea on the occasion of the IOC Pavilion set up in the EXPO 93 in Taejon, Korea



Sydney Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games would choose two among Taekwondo, gold, triathlon and women's softball..



WTF dispatched a 14-member Taekwondo demonstration team to Southeast Asia.



The Promotion Committee for Taekwondo's Olympic Status was set up at a meeting held in Seoul, Korea with 49 sports and social leaders from Korea and other countries participating as members.



The IOC Centenary Seoul International Taekwondo Championships took place at the Changchoong Gymnasium in Seoul, Korea...



Beijing University of Physical Education and WTF Vice President Chong Woo LEE who visited China agreed that the university would include Taekwondo in its regular curriculum beginning in September 1994.



Taekwondo was adopted as an official sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC Session in Paris, France.



KBS Cup International Taekwondo Tournament was held at Changchoong Gymnasium in Seoul, Korea ..



The WTF was affiliated to the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations [ASOIF] as a provisional member.



Taekwondo symposium was held at the Star Gaze Room in Grand Boulevard Hotel in Manila, Philippines..



IOC Executive Board decided at its meeting in Cancun, Mexico to expand the entries of Taekwondo athletes in Sydney 2000 Olympic Games....



SOCOG announced the change of the dates and the venue of the Taekwondo competition of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.



Taekwondo was adopted by the CISM as an official sport of the 2nd World Military Games in Zagreb, Croatia



Executive Council of the WTF at its meeting in Hotel Miramar in Hong Kong, China on the occasion of the 13th World Taekwondo Championships and the 6th Women's World Taekwondo Championships...



The 17th General Assembly of the SCSA [Supreme Council of Sports in Africa] resolved to include Taekwondo in the official programs of the 7th All Africa Games in Johannesburg, South Africa.



Greek Taekwondo delegation, including Athens Olympic Games Organizing Committee [ATHOC 2004] Competition Manager for Taekwondo Michalis Fissentjidis, visited WTF President Dr. Un Yong KIM to the Kukkiwon.



July 14, 2000 FISU Executive Board meeting in Beijing selected Taegu, Korea as the host city of the 22nd Universiade in 2003 and Taekwondo was adopted as one of the programs of the 2003 Universiade.



Chinese Olympic Committee announced that Taekwondo is participating in the Chinese National Sports Meeting to be held in November 2001 for the first time. This national sport event of China with 1.2 billion people is held every four years.



Taekwondo entry at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was expanded to 124 at the IOC Executive Board Meeting in Lausanne



WTF member nations rose to 168



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