The name Taekwondo did not exist until April 11th 1955, When General Choi Hong Hi 9th Degree submitted the name to a meeting of leading masters, historians and politicians. The name received unanimous acceptance and also received the approval of the Korean Government. What follows is a brief outline of what took place before that meeting.

Korea’s first fighting system was practised about 600AD in the Silla Kingdom (South Korea) this ancient and primitive style was known as Soo Bak Gi. This later developed into Tae Kyon known as the Korean art of foot fighting. The early Korean Dynasties used TaeKyon to recruit and train their armies. Tae Kyon is still practised today in Korea.

Tae Kyon declined during later dynasties as the Government decided to adopt anti – military positions. Further decline was to follow in 1909 when the Japanese occupied Korea and outlawed all Korean traditions. Tae Kyon only survived due to the efforts of Masters such as: Song Duk Ki and Han Il Dong who refused to let their heritage die.

In 1933, the young Choi Hong Hi was sent by his father to learn clagraphy, his teacher was Han Il Dong, as stated above Han Il Dong was already and expert in Tae Kyon and decided to teach the 15yr old boy. For the next few years Choi studied under the Masters guidance until he was sent to Japan in 1937 to continue his education. Whilst in Japan Choi studied Shotokan Karate, gaining a 2nd Degree.



On his return to Korea during World War II, Choi Hong Hi was forced against his will to join the Japanese Army, but during his posting he was implicated as a planner of the Korean Independence Movement and sent to a Japanese prison. It was during this time that he started to lay the foundation of his new art, he even taught some of his fellow prisoners. In 1945 Korea was liberated and Choi was released from prison. In January 1946 Choi became a 2nd Lietenant in the newly formed Korean Army, and on his next promotion to General he was sent to Tae Jan where he taught Westerners as well as Koreans. This was where he formed the 29th infantry division whose emblem was a fist and would later become part of the International Taekwodo Federation’s emblem.

Shortly after April 11th 1955 General Choi was appointed President of the Korean Taekwondo Association and organised the first International demonstration tour, this eventually led to the formation of the ITF International Taekwondo Federation on March 22nd 1966. In 1972 as a result of political pressure within South Korea General Choi left to continue and grow the ITF in Canada.

In the ‘early days’ Taekwondo training was focused on physical fitness, discipline, and self-defence. However, as the sporting aspect began to gain popularity, it evolved to include competitive sparring and forms (Tuls). In the 1960s and 1970s, Taekwondo began to gain international recognition, and in 1973 the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) was established to promote and govern the sporting side of Taekwondo, no doubt this had a huge bearing on Choi’s decision to leave Korea.

Taekwondo quickly spread around the world, and today it is one of the most popular martial arts in the world, with millions of practitioners in over 180 countries. The training of Taekwondo is designed to help practitioners improve their physical fitness, balance, and coordination. The training also includes techniques for self-defence, including strikes, kicks, and blocks, it’s probably most notable for it’s amazing kicking techniques and board breaking.

The benefits of Taekwondo training are not limited to physical fitness and self-defence. The discipline and focus developed through training can also improve mental health and self-confidence. The practice of Taekwondo also promotes respect, self-control, and perseverance.

In addition to traditional Taekwondo classes, there are also specialized classes for children, adults, and seniors. Children’s classes are designed to help children develop discipline, focus, and self-confidence, while adult classes are geared towards self-defence and physical fitness. Senior classes are adapted to the needs of older adults and focus on balance and flexibility.

Taekwondo is a martial art that is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. The training is designed to be challenging, but also safe and fun. Whether you’re looking to improve your physical fitness, learn self-defence, or just have fun, Taekwondo is a great choice. With the right training and discipline, anyone can become a skilled practitioner of Taekwondo.

In conclusion, Taekwondo is a martial art with a rich history that has evolved over centuries. It’s a unique blend of self-defence and sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. The training of Taekwondo is designed to improve physical fitness, balance, and coordination, as well as mental health, self-confidence, and self-control. So, if you’re looking for a new challenge, consider joining one of our Taekwondo classes. With the right training and discipline, you can become a skilled practitioner of this ancient martial art.

Malcolm Jones