69 years after the birth of "Taekwon-Do". ITFTKD

The history of Taekwon-Do must be told from the 9th of November 1918, when Choi Hong Hi was born in Hwa Dae, in the Myong Chun district of the Korean peninsula.  

Of fragile health and strong temperament, Choi Hong Hi began studying calligraphy and Taekkyon, an ancient Korean discipline involving numerous foot techniques and open hand arm movements, at the age of 15. 

At the age of 19, he continued his academic training in Japan where he began practising Shotokan Karate, from which he graduated with the rank of II Dan. The end of the Second World War in Asia meant the rise of a movement to restore pride to a country devastated socially, culturally, politically and economically. 

The military aspect was no exception to this state of affairs and in January 1946 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the newly formed Armed Forces of the Republic of Korea and immediately understood the need to develop a national martial art.

From March of the same year, together with his closest collaborators, he began to systematically create new techniques until, after a few years, it became necessary to give this new martial art a name. Meetings of the "Naming Committee" were held, made up of senior martial arts instructors, historians and prominent members of society.

On 11 April 1955, this new martial art was given the name Taekwon-Do. ITFTKD
On 11 April 1955, this new martial art was given the name Taekwon-Do. ITFTKD

After many obstacles and fierce opposition, the name Taekwon-Do was finally established for this new martial art on 11 April 1955. 69 years later, the International Taekwon-Do Federation and countless athletes around the world commemorate the first appearance of Taekwon-Do. 

Grand Master Paul Weiler (9th Dan), President of the ITF, commented on the significance of this date: "Remembering the birth of a global sport like Taekwon-Do with millions of athletes has more than just idealistic significance - it touches us at our core." 

The reason for choosing the name Taekwon-Do is that, literally, "Tae represents the action of jumping, kicking or breaking with the foot; Kwon represents the fist, but not only the clenched hand, but also other movements such as punching and pushing. "Do" means art or way, the correct way built and established by the saints and wise men of the past."