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History of Taekwon-Do

Taekwon-Do has emerged as an international martial art in a relatively short period of time, only being named in 1955 by General Choi Hong Hi.

In January of 1946, General Choi was a company commander in the Korean army and began to teach Karate to his soldiers as a means of physical and mental training. It was then that he realised that he needed to develop a Korean martial art, and with this in mind that he began to develop new techniques. In 1952, at the height of the Korean War, there was a martial arts exhibition where Choi Hong Hi’s senior student Mr Nam Tae Hi smashed 13 roof tiles with a punch. Following this demonstration, South Korean President Syngman Rhee instructed General Choi to officially introduce the martial arts to the Korean army.

By the mid-1950s, the various martial arts schools were ordered by Syngman Rhee to unify under a single system. The name "Taekwon-Do" was submitted by General Choi and accepted on April 11, 1955.

Since early 1970s Taekwon-Do suffered from political interference and has been split into two main organisations or styles, called the International Taekwon-Do Fedeartion (ITF) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

In New Zealand we are affiliated to the ITF, which was formed by General Choi Hong Hi in 1966.

Learn about Taekwon-Do in New Zealand

Gen Choi Hong Hi



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