June 2, 2011


(Taekwon-Do Yoksa)

Taekwon-do is a relatively new martial art that has its roots in the martial arts of Korean Taek Kyon and Japanese Karate.  It was developed by a Korean soldier named Choi, Hong Hi, while he was serving as an officer in the army of the Republic of South Korea.

Choi was born a small and weak child.  While studying calligraphy in Korea as a youngster, Choi’s teacher encouraged him to train in Taek Kyon to strengthen his body and sharpen his mind.  In 1938, Choi left Korea to study calligraphy in Japan.  While in Japan, Choi earned a black belt in Karate.  At the outbreak of the Second World War Choi was conscripted into the Japanese army.

With the end of the war came the defeat of Japan and Korea was released from 36 years of Japanese occupation and rule.  Choi immediately returned home to Korea and was commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the newly formed army of the Republic of South Korea.

Choi rose through the ranks and soon he was commanding a company of soldiers.  He began to teach his troops karate as a means of physical and mental training.  The Japanese military had suppressed the Korean martial arts during the time Japan occupied Korea so Choi desired to create a distinctly Korean martial art to dispel the remnants of Japanese rule and unify the Korean people.


In 1954, after several years of exhaustive researching, testing and developing Choi’s art was born.  On April 11, 1955, it was introduced to the world as Taekwon-do.  In 1965, Choi, now a General, persuaded the South Korean government to proclaim Taekwon-do as Korea’s national martial art.  Taekwon-do became an International martial art when, on March 22, 1966, the International Taekwon-do Federation, (ITF) was formed in Seoul, Korea, with the consent of nine countries.  Taekwon-do continues to be one of the fastest growing martial arts today with schools operating in almost every country in the world.  General Choi, Hong Hi passed away on June 15, 2002 in the land of his birth, Korea.