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Welcome to our Tae Kwon-do page.

Tae kwon do is characterized by the extensive use of high standing and jump kicks as well as punches and is practiced for sport, self-defense, and spiritual development. Training in tae kwon do is carried out by learning individual techniques of kicking, punching, and blocking, which are practiced in combined series of techniques in traditional sets known as hyung. To the Korean people Tae Kwon Do is more than a mere use of skilled movements, it also implies a way of life.

Translated from Korean, Tae means to jump, kick or smash with the foot, Kwon means to punch, strike or smash with the hand and Do is art, method or way.

Ancient History Tae Kwon-Do's roots stretch back through over 20 centuries of Korean history. The earliest traces of Korean martial arts date back to 50BC where tomb paintings depict men in fighting stances practising forms known as 'Taek Kyŏn'.

During this time Korea was divided into three kingdoms:

Baekche (18BC - 660AD), Koguryŏ (37BC - 668AD), Silla (57BC - 935AD). Although Taek Kyŏn first appeared in the Koguryŏ Kingdom, it was the Silla Warrior Nobility, the Hwa Rang, who are accredited with its development and cultivation.
 
These elite warriors were trained in several different disciplines: History, Confucian Philosophy, Ethics, Buddhist Morality, Riding, Archery, Sword Play, Military Tactics as well as Taek Kyŏn.

The guiding principles of this training system were the Five Codes of Human Conduct established by the great Buddhist Monk and Scholar Won Gwang.
The Five Codes of Human Conduct:
•Be Loyal to your King.

•Be obedient to your parents.

•Be honourable to your friends.

•Never retreat in battle.

•Never make an unjust kill.


In 668AD the three Kingdoms of Korea were united. The Hwa Rang travelled extensively throughout the peninsula and were responsible for the spread of Taek Kyŏn throughout the whole of Korea. The Silla dynasty finally gave way to the Koryŏ dynasty which was founded by Wang Kon in 936AD, it was during this time that Taek Kyŏn became known as Subak. During the Yi (Chosŏn) dynasty (1393 - 1910) King Taejo changed the state religion from Buddhism to Confucianism.

Confucius teachings placed a much greater emphases on scholarly pursuits for the higher classes such as reading, poetry and music, leaving the practise of martial arts to the less refined even inferior classes. For this reason the skills of Subak survived in only a few families throughout Korea and were handed down from generation to generation.

Modern History In 1910 Korea was invaded and occupied by Japan. The Japanese authorities tried to erase the Korean culture including all native martial arts. This along with the introduction of other martial arts such as Judo and Karate, naturally caused a great revival.

The modern period of Tae Kwon-Do began in 1945 after World War II when Korea gained its independence from Japan. Many Korean Masters who had been living in China and Japan returned, bringing with them extensive martial training in foreign styles. Korea wanted to eliminate Japanese influences and began to unite the various martial arts schools and styles into a single style and national sport.
The very first Tae Kwon-Do students were soldiers because Major General Choi Hong Hi, who is credited as the father of Tae Kwon-Do, required his soldiers to train. The police and air force also incorporated Tae Kwon-Do into their training. General Choi refined the techniques from the traditional Korean martial art of Tae Kyon and aided them with more modern techniques.
On 11th April 1955 the name Tae Kwon-Do was chosen to represent the Korean military martial , as a unified style of Korean Martial Art.

The founder of Tae Kwon-Do, Major General Choi Hong Hi 9th Degree Black Belt, describes Tae Kwon-Do as the scientific use of the body in the method of self defence; a body that has gained the ultimate use of its faculties through intensive physical and mental training. As a martial art that has no equal in either power or technique. Though it is a martial art, its discipline, technique, and mental training are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility, and resolve. It is the mental conditioning that separates the true practitioner from the sensationalist, content with mastering only the fighting aspects of the art. He continues by saying that Tae Kwon-Do definitely enables the weak to posses a fine weapon together with a confidence to defend him or herself and defeat the opponent as well.

After Tae Kwon Do's recognition in 1955 General Choi established the International Tae Kwon Do Federation (ITF) and proceded to bring it to the world's attention. In 1974 the first World Tae Kwon Do Championship was held in Montreal. Tae Kwon Do is now practised in over 60 countries and has millions of students.

A good-will trip to North Korea in 1966 caused General Choi to fall into disgrace with the South Korean government. Resigning as president of the Korean Tae Kwon-Do Association (KTA), on 22 March 1966 he founded the International Tae Kwon-Do Federation (ITF), he finally left South Korea in 1972 and established their headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

On 28th May 1973 the World Tae Kwon-Do Federation (WTF) was established, with Un-Yong-Kim as president. Slowly the WTF's emphasis turned to sparring. WTF Tae Kwon-Do was introduced as a demonstration sport in the 1988 Olympic Games held in Seoul, South Korea, and became a full Olympic Sport in Sydney in 2000.
(ITF) Tae Kwon-Do was introduced into the United Kingdom in 1967 by Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha, and the United Kingdom Tae Kwon-Do Association (UKTA) came into existence. It has been stated that Master Rhee is one of the greatest ever exponents of Tae Kwon-Do.
Currently Tae Kwon-Do is not unified under a single international federation. The WTF and ITF have always been at irreconcilable odds over a variety of issues. While both associations claim to conceptualise Tae Kwon-Do as a martial art most Tae Kwon-Do practitioners see them differently.
                                             



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