History of Taekwon-Do - Founder (창시자)
Grandmaster General Choi Hong Hi (최홍희), 1918 - 2002
The beginning of Taekwon-Do began with one man by the name of Choi Hong Hi or better known to most as Grandmaster General Choi Hong Hi. As a child, his parents were constantly concerned for his health, as he was frail and sickly.
General Choi was then introduced to the ancident Korean Art of foot fighting called Taek Kyon, he learned from Mr. Han II Dong to build up his physique and body resistance. General Choi later met a Korean who taught him Japanese Martial Art Karate, enabling him to attain a black belt. Combining both techniques of Karate and the ancient Korea art of foot fighting, General Choi Hong Hi gave life to Taekwon-Do.
In 1955 Taekwon-Do was signaled as a recognized art in Korea and a board was formed to include leading masters, instructors, historians and prominent leaders in society. On the 11th April, General Choi Hong Hi decided to officially name this art Taekwon-Do and after eleven years later on 22nd March 1966 General Choi founded ITF is the International Taekwon-Do Federation.
Taekwon-Do spread quickly under the presidency of General Choi and through his students; it was introduce to the greatest military academy in the world, and was made a compulsory subject for the entire arm forces as well as police force in South Korea.
In August 1988, the father of Taekwon-Do, General Choi was able to realize his dream when his art was introduced to every continent in the world, breaking the boundaries of religion, race, nationality or ideological boundaries, uniting the people all over the world with harmony through Taekwon-Do.
The late General passed on 15th June 2002 and his wish was that all instructors would follow his example by devoting their time towards brining Taekwon-Do into schools in their respective countries to help bring people together with a common goal.
The basic ideals for the Taekwon-Do practitioners:
By developing an upright mind and a strong body, we will acquire the self-confidence to stand on the side of justice at all times
We shall unite with all men in a common brotherhood, without regard to religion, race, national or ideological boundaries.
We shall dedicate ourselves to building a peaceful human society in which justice, morality, trust and humanism prevail.
It is said that introducing the art is not enough; instructors must also concern themselves with imbuing and maintaining a positive influence that will serve as a guiding light to the student. Only then can he be considered as a practitioner of Taekwon-Do.