Chronological History

of Tae Kwon Do

Taekwondo, a self-defense art using hands and feet to repel against an enemy, has been developed
independently over 20 centuries in Korea. Its origins can be traced to the three kingdoms periods in
Korean history. In Koguryo, the ancient kingdom to the north, mural paintings discovered among the
ruins of the royal tombs built between 3 AD and 427 AD, show the scenes of Taekwondo practices.
In the Southeast portion of Korea, the smallest kingdom known as Silla, one can see two giant
statues in Taekwondo stances which guard the meditation buddha at Sokkuram ruins located at

The earliest known style of self-defense in Korea was called Soo Bak Do. Loosely translated as the
way of punching and butting. Soo Bak Do was most popular among the peasant and city dwellers as
a sport and a form of unarmed self-defense. Later, during the three kingdoms period, in approximately
the fifth century AD, a cadre of young aristocrats came together as a special class of military leaders
and warriors to defend the Korean kingdom of Silla. Known as the HwaRang or flowering youth.
These Korean aristocrats combined the principles of Soo Bak Do with the adapted fighting styles of
wild animals found in the Korean wilderness.

1906 Song Duk Ki at the age of thirteen begins to learn Tae Kyon in Korea from Hue Lim
1909 Japan annexes Korea. Korean's are banned from being able to practice fighting arts
1929 Nam Tae Hi is born in Seoul, Korea
1930's Korea Choi Hong Hi "father of Taekwon-do" begins his martial art training under Han Il Dong, who was trained under Duk Ki Song.
1936 Korea Hwang Kee masters Tae Kyon and Soo Bak Do at the age of twenty-two, travels to north China to study the "T'ang Method" of Kung Fu.
1937 Choi Hong Hi begins training in Kyoto, Japan under Shotokan instructor Mr. Kim.
1939 Choi Hong Hi recieves his 1st Dan in Shotokan after two years of intensive training.
1944 Korea After learning Tae Kyon and Sabak from his neighbors and Shotokan karate from G. Funakoshi in his college years, Byung Jick Ro, opens
          first dojang in Kae-Sung and Kwan Duk Gung (archery school), which lasted three months due to limited enrollment. He called his style Song Moo Kwan.
1945 Korea After Korea's liberation Tae Kyon an Sabak resurfaced. Hwang Kee combines his martial knowlege into Tang Soo Do. Many other martial
          arts begins to come to light. Yun Moo Kwan founded by Sup Chun Sang.
1945 Korea The Chung Do Kwan school the first to have a school and openly teach a empty hand martial. It was founded by Won Kook Lee
1946 Korea Byung Ro opens second dojang in Kae Sung. this attempt was unsuccessfull due to the onset of the Korean War
1946 Korea Yun Pyung (aka In Yoon Byung) establishes Chang Moo Kwan at a YMCA. Chi Do Kwan is founded by Yon Kue Pyang
1949 Choi Hong Hi visits Ft Riley Ground General School in Kansas and gave a public demonstration on Korean Karate in the USA
1952 Nam Tae Hi gives demonstration before Korea President Syngman Rhee which results in all soldiers being mandated to receive training
1953 Nam Tae Hi meets General Choi Hong Hi in Cheju Island Korea
1953 Byung Ro opens third dojang in Seoul Korea following the Korean War. This time it is successful
1953 Korea On May 25, nine Grandmasters of the Kwan styles come togther to form the Kong Soo Do Association
         It was the first organization developed by the Korean Martial Arts Community
1953 Korea Oh Do Kwan is founded by Hong Hi Choi
1955 Korea Conference of masters on April 11, merges the Korean Arts and kwans, they decide to call the unified arts Tae Soo Do
1956 Jhoon Rhee arrives in Texas and teaches the first American class in Tae Kwon Do
1957 Korea Korean masters change name of unified art Tae Soo Do to "Tae Kwon Do"
1958 USA Jhoon Rhee open school and begins teaching Taekwondo in the US
1958 Hwang Kee Kee, founder of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan withdraws his membership fomr the Kong Soo Do Association and establishes the
          Korean Tang Soo Do Association
1959  Choi Hong Hi becomes the president of the Oh Do Kwan
1959  Nam Tae Hi and a small contingent become one of the first ambassadors of Taekwon-do. At the direction General Choi they traveling
          to Vietnam and Taiwan
1960  Master Woo Jong Lim created Tae Kwon Do Championships,
first ever held in Korea
  Choi Keun Chang wins the 1st Tae Kwon Do
          [Oh Do Kwan] Championship in Pattern and Sparring in Won Ju, Kang Won Do, Korea
1960's Il Joo Kim, Moo Myung Yun, Byung Yul Lee, Joon Pyu Choi, Yang Kyu Yu, Chang Jin Kang, Hin Il Chang, Tae Ryang Chang, begin
           Song Moo Kwan dojangs throughout the USA
1961  June 25th Korean Taekwondo Association was formed and was recognized on that date by the Korean Amateur Athletic Union
1961   October Taekwondo became an official event at the 43rd Annual National Athletic meet
1961  Sihak Henry Cho opens first "commercial" Tae Kwon Do school in the USA
1963  Choi Keun Chang wins the First Korean Tae Soo Do (Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do and Kong Soo Do) Full Contact Heavy-Weight
           Championship in the 3rd/4th/5th/ Degree Black Belt Division in February
1964  Woo Yup Yang  (a current member of the World Taekwondo Aliance) becomes head instrutor of  Chung Do Kwan in Korea
1964  Kim Pyung Soo becomes the first Korean correspondent (reporting from Korea) for Black Belt Magazine
1964  Jhoon Rhee becomes first Korean Instructor to host a national championships in America (Grand Champion was Pat Burleson)
1965  Henry Cho becomes the second Korean instructor to host a national championships in America entitled the "All American Open Kung-fu,
          Karate,Taekwondo Championships"  - Grand Champion was Thomas LaPuppet,a Japanese (Shotokan) stylist
1962  Richard Chun begins teaching in New York
1962  Haeng Ung Lee arrives in U.S. and begins teaching in Omaha, NE
1964 Canada Chong Lee introduces Taekwondo to Canada. (Montreal, Quebec)  His first blackbelt instructors were brothers Ray and Stan Nikiel
1965 Korean Taekwondo Association became the official name of the Taekwondo governing body in Korea.
         The six major schools represented were Ji Do Kwan, Moo Do Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, Song Moo Kwan, Chung Do Kwan, and
          Han Moo Kwan
1966  Choi Hong Hi resigns as the President of the Korean Taekwondo Association. He founds the International Taekwon-do Federation
          in Seoul, Korea encouraged by Kim Bok Man
1968  Cho Sang Min becomes head instructor of the International Taekwon-do Federation Training Center (ITF) in Korea until 1970
1970  Cho Sang Min moves to and introduces Taekwon-do to Brazil.  He serves asPpresident and Head Instuctor of the Brazil Taekwon-do
          Federation until 1988 at which time he moves to California
1969  Haeng Ung Lee founds the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) in Omaha, Nebraska
1970  Ken Min (University of California-Berkeley) becomes 1st president of the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association until 1986
1971  Master Dong Keun Park 6 time Korea national opens school in Jersey City,USA. During this period a considerably large number of
          Korean Taekwondo instructors arrive and open schools all across the USA
1971-72 Numerous tournaments spring up during this period hosted by Korean instructors Ki Whang Kim, II Joo Kim, Kim Pyung Soo,
          Ki Chung Kim, Mahn Suh Park, Kang Rhee, Howard Lee and others. A young Mike Warren exhibit supremacy in these tournaments.
1972  Nam Tae Hi moves to Chicago
1972  Construction of Kukkiwon was completed - November 30th
1973  The USTF is founded with a mandate to teach and promote TaeKwon-Do according to the guidance of the late General Choi Hong Hi
1973  Nam Tae Hi opens dojang
1973  Young II Kong and International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Demonstration Team Members, along with General Choi, visit more
           than 127 countries as part of ongoing ambassadorship for Taekwon-Do
1973  World Taekwondo Federation is formed in Seoul, Korea which hosts first World Taekwondo Championships
          Richard Chun and David Kim are USA Coaches. Kyung Ho Min is Team Manager. Mike Warren wins individual silver medal, Joseph
          Hayes and Albert Cheeks win individual bronze while USA team garners overall silver. 
1974  International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF) hosts it's first World Championships in Montreal Canada (Charles Sereff serves as USA Coach)
          USA team member John Holloway places gold in Heavyweight sparring and 2nd in Breaking
1974 Korea Chung Bong poomse developed by Jay Hyon are first performed, adding it to Song Moo Kwan's many other poomse, which included
         Pinan, Chang Hon, and Tae Guek
1974 1st Asian Taekwondo Championships were held in Seoul, Korea on October 18th
1975  USA AAU Taekwondo Association is formed
1975  First National AAU Taekwondo Championships in held at Yale University in New Haven ,Connecticut
           Gerard Robbins becomes the first athlete to win dual gold medals in sparring (heavyweight ) and  forms
1975   The WTF was affiliated to the General Association of International Sports Federations [GAISF]
1975  2nd World Taekwondo Championships is held in Seoul, Korea with first official USA national team participating.
          Dong Keun Park student Dennis Robinson becomes the first official AAU national team member to medal (bronze) in WTF sponsored
          world championship
1976 USA Hee Sang Ro moves from Korea to North America
1976  The International Military Sports Council [CISM] adopted Taekwondo as its 23rd official sport for the
          World Military Championships on April 9th
1977 3rd World Taekwondo (WTF) Championships is held in Stuttgard, Germany. USA team member John Holloway wins bronze
         becoming the first athlete in history to medal in both ITF and WTF world championship events 
1978 Inaugural meeting of the Pan American Taekwondo Union held on the occasion of the 1st Pan American Taekwondo Championships
          held in Mexico City, Mexico. USA Team members win overall gold during Sept 17-22nd
1978 2nd I.T.F. World Championships is held in Oklahoma City, USA - Puerto Rico's Benny Rivera becomes the first Latin American
         to win a world Taekwon-do Championship
1978 2nd National AAU Taekwondo Championships is held in Howard University in Washington D.C.
1978 USA team participates in first PreWorld Games held in Seoul, Korea
1978 USA team participates in 1st Pan Am Taekwondo Championships held in Mexico, City
1979 African Taekwondo Union was inaugurated in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on the occasion of the 1st African Taekwondo
         Championships April 10-12,
1979 4th National Taekwondo Championships is held in Dayton, Ohio USA
1980 Choi Keun Chang designs the ITF Uniform Logo. Advised Gen. Choi not to take ITF Tae Kwon Do Demonstration Team to North Korea
1980 USA Jay Hyon retires from teaching and passes it over to Hee Sang Ro, the sone of Byung Jick Ro
1980  Amaerican Taekwondo (ATA) becomes the first martial arts organization in the USA to introduce a
           centralized computer record keeping system
1981  Gen. Choi Hong Hi traveled to Queensland, Australia, accompanied by Choi Chang Keun, to declare, open the first Pacific Area
          Taekwon-Do Championships
1982 General Choi Hong Hi formed the North America Taekwon-Do Federation in Toronto, Canada
1985 General Choi publishes the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do
1986  First World Cup Taekwondo Championship was held in Colorado Springs, Colorado - July 3rd
1986 Yong Chin Pak  (Iowa State University) becomes 2nd president of  National Collegiate Taekwondo Association
1986  First FISU game was held at the University of California at Berkeley
1987  First Women's World Taekwondo Championships were held in Barcelona, Spain - October7th
1988  General Choi Hong Hi introduces and teaches Taekwon-do in Moscow, U.S.S.R. with an ITF demonstration team
1988  Korea Taekwondo is introduced as a demonstration sport in the Olympics USA's Arlene Limas and Jimmy Kim win gold
1990  Park Jung Tae and Scott Mcneely organize the Global Taekwon-Do Federation (GTF)
1990  Haeng Ung Lee hosts  first ATA World Championships in the USA
1992  Barcelona hosts Olympic Games with Taekwondo as a continuing demonstration sport. USA's Herb Perez wins middleweight gold
1999 Taekwondo Hall of Fame is created in the USA as more persons are practicing Taekwondo per capita than in any other country
2000  Sydney Australia hosts Olympic Games - Steven Lopez becomes first American male to win an Official Olympic Medal (gold)
2000  Master Haeng Ung Lee  (founder of ATA) passes away in October
2002  Park Jung Tae president of the Global Taekwon-Do Federation (GTF) passes away. His wife Linda Park beomes president
2002  Scott McNeely forms the World Taekwon-Do Alliance after the death of Grand Master Park Jung Tae.
2002  General Choi Hong Hi passes away in his homeland North Korea
2003  Yong II Kong  co-founds the International Ch'Ang-Hon Taekwon-Do Federation
2004  Athens, Greece hosts Olympic Games - Nia Abdallah becomes first American female to win an Official Olympic Medal (bronze)
2006  Yong II Kong assumes the role of president of the World Taekwondo Alliance (WTA)
2006  Taekwondo Hall of  Fame receives official registered trademark status  from the USPTO (first time in the world)
2007  Rex Hatfield becomes 3rd president of National Collegiate Taekwondo Association
2007  Inaugural official Taekwondo Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet is held in USA attended by pioneers Great Grandmaster
          Nam Tae Hi,  GM Kim Bok Man, GM Rhee Ki Ha, GM Choi Keun Chang,  GM Park Dong Keun, GM Kim Pyung Soo,
          GM Cho Sang Min, GM Young II Kong, GM Jhoon Rhee, GM Roy Washington, GM Mounir Ghwari, GM David Kim, Joseph
          Hayes and USA team members that competed in the 1st World Taekwondo Championships held in Seoul, Korea in 1973. Others
          attended who were inducted along with the above included  Master John Hollway who won gold at the 1st ITF World Championships
          held in Montreal, Canada in 1974.   Legendary USA fighters and pioneers from the early 60's and 70's who were inducted included
          Allen Steen, Mitchell Bobrow, Skipper Mullins, and Joe Corley.
2009  2nd official Taekwondo Hall of Fame Ceremony chaired by Dr. GM Tae Yun Kim honors General Choi Hong Hi, GM Kang Suh
          Chong, GM Dr. Tae Yun Kim, GM Ki Whang Kim, GM Park Jong Tae, GM Byung, Moo Lee, Master Chew Teck Seong,
          GM Chong Soo Lee, Master Miroslav Brezan, Master Marcia Hall, Master Sunny Graff, Master George Thanos, Master Dennis
          Robinson, Master Han Won Lee, Master Alain Dumaine and others from Austria, South Africa, Nigera, Mali, Argentina, Peru and


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