It is often said that there are as many histories of Tae Kwon Do as there are people to tell them. The roots of Tae Kwon Do extend back to ancient times, when records were kept in paintings on walls and stories passed down from family to family. As such, the history of Tae Kwon Do has undergone as many transformations and refinements as the martial art itself. While reading this history, one should keep in mind that this is not the history of Tae Kwon Do, merely a history.
Tae Kwon Do in the 20th Century:
From 1909 to 1945, Japan occupied Korea and outlawed the practice of any martial art. However, Tae Kyon was saved from being forgotten by several individuals who continued to practice it underground. Song Duk Ki and Han Il Dong were such individuals. In 1936, Han Il Dong would begin training an 18 year old youth named Choi Hong Hi who would later help usher in modern Tae Kwon Do.
In 1945, Korea was liberated from Japanese occupation and Tae Kyon underwent a sudden rejuvenation, spreading across the world and becoming wildly popular. However, due to the need for secrecy during the occupation, the art form lacked unity. Many different schools opened, beginning with Chung Do Kwan by Master Won-Kuk Lee. Tae Kyon also grew within the government, as Duk-Sung Son, a senior student of Master Won-Kuk Lee and second Quajanim of Chung Do Kwan after GM Lee, began teaching Tae Kwon Do to policeman in Seoul.
After the Korean War, President Sungman Rhee of South Korea sat for a 30 minute demonstration of the Korean martial art. So impressed was he by the demonstration that he ordered that all Korean soldiers be trained in Tae Kyon.
|Tae Kwon Do in Ancient Times||Tae Kwon Do in the 20th Century|
|The Naming of Tae Kwon Do||Tae Kwon Do Comes to America|
|The Formation of ITF, WTF and Kukkiwon|
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