Named in 1955, Taekwondo is the national Martial Art and sport of Korea, and is very popular worldwide. It was developed through a blend of ancient Korean fighting skills that emphasized kicking, and traditional culture, with both Chinese and Japanese influences. Taekwondo competition is now an official Olympic event.

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What is a room that is used for tae kwon do called?

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A place where you practice Taekwondo is called a Dojang 도장 (pronounced "doe - jahng). It can be defined as a "gym" or "hall of the way," and applies to the practice room, as well as the building itself.

When did Tae Kwon Do become an official sport in the Olympic Games?

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Taekwondo first became a medal sport at the 2000 Games in Sydney after having been a demonstration sport at the 1988 Games in Seoul and the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

Taekwondo made its Olympic debut in 1988 at the Seoul, Korea Games (appropriately enough). It continued as a demonstration sport at 1992 Games in Barcelona, Spain. Taekwondo was not part of the 1996 Atlanta Games. The International Olympic Committee voted against inclusion of demonstrations sports. Taekwondo became a medal sport at the 2000 Sydney, Australia Games. It continued as an Olympic sport in 2004 at the Athens, Greece Games and in 2008 at the Beijiing, China Games.

Following several controversial scoring decisions and upsets and the very unsportsmanlike behavior of the athlete from Cuba, there was fear that taekwondo would be cut from the roster in 2012, but taekwondo has been confirmed as an Olympic sport for the 2012 Games in London and also for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

What are the weight divisions in Tae Kwon Do?

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* Finweight: Under 118.8 pounds

* Flyweight: 118.8--127.6 pounds

* Bantamweight: 127.7--136.4 pounds

* Featherweight: 136.5--147.4 pounds

* Lightweight: 147.5--158.4 pounds

* Welterweight: 158.5--171.6 pounds

* Middleweight: 171.7--184.8 pounds

* Heavyweight: Over 184.8 pounds

Female * Finweight: Under 103.4 pounds

* Flyweight: 103.4-112.2 pounds

* Bantamweight: 112.3--121.0 pounds

* Featherweight: 121.1--129.8 pounds

* Lightweight: 129.9--138.6 pounds

* Welterweight: 138.7--147.4 pounds

* Middleweight: 147.5--158.4 pounds

* Heavyweight: Over 158.4 pounds

* Finweight: Under 99.0 pounds

* Flyweight: 99.1--105.8 pounds

* Bantamweight: 105.9--112.4 pounds

* Featherweight: 112.5--121.2 pounds

* Lightweight: 121.3--130.0 pounds

* Welterweight: 130.1--138.9 pounds

* Light Middleweight: 139.0--149.9 pounds

* Middleweight: 150.0-160.9 pounds

* Light Heavyweight: 161.0--172.0 pounds

* Heavyweight: Over 172.0 pounds

* Finweight: Under 92.5 pounds

* Flyweight: 92.5--97.0 pounds

* Bantamweight: 97.1--101.4 56 pounds

* Featherweight: 101.5--108.0 pounds

* Lightweight: 108.1--114.6 pounds

* Welterweight: 114.7--121.2 pounds

* Light Middleweight: 121.3--130.0 pounds

* Middleweight: 130.1--138.9 pounds

* Light Heavyweight: 139.0--149.9 pounds

* Heavyweight: Over 149.9 pounds

* Finweight: Under 54kg

* Flyweight: 54--58kg

* Bantamweight: 58--62kg

* Featherweight: 62--67kg

* Lightweight: 67--72kg `

* Welterweight: 72--78kg

* Middleweight: 78--84kg

* Heavyweight: Over 84kg

* Finweight: Under 47kg

* Flyweight: 47--51kg

* Bantamweight: 51--55kg

* Featherweight: 55--59kg

* Lightweight: 59--63kg

* Welterweight: 63--67kg

* Middleweight: 67--71kg

* Heavyweight: Over 71kg

* Finweight: Under 45kg

* Flyweight: 45--48kg

* Bantamweight: 48--51kg

* Featherweight: 51--55kg

* Lightweight: 55--59kg

* Welterweight: 59--63kg

* Light Middleweight: 63--68kg

* Middleweight: 68--73kg

* Light Heavyweight: 73--78kg

* Heavyweight: Over 78kg

* Finweight: Under 42kg

* Flyweight: 42--44kg

* Bantamweight: 44--46kg

* Featherweight: 46--49kg

* Lightweight: 49--52kg

* Welterweight: 52--55kg

* Light Middleweight: 55--59kg

* Middleweight: 59--63kg

* Light Heavyweight: 63--68kg

* Heavyweight: Over 68kg


What is the strongest kick power?

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[Note: While debates can rage on with personal opinions, these are best served on the discussion page for this question.]

The answer to this question might be expressed in personal opinions by many students of various skill levels in a variety of Martial Art systems. Nevertheless, the facts can be supported by scientific testing, however there has been no conclusive, scientific tests that verify which kick is the most "powerful", but an experienced Master will know what results come from each kick. The question can be misleading since "power" deals more with the science of physics where power is the rate of work done, or force applied as energy is transferred over a distance in a specific amount of time. In other words, fast kicks might have power, but could lack in the total force penetrating the target. The important factor is not so much the "power" of the kick as it is the maximum total force generated.

Some kicks increase their applied force through rapid acceleration in a short time. This results in a greater impact, and extensive visible damage to a target. However, all kicks are either linear or circular, and use one of three hip positions: Front, Side, or Back. For example, a front kick can be thrust on a straight line into the mid-section while using a front hip position (kicker's abdomen facing the target). A crescent kick also uses a front hip position, but travels on a circular path. The side kick follows a linear path with the hips facing to the side. The roundhouse kick and hook kick also uses the side hip position, but they both travel on a circular path.

While the circular kicks can deliver a great deal of force through rapid acceleration, and a somewhat pendulum like pivot with added extension or retraction of the knee joint, the applied force is not supported by the bone structure which considerably reduces the amount of reaction force capable of returning into the target. This can cut the potential total force nearly in half.

The side kick is the only kick (regardless of which Martial Art system employs it), that uses the most sound geometric shape and structure of the human anatomy to reinforce the applied force. The side kick can be applied numerous ways, and some are more suited for taking advantage of the rapid acceleration, mechanics of the muscles and joints, and the reinforced locking of the body which is supported by the rear foot securely planted on the floor.

The basic rotation of a front leg, or back leg side kick contains good reinforced position, but is not able to utilize the greatest amount of acceleration and mechanics. The skipping side kick has a better rotation of the hips from the beginning of the kick, and adds the momentum of the body to help reinforce the initial impact. The flying side kick can be equally as forceful with the forward motion of the body to support the kick, however the body is not planted on the ground, thus some initial applied force dissipates.

Probably the most powerful kick able to be delivered by the human body, when all kicks are mastered, is the spinning (or turning) side kick. This kick uses the most ideal hip position, mechanics of combining hip and knee extension simultaneously, the necessary acceleration as the kick progresses, and is the still supported by a firmly planted rear foot for maximum use of the reaction force. Even this kick must be mastered to combine all proper alignment, timing of muscle contractions, targeting, and a forward thrust of the entire body which is supported by the rear foot and floor.

[please see the discussion page for personal experience and opinions of contributors]

What does a green Tae Kwon Do belt mean?

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Colored belts represent a students progress toward black belt. Each belt represents a certain level of skill or a certain set of skills. Taekwondo does not have a uniform color order for student belts. Each school sets its own colors, color order and number of student grades. Each school also sets its own curriculum, so two students from different school with the same color belt might not know all the same kicks, blocks or forms. For example, in my school while studying for our yellow belt, we learned palm blocks, front stance, round house kick and side kick. Other schools might teach those skills at a different level, for a different belt.

All belt systems are based on the system developed by Kanō Jigorō, the Japanese founder of Judo. Kanō introduced Judo to Japan at the turn of the twentieth century. Originally, there were six student grades referred to by number. A student would begin at Grade 6 and work up to Grade 1, and then they would graduate to black belt. The black belts were divided into 9 ranks. A student would begin at Rank 1 and work up to Rank 9. Black belt ranks have been standardized, but student grades have not.

Poetically, the white belt symbolizes innocence. It's the first step on your taekwondo journey. The yellow belt represents the earth in which the roots of your taekwondo skills will grow. The green belt represents a plant growing from the earth as the student's taekwondo skills develop. The blue belt represents the sky or heaven toward which the student's taekwondo skills stretch. The red belt symbolizes danger. At this stage the student is very skilled in taekwondo. This skill could be dangerous if the student has not also learned self-control. A black belt represents maturity, a good level of skill in taekwondo, rejection of darkness and fear.

The belts in Tae Kwon Do symbolize ranking. For example, the lowest rank is a white belt. The way you move up in rank differentiates between Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi, and other forms of martial arts. Specifically in Tae Kwon Doe, for each belt there is a certain number of "stripes" that you can earn. Once you earn those stripes by performing and memorizing different steps and moves in a certain sequence, then you may "test." At testing, you will perform a "form"- which is a certain sequence of special moves. If the instructor deems you ready to move on to the next belt, you will be rewarded with a belt higher.

Here is the number, order and significance of each belt from

White Belt:

The lack of color signifies purity and innocence. The novice has no knowledge of tae kwon do.

Yellow Belt:

The color of the rising sun. Seeds in the ground begin to germinate and grow. Basic tae kwon do techniques begin to be learned.

Orange Belt:

The color of the rising sun. Seeds in the ground begin to germinate and grow. Basic tae kwon do techniques begin to be learned.

Green Belt:

The color of growing things that all can see. Power begins to develop.

Blue / Purple Belt:

The color of the sky which growing things reach for. Physical and mental power starts to stabilize.

Brown Belt:

The color of the ground where growing things are rooted firmly. Stability of physical and mental power is apparent.

Red / Bodan Belt:

The color of blood, the essential life force. Maturity, honor and respect are exhibited as character begins to perfect.

Black Belt:Black is the combination of all color. The final stage where technique is mastered within the humble and serene beauty of the plant.

See the related link for belt ranks.
In Tae Kwon Do, the color of your belt represents your rank. White is the lowest rank, and black is the highest.

What is the most important nature of Tae Kwon Do training?

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Many taekwondo practicioners will have different opinions as to which is most important. Here are some opinions:

  1. kick
  2. balance
  3. concentration
  4. focus
  5. respect

Why did Tae Kwon Do originate from Korea?

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Taekwondo is a Korean Martial Art whose techniques come from a variety of sources with the core curriculum being based on former native Korean combative methods of Subak and Tae Kkyeon. Although most of the modern techniques are of recent development, they are influenced by ancient origins, and the entire art is comprised of culture, philosophy, character development and warrior training that dates back to the 1st Century BC.

The key influence on Taekwondo techniques was the tactic of using the legs as the primary weapon, followed by hand strikes, then throws & take-downs, and finally grappling and ground-fighting. Thus, the Korean Tae Kkyeon was the impetus for kicking, which was supplemented by the Japanese Judo which was transformed into Korean "yudo"; Aikido transformed into hapkido; and the hand strikes of Korean Subak, Chinese Tangsudo (Tang So Do), and Japanese Shotokan Karate-do were combined to make Taekwondo a complete and balanced system of self defense.

Taekwondo had its curriculum of techniques and tactics initiated in 1944 with the opening of the Chung Do Kwan, the first official Korean school authorized during the Japanese occupation. The Korean Army training within the Oh Do Kwan (military off-shoot of the Chung Do Kwan), provided another source of influence. The art is still being refined and modified today. The modern establishment of the national Korean Martial Art of Taekwondo started with the naming of the newly unified system on April 11, 1955, and the official establishment of the Korea Taekwondo Association in 1961. With the creation of the Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Headquarters), in Seoul, Korea, in 1972, Taekwondo's international curriculum, along with Black Belt and Instructor certification became standardized worldwide.

It should be noted that over the first few decades of Taekwondo's development, several Kwans (family of schools) were created and branched out into organizations, which resulted both major federations, and independent schools that follow their own syllabus, and use a variety techniques, tactics, and strategies that differs in many ways from the origin of Korean Taekwondo, the KTA, and the Kukkiwon.

What does self control mean?

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Exactly what it says - control of yourself.

For example; if you were sparring with a child, you would need self control to ensure you didn't go too hard on them or hurt them.

Is there a green belt in Tae Kwon Do?

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In Korean Tae Kwon Do, green belt is the third belt after white belt and means that you are of intermediate rank and may progress from solo one-step forms to free sparring.

The green belt represents a student's progress toward black belt. It represents a certain level of skill or a certain set of skills. Each school sets its own curriculum, so two students from different school with a green belt might not know all the same kicks, blocks or forms.

All belt systems are based on the system developed by Kanō Jigorō, the Japanese founder of Judo (and Jujitsu.) Originally, there were six student grades referred to by number. A student would begin at Grade 6 and work up to Grade 1: (6) white, (5) yellow, (4) orange, (3) green, (2) blue, (1) red. Then they would graduate to black belt. The black belts were divided into 9 ranks. A student would begin at Rank 1 and work up to Rank 9. Black belt ranks have been standardized, but student grades have not.

Poetically, the green belt represents a plant growing from the earth as the student's skills develop.

Who are the people who hold a 10th degree black belt?

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There are a limited number of true 10th Dans in the world. Many of the Japanese styles do not even go that high. They feel that 10th Dan should only be awarded to the originator of the art. The Okinawa karate styles have a single 10th Dan in each style. To meet and train with one is an honor.

How long does it take to get a red belt in Tae Kwon Do after a white belt?

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The frequency and number of belt tests between white belt and red belt will vary from school to school, but it should be approximately two-and-a-half years. Black belts usually take three years, and red belts are just one or two steps below the black belt.

What are the pressure points that cause paralysis?

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The knowledge of pressure points in the Martial Art is a serious, and potentially dangerous skill. While the internet is filled with sources of data, void of any personal direction, guidance, or integrity, any responsible expert in this field knows that this kind of information should not be imparted without proper instruction, and safety guidelines. Sometimes, the best information anyone on the internet can offer is not the answer to the question, but where to seek qualified training on a subject that will result in an improved understanding of the art and skill.

Find a certified teacher in your area who has this knowledge, and get personal instructions to avoid potential serious injury through misuses, or misunderstanding.

How many people do tae kwon do in the US?

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Over 2,000 studios in US. and there are over 30,000 compations for tae kwon do alone in the US.

Who has a rank of tenth dan in Tae Kwon Do?

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The World Taekwondo Headquarters has only ever issued 6 official Kukkiwon 10th Dan. They were issued to the following men, all after death except for Dr. Sang Kee Paik and Dr. Un Yong Kim.

  1. Yong Ki Pae (aka Young Ki Pae) (Jidokwan). Grandmaster Yong was the first student of Sang Sup Chun, founder of the Jidokwan. The Jidokwan (or Ji Do Kwan) is one of the original nine schools taekwondo. It was founded in what is now South Korea at the end of World War II. Its name translates as school of wisdom. Master Yong had the earliest relation with Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan (aka Chosun Yun Moo Kwan) one of the few schools of Judo permitted in Korea during the Japanese occupation. He started his first training from the Soo Song Dong period.
  2. Chong Soo Hong (Moo Duk Kwan),
  3. Il Sup Chun (Jidokwan),
  4. Nam Suk Lee (Chang Moo Kwan),
  5. Sang Kee Paik (1929-2009) - Master Paik began studying martial arts in 1945. He emmigrated to the United States in 1969. In 1971, Master Paik was a pathologist working in the psychology department of the University of Wisconsin. He introduced the creative form competition in the 1990 United States Taekwondo Union National Championships which he hosted at the Dane County Coliseum in Madison, Wisconsin.
  6. Un Yong Kim former president of the kukkiwon, the World Taekwondo Federation and the Korea Taekwondo Association. Master Kim is largely responsible for the constuction of the kukkiwon gymnasium in 1972.

Grand Master Lee Woon Kook, head of the Chung Do Kwan (gym of the Blue Wave) was the first Grand Master to achieve the 10th Degree Black Belt in

Tae Kwon-Do

Ki Whang Kim was promoted to 10th Dan in 1971 by the Korean Taekwondo Association before the Kukkiwon came together.

How did Tae Kwon Do become popular?

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Probably as a result of the promotion of Far Eastern martial Arts in the West.

Throughout a period that spanned roughly the late '70s to the mid '90s, interest grew in Western society regarding the martial arts that were practiced in the Far Eastern countries such as Korea, China, and Japan. This was promoted by some of the martial arts films that came out of the same period and starred the likes of David Carradine, etc.

Karate and Judo had always been a minority martial arts sport that had been persued in Western countries ever since Victorian times, but US popular culture accelerated the level of interest in martial arts via film and TV shows. People who were not particularly physically strong suddenly realised that they could defend themselves by the use of Oriental martial arts if they found themselves to be bullied, threatened or abused, and the enthusiasm for the technique found itself a new following in Western society.

How long does it take to get a third degree blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do?

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6 years - To be eligible to go for your third danblack belt you should have been training for a minimum of six years, depending on how often you train and how hard you train. It should take approximately three years to achieve your first dan, but it could take longer. Traditionally, you must remain at first dan for one year before you can test for second dan. You must remain at second dan for two years before you can test for third dan (3 + 1 + 2 = 6). It remains at the discretion of your instructor and your master when you are eligible promotion. He or she will consider your physical ability as well as your mental control, focus and attitude.

One interesting exception to the waiting periods between dan promotions is the winning of world championship or an Olympic medal. Champions and medalists are often promoted one rank in recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments.

Why is tae kwon do so important to Korea?

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Taekwondo can be important for so many reasons! Self Defense is one of the main reasons people take Taekwondo. I love Taekwondo because its pure fun! It can help your memory and stamina. It also helps kids with ADHD calm down a bit. This question is a question that requires alot of opinions.

What is required to get the yellow belt in taekwondo?

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This depends on the style of karate, but usually the test for yellow belt includes some combination of demonstrating single-step basics (blocks, punches, kicks), one or two basic kata, and some kind of basic board breaking.

Why people play Tae Kwon Do?

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Pros: Any good and proper martial arts practice will strengthen the mind and body when taught correctly, and followed diligently. The body will become more flexible and coordinated and a person will better know how and when to defend themselves. Taekwondo is one of the most common martial arts in the US and schools can be found in many towns, which make it very flexible if you are moving around. Genuine Taekwondo utilizes a full curriculum of striking, throwing, and holding, and is not limited to just kicks. However, when the kicks are used, they become the most powerful, and destructive techniques of unarmed combat. In addition, Taekwondo experts are equally effective and deadly with hand strikes, knees, and elbows for close range fighting. The ground-fighting is also not absent in traditional Taekwondo like many people believe. Ground-fighting tactics differ in Taekwondo, and preference is placed on releases, escapes, joint manipulations, and close range striking, but joint locks, holds, and chokes are also part of the curriculum.

Cons: As far as a "con" of Taekwondo, keep in mind that many people have their own opinions, but opinions are not facts. Just because certain individuals who look at Taekwondo from the outside have little to no actual knowledge of the art, or have had bad experiences with poor instruction, and failed to defend themselves effectively with their limited knowledge of Taekwondo, does not mean that Taekwondo itself is flawed. The only real negative thing about Taekwondo is that many people are falsely imitating the art, and opening schools without proper education as certified Black Belts or obtaining special training as Instructors. If a person is studying at a so-called Taekwondo school, but is not learning the throwing, grappling and ground-fighting skills associated with Taekwondo, then they are not learning the complete Taekwondo curriculum. If someone thinks that the greater emphasis on ground fighting in systems like Judo, or Jujutsu is superior to Taekwondo, then their "opinion" is not supported by any sound evidence. Furthermore, the popularity of the sport aspect of Taekwondo (which does not accurately represent the complete Martial Art of Taekwondo) causes some people to experience training that is only geared toward tournament rules. Also, modern family oriented clubs tend to tone down the training for moms, dads, and their kids, which results in the next generation of so-called "Black Belts" thinking they are qualified to teach the art of Taekwondo. None of this is really a negative attribute of Taekwondo itself, but reflects on the image of Taekwondo, and speaks to the deterioration of quality when teaching Taekwondo in '''some''' schools. The fact is that Taekwondo continues to be an effective and formidable Martial Art when taught correctly, and the only "con" is that too many schools do not teach Taekwondo correctly. [note: contributors here who wish to express their "opinions" and personal experiences with their own Taekwondo training limitations should do so on the discussion page]

What does the Tae Kwon Do uniform stand for?

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The taekwondo uniform is very much like the uniforms worn by martial artists studying karate or judo. The most unique thing about the taekwondo uniform is the V-neck. The jacket pulls over the top rather than wrapping around the chest.

People do not usually wear shoes while doing taekwondo.

When sparring, people wear specially designed guards over their head, chest, arms, hands, shins, feet, groin and mouth. The guard that people wear to protect themselves is called a hogo.

How long does it take to get to black belt in Tae Kwon Do?

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Well, I cannot tell what style you do so this is what the Tae Kwon Do belt order and time. (After the month means since you started.)

White Belt- You start with this.

Yellow Belt- Test after 3 months.

Green Belt- Test after 6 months.

Blue Belt- Test after 9 months.

Purple Belt- Test after 1 year.

Red Belt- Test after 15 months.

Brown Belt- Test after 18 months.

Deputy Black Belt- Test after 20 months.

Black Belt- Test a year after you go your Deputy Black Belt.

It depends entirely on how hard you work at it. Things vary from style to style and school to school. Our style has no time limits set on promotions. The only limits are for Dan rankings and you have to have studied for three years before you can test for black belt.

What is the history of taekwondo?

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The history and origins of Taekwondo (aka: Tae Kwon Do, or Taekwon-Do), is very complex, and highly contested among Martial Art experts and historians.

Taekwondo was established as a modern curriculum of Martial Art in South Korea, and given its current name on April 11, 1955. However, the many sources that have culminated into the development of Taekwondo go far back into Korea's early beginnings. Although little is known about the earliest inhabitants of the Korean peninsula, it is likely that the first immigrants from northern China, brought with them fighting skills to protect themselves from enemy attacks. Part of Korea's history shows that it was common among the small primitive communities to gather stones in a pile for defense of their villages. The practice of stone throwing in combat continued into the late 19th century.

In Korea's early years, young men were trained in unarmed combat techniques to develop strength, speed, and survival skills. Developed during the period of the three rival Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo, Silla and Baekje, the most popular of these techniques was subak. Not likely to have been a structured curriculum as we know today, subak was a combination of wrestling and hand strikes. In these early years, Koreans also developed a unique tactic of fighting by using kicks as primary weapon. This became labeled as Tae kkyeon (aka: tae kyon) which means "the method of stomping or kicking." This concept was unique to Korea, and remained a part of the culture, both as a formidable weapon of self defense, and as a sport contest of kicking, and survived to the present day.

Another major influence on today's Taekwondo is the philosophy and code developed for training the youth of Korea's nobility during the 7th century AD. Those young men who demonstrated strong natural aptitude were selected as trainees in a group called the Hwarang - - which means "Flowering men." While there is much controversy over the nature of this group, and the components of the training, it is believed that young boys were guided through their transitional growth as they "blossomed" into men. They were provided with skills that would result in becoming productive members of society or strong military leaders, depending on the individual. Their minds were cultivated in the liberal arts, philosophy, music, poetry, and academics, and they were challenged physically to become skilled fighters. It is believed that they studied unarmed combat (most likely the grappling and kicking of subak and Tae kkyeon), as well as equestrian sports, swordsmanship and archery, both on horseback and on foot.

In spite of Korea's rich history of ancient and traditional martial art, Korean martial art faded into obscurity during the later part of the Yi Dynasty, and into the modern Joseon Dynasty under Japanese rule in the late 19th century and early 20th century AD. Korean society became highly centralized under Korean Confucianism, and the martial art was regarded lowly in a society whose ideals were epitomized by its scholar-kings. Formal practices of traditional martial arts such as subak and tae kkyeon were reserved for sanctioned military training, and were used to fight off the Japanese invasion. However folk practice of tae kkyeon as a kicking game still persisted into the 20th century.

In 1910, Japan officially annexed Korea, and began to force Korean customs, language, and history out while replacing them with Japanese culture. This was a dark and difficult period for Koreans, as many crimes of imprisonment, murder, and rape were committed on the Korean men, women and children by Japanese soldiers. There was much rebellion and unrest. Some Korean men were forced into service in the Japanese military, and others moved to Japan to obtain a college education. During the 35 year oppression, Koreans were not allowed to practice their native Martial Art, so what little survived was practiced in secret. A few Koreans were allowed to study at Japanese Martial Art schools, and learned the skills of Judo, Aikido, and Karate. Other Koreans traveled into China, and learned native fighting systems there to include what would later be taught in Korea as Tang Su Do ("The way of Chinese Hand").

During that time a young Korean, Won Kuk Lee (in Korean - Yi, Won Kuk), learned some Tae kkyeon (kicking method) in the streets of Korea before moving to Japan to attend college. Another young boy name Hong Hi Choi (in Korean - Choi, Hong Hi), states that he learned some Tae kkyeon (Tae Kyon) from his Calligraphy teacher before going to attend High School and college in Japan. Both Lee, and Choi earned their Black Belts in Shotokan Karate under the renowned Karate Master Gichen Funakoshi.

Lee was a senior ranking Black Belt under Sensei Funakoshi, and began teaching his own unique methods as early as 1942. Upon returning to Korea in 1944, College Professor Won Kuk Lee gained permission from the Japanese government to teach the Korean system of Tang Soo Do (based on Chinese Hand fighting of the Tang Dynasty) for the first time in Korea at the Yung Shin School Gymnasium in Sa De Mun, Ok Chun Dong district in Seoul. He incorporated his own unique methods of teaching one-on-one and called his school "Chung Do Kwan" (school of the Blue Wave), officially established in Korea in 1944, see related links below.

After World War II ended (1945) several new Kwans opened up under various names, many of which were formed by Black Belt graduates of the Chung Do Kwan. The original five Kwans were: 1. Chung Do Kwan, founded in 1944 by Lee, Won Kuk (Lee had been teaching since 1942, but the official Kwan was opened in 1944 by permission of the occupying government of Japan), 2. Song Moo Kwan, founded May 2, 1946 by Ro, Byung Jick (Ro had previously taught self defense at an Archery School between March to July of 1944, but the official Kwan did not open until after the occupation), 3. Mu Duk Kwan, founded by Hwang Kee in 1946, 4. Kwon Bop Bu / Chang Mu Kwan, founded by Byung In Yoon in 1946, 5. Yun Moo Kwan / Jidokwan, founded by Sang Sup Chun in 1946.

Much later, there were four more main Kwans: 6. Han Moo Kwan, founded by Kyo Yoon Lee in 1954, 7. Oh Do Kwan, founded by Hong Hi Choi in 1955, 8. Kang Duk Won, founded by Chul Hee Park in 1956, 9. Jung Do Kwan, founded by Yong Woo Lee in 1956.

Some key figures important in the organization and development of Taekwondo as a modern Korean Martial Art included the first generation graduates of the Chung Do Kwan:

Duk Sung Son (3rd Kwanjang of the Chung Do Kwan - Founder of World Taekwondo Association)

Suh Chong Kang (Founder of Kyu Mu Kwan - Co-founder and 1st President of ATA: American Taekwondo Association)

Woon Kyu Uhm (current Chung Do Kwan Kwanjang and former Kukkiwon President)

Later Graduates of the Chung Do Kwan include:

Hae Man Park (Vice President, Taekwondo Chung Do Kwan)

Hyun Ok Shin (President, United Chung Do Kwan Association)

Tae Zee Park (President, Tae Park Taekwondo)

In Mook Kim (President, American ChungDoKwan Taekwondo Association)

Edward B. Sell (Founder, United States Chung Do Kwan Association in 1967)

Jhoon Rhee (First permanent Tae Kwon Do Instructor in America)

By the mid 1950's approximately 18 kwans had opened in Korea, each teaching a variety of Martial Art systems under various names. The original Kwan founders began an effort to unite all of the Kwans into one central organization, and create a name to encompass all of the systems as one Korean Martial Art.

By this time, Hong Hi Choi had worked his way up in the Korean army as a General. In 1955, General Choi spear-headed this effort to organize the many Kwans and create a single governing body. It was determined that the Korean Martial Art was drifting away from its long-time Japanese influence, and becoming a system unique to the Korean culture, philosophy, and regaining the ancient knowledge of Subak, Tae kkyeon, and other skills that were nearly lost.

A new name needed to be chosen to represent the modern culmination of ancient skills with current influences while distancing the new organization from Japanese terms and influences. Chung Do Kwan founder, Grandmaster Won Kuk Lee stated that a few of his students researched the matter, consulting a Korean language dictionary, and came up with the term "Taekwon-Do" to show a close connection to the kicking of the forerunner Korean art of Tae kkyeon.

At a meeting of prominent Korean politicians, historians, and Kwan leaders on April 11, 1955, several ballots were voted upon, and the one containing the term "Taekwon," which is believed to have been submitted by Chung Do Kwan student, General Hong Hi Choi, was selected. Thus, the term "Taekwon-Do" was born in April of 1955, but the art itself is a combination of technical knowledge, ancient warrior spirit, national culture and heritage dating back to the 1st century B.C.. Therefore, most Korean Taekwondo masters consider "Taekwondo" to be a new name for an ancient art. Even after this official vote, it took another decade to bring about a complete consensus among the various Kwans to use the name Taekwondo.

On September 16, 1961, the Korea Taekwondo Association was officially established to unite the various Kwans. On November 30, 1972, the Kukkiwon was completed as the national academy which serves as the World Taekwondo Headquarters. On May 28, 1973, the World Taekwondo Federation was established as the sport governing body for Taekwondo competition worldwide.

On May 20, 1976, The Korean government ordered the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) replaced the Kwan names with numbers, and the Kwan system was allegedly dissolved, but it remains intact today.

The nine official Kwans were:

Kwan #1: Song Moo Kwan

Kwan #2: Han Moo Kwan

Kwan #3: Chang Moo Kwan

Kwan #4: Moo Duk Kwan

Kwan #5: Oh Do Kwan

Kwan #6: Kang Duk Won

Kwan #7: Jung Do Kwan

Kwan #8: Jidokwan

Kwan #9: Chung Do Kwan

There was also a 10th Kwan, Kwan Ri Kwan, which was labeled as the Administrative Managing Kwan.

Since that time, there have been numerous organizations, and independent schools that have opened, each one changing the techniques, and method of instruction to one degree or another. These are individual personal preferences, and are too numerous to identify or label them all.

Who accepted the name of Tae Kwon Do?

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While many Korean Masters had visited America, and U.S. servicemen had been trained in Taekwondo on various occasions, Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee was the first permanent Taekwondo Instructor in American, arriving in the 1950's.

U.S. serviceman Edward Sell was the first non-Asian to reach Master level at the Chung Do Kwan in Korea, and was the first non-Asian to teach Taekwondo Chung Do Kwan in America when he established the United States Chung Do Kwan Association in Trenton, Michigan in 1967.