The History of Taekwondo

by Josiah Strotz

Taekwondo is a modern-day form of martial arts. It is the technique of unarmed combat for self-defense. Tae means to kick or smash with the feet; kwon implies punching or destroying with the fist, and do means way or method. The commandments for modern day taekwondo are

1. Loyalty to your country.

2. Faithfulness to your spouse.

3. Respect your brothers and sisters.

4. Respect your teachers.

5. Indomitable spirit.

6. Finish what you begin.

7. Respect your parents.

8. Loyalty to your friends.

9. Respect your elders.

10. Never take life unjustly.

11. Loyalty to your school.

 Taekwondo combines many styles of martial arts that have existed in Korea for the past 2000 years. These include Tang-su, Taekkyon, Taekwon, Kwonpup, Taekwonpup, Judo, Karate, and Kung-fu. Taekkyon is the earliest known form of Taekwondo, dating back to around 50 B.C. The first Taekwondo school was started in Seaul, Korea, in 1945. Even the Korean army was trained in Taekwondo. In 1949, General Hong Hi Choi gave public demonstrations of Taekkyon for the very first time in America. On April 11, 1955, a conference of kwan masters decided to combine their various styles and call it Taesoodo. Two years later the name was changed to Taekwondo, as suggested by General Hong Hi Choi, who is now considered the father of Taekwondo. In the 1960’s, a man named Jhoon Ree began teaching a Taekwondo course at a college in Texas and formed a public Taekwondo club. He is now considered the father of American Taekwondo. Since 1988, Taekwondo has been an official olympic sport. Today, more than thirty-million people practice Taekwondo in more than one hundred fifty six countries. The reason I enjoy Taekwondo is it helps me with focus, discipline, srength, and self control. I hope to become a Taekwondo instructer someday and share what I’ve learned with others.