Karate History  
 

KARATE HISTORY

April 11, 1955 saw the christening of Tae Kwon-Do when General Choi, Hong Hi presented the concepts and name of this Korean martial arts form to a distinguished panel of Korean leaders. General Choi, the father of Tae Kwon-Do, was able to do so only after exhaustive research, experimentation, and study. A holder of a Japanese-style Karate black belt, Choi merged refined techniques from TaeKyon (an ancient Korean martial art), Karate, and Kung-Fu to form a martial art based on proven scientific principles of energy, power, and movement. General Choi's personal style of the art is named chang-hun, meaning "blue cottage".

Gen. Choi

KARATE HISTORY

General Choi has devoted his entire life to the furthering of Tae Kwon-Do and making it a truly international martial art. In 1958 he published the first Tae Kwon-Do textbook. During the late 1950's and 1960's, General Choi led many Tae Kwon-Do demonstration tours to other countries where he was received by high ranking dignitaries. On March 22, 1966, he formed the International Tae Kwon-Do Federation (ITF), with the consent of nine countries. Because of political pressure and turmoil, and his wish for Tae Kwon-Do to be an international martial art, General Choi moved the ITF headquarters from Seoul to Montreal soon afterwords. Another organization, the World Tae Kwon-Do Federation, formed in Korea.

KARATE HISTORY

In the 1970's, General Choi's work allowed the formation of several world TKD tournaments and competitions. In 1972 he updated his first Tae Kwon-Do textbook to incorporate new techniques and improved methods. Additionally, the formation of bodies such as the All-Europe Tae Kwon-Do Federation has helped spread Gen. Choi's work throughout the world. In the mid-to-late 1980's Gen Choi republished his second edition Tae Kwon-Do textbook. Finally, he authored a 25 volume encyclopedia set dedicated to preserving the knowledge and character of the art which he created.

KARATE HISTORY

General Choi's life reflects the turmoil and persecution seen by many of the Korean people throughout history (reflected in the meanings of the forms which we practice). Choi was born a weak child which caused his parents much anxiety. As a youngster he studied calligraphy, an art which he had mastered and appears in his books. While in the fifth grade, Choi was suspended indefinitely from school for leading a mass student walkout in the wake of the Kwang-Ju Student uprising. Later, he was forced to join the Japanese Army as a "student volunteer" during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Towards the latter part of World War II, Choi was imprisoned when his plans to overthrow the Japanese military were discovered. In 1945, after being freed from prison, Choi enrolled in a military language school. On January 15, 1946, Choi was ommissioned a second lieutenant.

KARATE HISTORY

In 1961, while the commanding general of the ROK Army 6th Corps, Gen. Choi had the United States 7th Infantry Army Division under his operational control, thus becoming the first general in Korean history to exercise military control over foreign troops.

Today, Tae Kwon-Do is practiced by over 30 million people worldwide. Additionally, the scientific studies and the effective techniques (especially kicking) which Choi and his descendants originated have been copied by other martial arts.

   

   
         
 
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