The History of Tae Kwon-Do
The father of modern Tae Kwon-Do is Major General Choi Hong Hi. He was born on 9 November 1918. As a child he studied calligraphy under his teacher Han Il Dong. Han noticed the poor health of his young student and started training him in the Martial Art Taek Kyon. Later, Choi was sent to Kyoto, Japan to further his education and while there he began to study Karate, attaining the rank of 2nd Degree Black Belt. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was forced to enlist in the Japanese army and sent to Pyongyang, North Korea. Here he was implicated as a planner of the Korean Independence movement and interned at a Japanese prison for 8 months until the liberation of Korea in 1945.
In January 1946, Choi became a 2nd Lieutenant in the newly formed Korean Army. Later he was assigned to Kwang-Ju as a company Commander, while there he taught the whole company the foundations of a new art which would later become Tae Kwon-Do. During the next few years General Choi consolidated the basic foundations of Tae Kwon-Do while pursuing his military career.
On 11 April 1955, a special board of the new Korean martial art summoned by General Choi, decided on the name of Tae Kwon-Do, therefore unifying many of the various Kwan's [schools] such as Dong Soo, Gong Soo, Kwan bup, Tae Kyon, Soo Bak, Kang Soo and others.
In 1959 the Korean Tae Kwon-Do Association was founded with Choi Hong Hi as a Vice-President. The next year he was elected President. At this time Tae Kwon-Do was introduced to the world, when General Choi and 19 senior black belts made a tour of Asia.
Tae Kwon-do was introduced into the United States of America in 1960 after General Choi made a visit to Jhoon Rhee's karate school in San Antonio and convinced him to change the name to Tae Kwon-Do.
On 22 March 1966, the International Tae Kwon-do Federation [ITF] was founded. At the beginning its members were Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, The Federal Republic of Germany, USA, Turkey, Italy and Egypt.
Tae Kwon-Do was introduced into the United Kingdom in 1967 by Rhee Ki Ha.
The Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain [TAGB] was formed in August 1983.
On the 21st of April 1988 a new governing body for Tae Kwon-Do was formed called the British Tae Kwon-Do Council [BTC].