Taekwondo Introduction to Taekwondo

Introduction to Taekwondo

What is Taekwondo? 

Taekwondo is the Korean martial art form and sport that uses the hands and feet for attack and defense. The ultimate goal of Taekwondo is to develop the character and personality of the practitioner through physical, mental and spiritual discipline.

History of Taekwondo

  • Taekwondo Origin

The Korean martial arts faded into obscurity during the late Gojoseon Dynasty, the first state on the Korean peninsula, B.C. 2333 and developed during the Three Kingdoms period. 

  • Weaponless martial art during the Three Kingdoms period

According to the history, Three Kingdoms Much attention(武治主義) philosophy, martialism(尙武精神) with emphasis on Three Kingdoms period, and various martial arts were developed. Goguryeo was a strong state in Northeast Asia with strong military power, and their martial arts were well developed. For example, the techniques of archery, swordsmanship, and spears were developed in Goguryeo. The types of weapon systems of Goguryeo are recorded in history such as Anak Tomb No. 3. In Baeje, a weaponless martial art was developed as shown by the figurine in Baekjegeumdongdaehyeongno, a splendid gilt-bronze incense burner and Subak, fencing, horse-riding, Dukgyeoni, Kagumjil, and Sssireum were developed in Shilla.

  • A weaponless martial art during the period of Goryeo dynasty

Weaponless martial arts were developed in Goreyeo dynasty. Many military officers had to train in weaponless martial arts such as Subak, Subakhui, Obyungsubakhui, and Byungsu because this was related to the hiring process of government offices and promotions. A description of Subak is as follows; Yi Ui-min who was good at Subak, competed to show his power.

  • A weaponless martial art during the period of Joseon dynasty

Weaponless martial arts such as Subak, Subakhui, Kwonbub, and Taekkyon were propagated during the Joseon Dynasty period, but these were developed as leisure activities or games, to hide their military martial art aspects. The records mentioning Subak in annals of the Joseon dynasty were in the early part of the period, but records in which Kwonbub appears were in the latter part of the period, after Imjinwaeran, in the Guhyosinseo and Muyedobotongji.

  • Taekwondo Today(’60s)

Korean martial arts could not be practiced because of the regulations against that activity and the policies of repression of the Japanese government during the Japanese colonial period. After achieving independence, some leaders of Taekwondo tried to secure their own legitimacy and improve Taekwondo after August 15th, National Liberation Day. After achieving independence, modern Taekwondo Dojangs appeared, such as Chungdoguan, Songmuguan, Mudukguan, Joseon Yeonmuguan kwonbubbu, and the Central YMCA Kwonbubbu, and the instruction of techniques began.The Korea Taesudo Association was founded on September 16th, 1961. Later, the name of the Korea Taesudo Association was changed to the Korea Taekwondo Association.

  • Taekwondo Today(’70s)

Kukkiwon was founded as the KTA(Korea Taekwondo Association) central Dojang on November 30th, 1972, and since then has played an important role in the distribution and perpetuation of the tradition of Taekwondo. The 10 Dojang derived from 5 Dojang, and then these were united into one organization according to the decision of the committee members of Taekwondo Main Center in 1978. Kukkiwon devotes itself to spreading Taekwondo culture, spirit and history worldwide, increasing the best competitive power of Taekwondo as a martial art in life.

  • Taekwondo Today(’80s)

In the 1980s, the association focused on the universities, especially the university departments or majors. The alumines of Taekwondo were very influential in drafting Taekwondo’s policies and, thus, its development. To date, Taekwondo Department has been founded in 60 universities. Taekwondo major is also accepted in universities of many foreign countries.

  • Taekwondo Today(’90s)

Taekwondo became a demonstration sport on September 17th, 1988 in the 24th Seoul Olympics, and this became a bridgehead to spread Taekwondo world wide. Taekwondo became an official Olympic sport at the 103th IOC Assembly in Paris, France. The Korean Language became an official language of the Olympic Games, joining English, French, and Japanese. Taekwondo is now an international martial art in 203 countries, and includes 80 million practitioners.

(Source : Kukkiwon Homepage)

[Taekwondo Promotion Video Clips]

(Source : Kukkiwon, World Taekwondo Headquarters)
(Source : Taekwondowon, Taekwondo Promotion Foundation)