World TaeKwondo Federation Poomse
Taekwon-Do origins date back thousands of years. A mural on the wall of a tomb built in the Kingdom of Koguryo (37BC) shows two figures in Taekwon-Do stances and hand motions. The ancient martial art called Tae Kyon lasted until the 1900s. During the occupation of Korea by the Japanese, the practice of Tae Kyon was banned. With the occupation, Tae Kyon barely survived and in 1945, after the Japanese left Korea, the old traditions were revived.
The first Taekwondo school (Kwan) was started in Yong Chun, Seoul, Korea in 1945. Many different school were opened from 1945 through 1960. Each school claimed to teach the traditional Korean martial art, but each school emphasized a different aspect of Taek Kyon/Subak. This caused different names to emerge from each system, some of them were: Soo Bahk Do, Kwon Bop, Kong Soo Do, Tae Soo Do and Kang Soo Do.
On April 11, 1955 at a conference of kwan masters, historians, and Taek Kyon promoters, most of the kwan masters decided to merge their various styles for mutual benefit of all schools. The name "Tae Soo Do" was accepted by a majority of the kwan masters. Two years later the name was changed again, this time to "Taekwondo" The name was suggested by General Hong Hi Choi (who is considered the father of Taekwondo). "Taekwondo" was suggested by Choi because of its resemblance to Taek Kyon, and so provides continuity and maintains tradition. Further, it describes both hand and foot techniques.
Dissension among the various kwans that did not unify carried on until September 14, 1961. Then by official decree of the new military government, the kwans were ordered to unify into one organization called the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), with General Hong Hi Choi elected as its first president. In 1962, the KTA re-examined all the black belt ranks to determine national standards and also in 1962, Taekwondo became one of the official events in the annual National Athletic Meet in Korea.
In march of 1966 Choi founded the International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF), which he also served as president. Choi later resigned as the KTA president and moved his ITF headquarters to Montreal, Canada, from where he concentrated on organizing Taekwondo internationally.
Young-wun Kim was elected the new KTA president. Feeling that Korea was the mother country of Taekwondo and that the world headquarters should be located there, he dissolved the ITF's connection with the KTA and on May 28, 1973 created a new international governing body called the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), which coincided with the first World Taekwondo Championships that were held in Seoul, Korea. At the first inaugural meeting, Un Yong Kim was elected as president of the WTF and drafted a charter for the federation. The WTF is the only official organization recognized by the Korean government as an international regulating body for Taekwondo.
The World Taekwondo Federation has since made a major effort to standardize tournament rules and organize world class competitions. After the 2nd World TKD Championship in Seoul, the WTF became an affiliate of the General Assembly of International Sports Federation (GAISF), which has ties to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC recognized and admitted the WTF in July 1980. In 1982 the General Session of the IOC designated Taekwondo as an official Demonstration Sport for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.
Since Modern-day Taekwondo's official birth on April 11, 1955, its development as a sport has been rapid. Over 30 million people practice Taekwondo in more than 156 countries.
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