History Of Taekwon-Do

 

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“Tae-Kyon”,  the ancient name of Taekwon-Do was as old as the history of the Hwa-Rang-Do.  There was a primitive activity known as Tae-Kyon in the Silla Dynasty over 1300 years ago.

Originally, Silla possessed the smallest territory when ancient Korea was divided into (3) kingdoms and she had to meet constant invasions from Koguryo in the north and Baekchae in the west.

From about the time 500 A.D., Koguryo became so strong that it made Silla untenable.  Therefore, King Chin-Hung at his 37th. year of reign called upon the strong patriotic youths throughout the small kingdom and formed a strong organization called the Hwa-Rang-Do (a kind of military organization) to meet the national crisis.

The Hwa-Rang-Do served with honor, respected the royalty and possessed the spirit of the warrior while they enjoyed poems, music and morality.  They traveled to noted mountains and rivers with the purpose of “body & spirit” training.  Consequently, General Kim Yu-Sin, the leader of the Hwa-Rang-Do unified the (3) Kingdoms of what is now known as Korea in the year 668 A.D.  According to Mr. Song Duk-Ki who was one of the veterans of Tae-Kyon at the end of the Yi Dynasty, this art had been developed and taken shape, but unfortunately the trend of thought humiliated the art of valor while it encouraged the literary arts during the Yi Dynasty (1393 - 1910) and Tae-Kyon could barely maintain its own existence, having no chance to further its progress from the original type of foot techniques.

During the Japanese occupation, after the Yi Dynasty, the hand techniques were introduced from both Japan and China to this traditional art, enabling the hand and foot techniques to be combined into one body under various names, such as:     Tang-Su, Kong-Su,  Karate,  Kwon-Bop,  Tae-Su,  etc.  Soon after the liberation in 1945, there was a movement to name and develop this new art.

On April 11, 1955 a special board of Tae-Kyon master instructors, historians and prominent leaders was formed to undertake the responsibility to name and develop this new art.  General Choi Hong Hi submitted the name Taekwon-Do, which was unanimously accepted.