Taekwondo Wiki

Important Note: Various sources differ somewhat on some of these dates and details. The timeline below should be considered somewhat approximate, since sources vary on the details.

Japanese Occupation of Korea[]

Itosu Anko

Karate pioneer Ankō Itosu (1831-1915) is sometimes called "the father of modern karate," but his indirect influence on Taekwondo should also be noted: his students included Funakoshi Gichin, Kanken Tōyama, and Kenwa Mabuni - these men in turn went on to teach many of the early Taekwondo pioneers.


Karate pioneer Funakoshi Gichin


Karate pioneer Kanken Tōyama

Imperial Japan began its domination of Korea and Manchuria in the 1890s. Both Russia and China unsuccessfully attempted to control Japan’s expansion into the region. The Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) resulted in the Treaty of Portsmouth (1905), which placed Korea under the "guidance, protection and control" of Japan.

  • 1901: Itosu Ankoh ("the Father of Modern Karate", 1831-1915) introduces Shorin-ryu-style karate into the Okinawan public school system. During his lifetime, Itosu teaches karate to pioneers such as:
  • 1910, August 29: King Sunjong of Korea (ruled 1907-1910) of the Yi Dynasty (1389-1910) is forced to abdicate his throne, thereby completing Japan’s annexation of Korea.
  • 1910-onward: Nearly one million Koreans emigrate to Manchuria, working usually in mining, agriculture, and factories. While there, some Koreans study Chinese martial arts. 
  • 1922, April: After participating in an exhibition of Japanese martial arts in April 1922, Funakoshi Gichin (1868-1957) remains in Tokyo; he begins teaching karate at the Okinawan student dormitory ("Meisi Juku") at Japan University in Tokyo. Interest in karate grows steadily, allowing Funakoshi to establish a training hall (dojo) at Keio University in 1924 and another at Tokyo University in 1926. Between 1928 and 1935, Funakoshi establishes more than 30 dojo, most at universities and other educational institutions.
  • 1924 (approx): Funakoshi Gichin adopts the idea of "colored belts" into his classes. He adapts the practice from the judo instruction of Kano Jigoro (1860-1938). At about this same time, many of the other traditions of judo are also introduced into karate: bowing upon entering the dojo, sequenced training, answering the instructor loudly, closing classes with formalities, etc. Many years later these same traditions will be incorporated into Taekwondo.
  • 1926: Taekwondo pioneer Won Kuk Lee (1907-2002, later of Chung Do Kwan) moves to Tokyo to attend high school. Shortly thereafter Lee begins studying Shotokan karate under Funakoshi Gichin while at Chuo University.
  • 1931: Though the practice of Korean traditional martial arts have been prohibited during the occupation of Korea, the teaching of Japanese martial arts to Koreans was permitted. In 1931, Kyung Suk Lee founds a judo school called Chosun Yun Moo Kwan. Later, after the occupation ends, this will become the Yun Moo Kwan, one of the original kwans of Taekwondo.
  • Late 1930s: Byung Jick Ro (later of Song Moo Kwan) receives his 1st dan ranking in Shotokan karate from Funakoshi Gichin while attending Tokyo University.
  • 1936: Hwang Kee (later of Moo Duk Kwan) is said to have begun studying quanfa while an employee of the South Manchurian Railway (though some sources dispute this claim).
  • 1937: Byung In Yoon (later of YMCA Kwon Bop Bu/Chang Moo Kwan) enrolls at Nihon University  in Tokyo, where he is taught Shūdōkan karate by Kanken Toyoma (1888-1966). Yoon goes on to become captain of the Nihon karate team and is awarded ~4th dan in Shūdōkan karate.
  • 1938: Choi Hong Hi relocates from Korea to Japan to attend high school in Tokyo. While in high school Choi begins to study Shotokan karate under Korean instructor Kim Hyun-Soo. Choi receives his 1st dan in Shotokan while in high school.
  • 1940: Kwe Byung Yoon (later of Jidokwan) establishes the Kanbukan (Korean Martial Arts Institute) - a karate school - in Tokyo. Yoon began studying Shitō-ryū karate while attending high school in Osaka , Japan.
  • 1940: By this date, another million Koreans have emigrated to Japan, most working in mining and factories. During World War II this number balloons to 2.4 million Koreans. While there, some Koreans study Japanese martial arts, particularly Shotokan karate in one of Funakoshi Gichin's many schools.
  • 1943: Choi Hong Hi graduates from Chuo University, where according to some sources he received 2nd dan in Shotokan karate. Shortly thereafter Choi is conscriped into the Japanese military.

Post-WWII Korea[]


Song Moo Kwan


Chung Do Kwan, 1946


Moo Duk Kwan

November 3rd 1948 YMCA Promotion Test

Chang Moo Kwan, 1948

Jidokwan 1948 small

Yun Moo Kwan, 1948

1945, August 15: Korean Independence Day - Korea is divided into North (Soviet control) and South (American control) as the Japanese occupation of Korea ends. Three years later (August 15, 1948) independent governments are established for North and South Korea. Many of the Koreans who had previously emigrated to Manchuria and Japan return to Korea; this includes the pioneers of Taekwondo.

  • 1945: Byung Jick Ro opens Song Moo Kwan ("the pine tree school") in Kaesong (then a relatively remote area of what is now North Korea). The school is initially not successful; a year later Ro re-open Song Moo Kwan in a new location, the Kwandukjung archery school in Seoul, South Korea. Some authors consider Song Moo Kwan to be the first kwan, though because it was not initially successful, other authors credit Chung Do Kwan as the first kwan. During this time Ro refers to his martial art as Kong Soo Do ("the way of the empty hand").
  • 1945: Won Kuk Lee (it is believed he was ~3rd dan in Shotokan karate at this point) founds Chung Do Kwan, also known as the Blue Wave School; this school becomes known informally as "the police dojang" when Lee begins training police officers in Seoul, in order to help the police deal with post-war gang problems. During this time Lee refers to his martial art as Tang Soo Do ("the way of the Chinese hand").
  • 1945(-7): In 1945 Hwang Kee founds Moo Duk Kwan ("the railroad dojang") in a storage room at the Yong San railway station, training fellow employees of the Ministry of Transportation and others in the martial art that he initially calls Hwa Soo Do. Initially meeting with mixed success, Kee reforms the Moo Duk Kwan in 1947, now calling his art Tang Soo Do, after which the school becomes more successful. As the school expands over the coming years, it continues to use a number of his employer's railway facilities at little or not cost to his school. This school eventually (years later) splits into various Traditional TaekwondoTang Soo Do, and Subakdo styles.
  • 1946: Won Kuk Lee first begins teaching what some were still calling Taekyon to the police in Seoul.
  • 1946: After his first location fails to be successful, Byung Jick Ro opens another Song Moo Kwan ("the pine tree school"), which later closes during the Korean War. He reopens again in a new location in 1953.
  • 1946, March 3: Earlier, Sang Sap Chun had been hired by Kyung Suk Lee of the Chosun Yun Moo Kwan judo school, to teach both judo and Kong Soo Do. On March 3, Chun takes leadership of the school and rebrands the school as the Yun Moo Kwan school for Kong So Do, thereby separating the school from its Japanese judo heritage. Chun later disappears during the Korean War (believed to be taken by the North Koreans), after which his students reopen the school in a new location under the name Ji Do KwanSang Sap Chun was close friends with Byung In Yoon of the YMCA Kwon Bop Bu - the two kwans were sometimes called "brother kwans" because of their close collaboration.
  • 1946, September 1: Byung In Yoon first begins teaching Kong Soo Do at the Kungsung Agricultural High School. Shortly thereafter Yoon also begins teaching at Yun Moo Kwan before establishing his own school, "YMCA Kwon Bop Bu" at the Jong Ro YMCA in Seoul. Later, after the Korean War, with Byung In Yoon held in the north and unable to return to the south, the name of the school will be changed to Chang Moo Kwan by its new heads, Lee Nam Suk and Kim Soon Bae
  • 1946: First Lieutenant Choi Hong Hi first teaches his style martial art to the military unit under his command at the Kwang Ju military base.
  • 1947: Choi Hong Hi is promoted twice this year: first to Captain and then Major.
  • 1947: Won Kuk Lee is asked by the head of Korean's National Police (Yun Cae) if Lee could convince his 5,000 Chung Do Kwan students to join South Korean President Syngman Rhee's political party; Lee refuses and is immediately arrested for being "pro-Japanese." 
  • 1948, August 15: Pro-Moscow Kim Il-sung is made first President of North Korea. Pro-U.S. Syngman Rhee is made first President of South Korea.
  • 1948: Choi Hong Hi is posted to Seoul and becomes martial arts instructor for the American Military Police School there. Late in 1948 Choi is promoted to lieutenant colonel, his third promotion in a two-year period.
  • 1949: Choi Hong Hi gives a public demonstration of martial arts at Fort Riley near Topeka, Kansas...the first display of "Taekwondo" in the U.S. (though it is not yet called Taekwondo). Choi is pomoted to full colonel this year.
  • 1950: In the wake of his 1947 arrest and subsequent release, Won Kuk Lee emigrates to Japan. He appoints Choi Hong Hi as honorary head of Lee's Chung Do Kwan. Choi appoints Duk Sung Son as acting leader of Chung Do Kwan.

The Korean War[]

ChoiHonHi young

A young Choi Hong Hi

NameTaeHi young

A young Nam Tae Hi

1950-1953: The Korean War further divides the country into two. Up until this time, the leaders of the five original kwans had been agreeing in principle that kwan consolidation would be a good idea. After the Korean War however, many second-generation kwans opened ("annex kwans") making the consolidation process much more complex.

  • 1951: Choi Hong Hi is promoted to brigadier general. He organizes the Ground General School in Pusan as Assistant Commandant and Chief of the Academic Department. 
  • 1953: Kang Duk Kwan is founded by Hong Jong Pyo and Park Chul Hee as an offshoot of the Chang Moo Kwan.
  • 1953: Byung Jick Ro re-opens Song Moo Kwan in a new location in Seoul.
  • 1953: The students of Sang Sap Chun return to Seoul but their teacher has disappeared, so they reopen Yun Moo Kwan in a new location under the new name Jidokwan ("the school of wisdom's way"). The new school is run by Kwe Byung Yoon and Chong Woo Lee; it goes on to distinguish itself during the 1960s and 1970s with its tournament sparring. One notable student of Sang Sap Chun does not join the new Jidokwan school: Lee Kyo Yoon instead opens his own new school, the Han Moo Kwan, in 1956 (see below).
  • 1953: Choi Hong Hi expands Korean military training in the martial arts to include the newly-formed 29th Infantry Division, stationed on Che Ju Island. Nam Tae Hi and Han Cha Kyo are assigned as senior instructors for what is being called Tang Soo Do.
  • 1953, May 25: Still in the middle of the Korean War, martial arts leaders who were refugees in the temporary South Korean capital of Pusan (specifically, leaders of Chang Moo KwanSong Moo KwanChung Do KwanJi Do Kwan, and Han Moo Kwan) establish the Korea Kong Soo Do Association. The role of the Korea Kong Soo Do Association was to test and qualify promotions and issue official recognition of Dan rank. To unify all the Dan ranks, the seniors were set to 4th Dan. This organization is later (1958) seen as a rival to the Korea Tang So Do Association (KTA, see below) and further complicates eventual kwan consolidation.

Post-Korean War[]

JoongAng dojang

The Joong Ang dojang in 1955

  • 1954: Jung Do Kwan is founded by Lee Yong Woo, a student of Chung Do Kwan.
  • 1954: Choi Hong Hi is promoted to major general.
  • 1954: President Syngman Rhee of South Korea watches a 30-minute demonstration of what he referred to as Taekyon (including tile-breaking by Nam Tae Hi); he orders all soldiers to be trained in martial arts. The responsibility falls to Choi Hong Hi.
  • 1955: Moo Duk Kwan ("the railroad dojang") relocates its central gymnasium to the Joong Ang dojang. Nine additional Moo Duk Kwan annex schools are opened this same year. The style of martial art practiced by Moo Duk Kwan at this time was going by the name Tang Soo Do.
  • 1955: Choi Hong Hi and Nam Tae Hi establish the Oh Do Kwan, a new gymnasium for training the 29th Infantry Division. Many former members of Chung Do Kwan join the new Oh Do Kwan as instructors. For several years the new school is very successful; many civilian students were drawn to the fact that the same style was being taught in the military. Later (in the 1960s), when Choi deviated from the path of the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA, see below) the school was somewhat weakened.

April 11, 1955. Chung Do Kwan Conference

  • 1955, April 11: The Chung Do Kwan Conference is organized by Won Kuk Lee. Representatives from most of the original kwans agree in principle to combine the arts and nominally rename the new Korean martial art Tae Soo Do. Other names considered around this same time include Taekkyon-do, Tang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do, and Tae Kwon Do.
  • 1956: Two former students of YMCA Kwon Bop Bu (aka Chang Moo Kwan) - Jong Pyo Hong and Chul Hee Park - leave the school and start their own school (Kang Duk Won, "the house of generous teaching") in Shinsuldong, Seol.
  • 1956, August: Han Moo Kwan is founded by Lee Kyo Yoon. With Sang Sap Chun of the old Yun Moo Kwan still missing after the Korean War, some of Chun's students go on to form Jidokwan (see above), while Yoon establishes Han Moo Kwan instead. For many years Yoon struggled to make Han Moo Kwan a success, teaching primarily in the back yard of the Kang Moon High School; finally in 1969 he was able to open his central dojang in Wang Sip Ni, Seol.
  • 1957: General Choi begins to promote the name Tae Kwon Do rather than Tae Soo Do. Over a period of several years the new name is slowly adopted by the kwans; by 1959 the name Tae Kwon Do is in common usage.
  • 1957: Karate pioneer Funakoshi Gichin dies of cancer.
  • 1957: Jhoon Rhee - a student of Chung Do Kwan - emigrates from Korea to San Antonio, Texas. He begins teaching his style of "karate" at a local club.
NamTaeHi 1958

Captain Nam Tae Hi, standing at the microphone, directs a Taekwondo demonstration in 1958 for members of the National Armed Forces of Korea

  • 1958: The Korea Tang So Do Association (KTA) is initially formed formed by Hwang Kee
  • 1958, November: The Korea Tang So Do Association (KTA) applies for membership to the Korea Amateur Sports Association (KASA) but is denied because of the existence of a rival organization, the Korean Kong-Soo Do Association. The KASA agrees to accept the application only if both organizations unite. Representatives of the two associations later meet and agree to unite under the name Korea Soo-Bahk-Do Association. The next year, on September 3, 1959, all the representatives finally agree to unite under the name Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) with Choi Hong Hi as president. The new KTA is chartered with unifying the various kwans into a single martial arts style, and promoting the new style as a national sport.
  • 1958: Hwang Kee removes Moo Duk Kwan from the Tae Kwon Do umbrella. He forms the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do, and then later creates Subakdo.

Members of the Korean Army pose in 1959 as the first Asian Taekwondo mission to South Vietnam and Taiwan


Captain Nam Tae Hi (in foreground) leads a Taekwondo demonstration in Vietnam in March 1959

  • 1959, March: The nascent KTA charters the Original Masters to begin demonstrating Taekwondo on tours around-the world (starting with Southeast Asia), and to help open Taekwondo schools in other countries. Many of the Original Masters - and other Taekwondo pioneers from the 1960s and 1970s - eventually emigrate to countries outside South Korea to start Traditional Taekwondo schools, thereby preserving Traditional Taekwondo outside Korea. According to some sources though, this emigration also allowed the Korean CIA (KCIA) to pressure these overseas school to serve the interests of the KCIA during the Cold War.
  • 1959, October: Choi Hong Hi publishes his first reference, Tae Kwon Do Teaching Manual.

Oh Do Kwan, November 1960

  • 1960, June 30: Hwang Kee of Moo Duk Kwan renames his martial art Subakdo after incorporating elements from the Muye Dobo Tongji into his style. He establishes the Korean Subakdo Association (KSA). The majority of his students (led by Young Taek Kim and Chong Soo Hong) continue to teach Tang Soo Do at their schools rather than teaching Subakdo.
  • 1960: By 1960, there were 40 kwans throughout Korea, lead by students of the original five kwans. One of the first functions of the KTA was to consolidate these kwans; by 1974 the KTA had succeeded in consolidating the 40 kwans into what we now call the Nine Kwans.
  • 1960: Choi Hong Hi attends the U.S. Army's Modern Weapons Familiarization Course in San Antonio, Texas. During his visit to San Antonio, Choi visits Jhoon Rhee and convinces Rhee to use the name Taekwon-Do instead of karate, thus making Rhee the first Taekwondo instructor in the U.S.
  • 1960/1966: Some sources claim that in 1960 (or 1966) General Choi sent a Taekwondo team from South Korea to North Korea on a goodwill mission, and that subsequently the South Korean government and general public were outraged and demanded his resignation. Other reputable sources refute this claim. See for example History of Taekwon-Do: setting the record straight. It appears that the 1960/1966 claim is likely an error. Likely the correct date is 1979/1980 (see below).

Military Rule; the Third-Fourth-Fifth Republics[]


Won Kuk Lee and Woon Kyu Um face each other at the Korean Taekwondo Association dojang in the 1960s

1961, May 16: the South Korean government (seen by many as corrupt) is overthrown by the South Korean military in a coup d'etat. What support Choi Hong Hi had from the previous government is now gone. When military rule ends in 1963, South Korea sees 27 more years of authoritarian rule, before transitioning to a modern democracy in 1988.

  • 1961, September: the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) is renamed once-again to the Korea Tae Soo Do Association (still KTA). Some historians mark this as the "true" beginning of the KTA. Though there is still notional agreement that the kwans should be consolidated, the next few years see much strife over exactly what that means, in terms of style definition, authority to promote students, etc.
  • 1962: Jhoon Rhee relocates from San Antonio to the Washington, DC and goes on to establish a chain of Taekwondo schools in the U.S.
  • 1962: Nam Tae Hi ("The Father of Vietnamese Taekwondo") is appointed Chief Instructor of Taekwondo for the Vietnamese Army.
  • 1962: From 1962 to 1965, Choi Hong Hi serves as South Korean ambassador to Malaysia. While there, he develops many of the Taekwondo forms that are later incorporated into ITF-style Chang Hon Taekwondo. (Some authors attribute significant contributions to Nam Tae Hi and others as well.)
  • 1964: Chong Soo Lee ("The Father of Canadian Taekwondo") emigrates to Montreal and begins teaching Taekwondo in Canada.
  • 1965, March: Up until now, Moo Duk Kwan's Hwang Kee has resisted the KTA's attempts at kwan unification. Young Taek Kim and Chong Soo Hong lead the Moo Duk Kwan to KTA unification without support from Hwang Kee. At this point, students of Moo Duk Kwan have now split into a number of distinct groups: those teaching Tang Soo Do, those teaching Subakdo (including Hwang Kee himself), and those supporting KTA's work to form Taekwondo.
  • 1965, January: Now returned from Malaysia, General Choi Hong Hi is once again named the head of the KTA. Due to his conflicts with other kwan leaders, however, he is unable to govern effectively; a year later he resigns from the KTA and establishes the ITF (see below). Despite all his work on the Chang Hon forms while in Malaysia, upon returning to South Korea Choi finds little audience in the KTA for his new forms.
  • 1965: August: Before leaving the KTA, General Choi succeeds in convincing the KTA to once-again rename itself as the Korea Taekwondo Association.
Early Names of TKD

  • 1965: General Choi retires from the Korean military to dedicate his life to developing Taekwondo.
  • 1965: General Choi publishes the Taekwondo reference, Tae Kwon Do Art Of Self Defense.
  • 1965: Woo-Kang Kim moves to West Germany to teach Tae Kwon Do.
  • 1965: Chong Chul Rhee ("The Father of Australian Taekwondo") arrives in Adelaide and opens the first Taekwondo school in Australia.
  • 1966: Bum-I Lee ("The Father of German Taekwondo") emigrates to West Germany and begins teaching Taekwondo. 
  • 1966, March 22: Having now left the Korea Taekwondo Association, General Choi founds the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) with support from Vietnam, West Germany, Malaysia, Turkey, Italy, United Arab Republic, Taiwan, and United States. This marks the final split between Choi from the KTA.
  • 1966: Dong Keun Park ("The Father of Thai Taekwondo") emigrates to Thailand and begins teaching Taekwondo. Park later relocates to the U.S.
  • 1967: Yong Chae Kim (of the Kang Duk Won) becomes the 5th president of the KTA since its re-establishment in 1961. Kim serves in this role until 1971. Kim was the driving force behind the development of the Kukkiwon. He is also credited with the development of the hogu chest protector and the reformation of rules for tournament competitions.
  • 1967: The KTA develops and adopts the Palgwae forms for color belts. Notably, Moo Duk Kwan and Jidokwan are not yet represented on the committee that establishes the forms, which leads to the replacement of the Palgwae forms in 1971 with the Taegeuk forms.
  • 1967: The US Taekwondo Association is formed.
  • 1967, June 22: Three Taekwondo pioneers (Han Chang Kim, Nam Sung Choi, and Kwang Duk Chung, "The Fathers of Argentinian Taekwondo") arrive in Buenos Aires and open the first Taekwondo school in Argentina. 
  • 1967, July 2: Ki Ha Rhee ("The Father of British Taekwondo") arrives in London, begins teaching Taekwondo in England, and goes on to found the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association. In 1972 Rhee also establishes the Ireland Taekwon-Do Association.
  • 1967: General Choi publishes the first version of his reference, The Encyclopedia of Taekwon-do.
  • 1968: Sun Jae Park ("The Father of Italian Taekwondo") emigrates to Italy and begins teaching Taekwondo.
  • 1969: The first school of what will become the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) is founded in Omaha Nebraska by Haeng Ung Lee - a former martial arts instructor in the Korean military.
  • 1969, May: Dai Won Moon ("The Father of Mexican Taekwondo") - having originally emigrated to Texas - now relocates to Mexico and begins teaching Taekwondo.
Kukkiwon Construction

The Kukkiwon - South Korea's "national academy" for Taekwondo - under construction in 1971

  • 1971: Dr. Un Young Kim (a former assistant director of the Korean CIA) is elected 6th president of the KTA. Though Yong Chae Kim (his predecessor) was responsible for most of the lobbying for funds for building the Kukkiwon (literally, "national academy"), the Kukkiwon was finalized during the tenure of Un Young, who continued Yon Chae's drive for its establishment. Though the Kukkiwon is not completed until 1972, the style of KTA-sponsored Taekwondo is already being referred to as Kukki (i.e., "national")-style.
  • 1971: President Chung Hee Park of South Korea announces that Taekwondo will become the national sport of Korea and allocates funds for the completion of the Kukkiwon (the South Korean national academy for Taekwondo). Once completed, the Kukkiwon takes over many of the style-defining functions previously served by the KTA; the KTA continues to work toward kwan consolidation.
  • 1971: With Jidokwan and Moo Duk Kwan now under the KTA/Kukkiwon umbrella, the Palgwae forms are replaced with the Taegeuk forms for color belts.
  • 1971: The KTA continues to work on kwan consolidation; by 1971 it has consolidated 1960's forty kwans down to just 14 kwans. Though Kukki-style Taekwondo is strong at this point (with 1.3 million practitioners in Korea) there remains issues such as how promotions are handled, and how to handle student transfers from one kwan to another. It isn't until 1978's Unification Proclamation (see below) that these types of issues are finally resolved.
  • 1971: The South Korean Ministry of Education requires "private school permits" for Taekwondo dojangs, which outrages many of the remaining school owners stilll in Korea. Of the 350 dojangs in Seoul, only 79 met the Ministry of Education requirements in terms of size and suitability. This further caused many Taekwondo teachers to continue to emigrate from South Korea to teach overseas, contributing to the (realistic) perception that those wishing to learn Traditional Taekwondo (i.e., non-Kukkiwon-style) could only do so outside Korea.
  • 1972: Construction of the Kukkiwon is completed.
  • 1972: General Choi emigrates from South Korea, moving the ITF headquarters to Toronto, Canada. Some sources cite the reason for his emigration as the Korean governent's threat of jail-time if he did not turn over control of the ITF to the KTA.
  • 1973: The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is established to promote Kukkiwon-style Taekwondo as an international sport. The KTA now becomes the National Governing Body (NGB) for South Korea for WTF Taekwondo.
  • 1973: Chung Do Kwan aligns itself with the Kukkiwon/WTF.
  • 1973: World Taekwondo Championships are held in Kukkiwon, with nineteen countries participating.
  • 1974: Chung Sun Yong ("The Father of Portuguese Taekwondo") arrives in Lisbon, begins teaching Taekwondo in Portugal, and goes on to found the Portuguese Taekwon-Do Association the following year.
  • 1974: In Korea, the KTA finalizes kwan consolidation, from 40 kwans in 1960 down to the Nine Kwans in 1974 (plus one purely administrative kwan, "the tenth kwan"). By this time there were 3,000 dojangs in Korea under the Nine Kwans, with more than 100,000 black belt holders in Korea.
  • 1974: US Taekwondo Association is renamed the US Taekwondo Federation.
  • 1974: Jimmy Jagtiani ("The Father of Indian Taekwondo"; see also 1979 Seong Dong Chang ) emigrates to India and begins teaching Taekwondo.
  • 1975: The WTF affiliates with the GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federation).
  • 1975: Chung Sun Yong publishes the first Taekwondo book ever written in Portuguese language, Taekwon-Do, which was distributed to Portuguese-speaking countries, including countries such as Portugal and Brazil.
  • 1976: The International Military Sports Council (CISM) adopts WTF Taekwondo into the World Military Championships.
  • 1976: The European Taekwondo Union’s inaugural meeting is held in Spain with the first European Taekwondo Championships.
  • 1976: The WTF English quarterly magazine is first published. The name of the magazine changes to WTF Taekwondo in 1981.
  • 1976: First meeting of the Asian Taekwondo Union in Melbourne, Australia.
  • 1978, August 7: The KTA finally completes kwan consolidation in Korea. The Unification Proclamation is signed by representatives of the current leaders of the original kwans. The proclamation formalizes the role of the Kukkiwon in establishing poomsae and awarding black belts. 
  • 1978: Pan American Taekwondo Union holds its first Pan American Taekwondo Championships in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • 1978: Jang Hwan Shin ("The Father of Austrian Taekwondo") emigrates to Austria; two years later in 1980 he opens the first Taekwondo school in Austria.
  • 1979: General Choi secretly visits North Korea and arranges a Taekwondo goodwill tour to North Korea for the following year (1980).
  • 1979: African Taekwondo Union holds first African Taekwondo Championships.
  • 1979: Seong Dong Chang ("The Father of Indian Taekwondo"; see also 1974 Jimmy Jagtiani) emigrates to India and begins teaching Taekwondo.
  • 1980: The international Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes the WTF at the 83rd session in Moscow, Soviet Union.
  • 1980: The first issue of the periodical Tae Kwon Do Times is published.
  • 1980, September: Choi Hong Hi introduces taekwon-do to North Korea. Shortly after this he develops the form Juche and elaborates on the Sine Wave technique.
  • 1981: WTF Taekwondo is accepted as a World Games event.
  • 1982: ITF’s General Choi attempts to make ITF Taekwondo an Olympic sport by reaching out to the International Olympic Committee.
  • 1983: WTF Taekwondo is accepted as a Pan American Games event.
  • 1984: General Choi and the ITF publish an updated and expanded version of The Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do.
  • 1985: General Choi relocates the ITF headquarters from Toronto, Canada to Vienna, Austria.
  • 1986: The Federation International du Sport Universitaire (FISU) adopts Taekwondo as an event in the World University Championships.
  • 1986: ITF sends demonstration team to China, a country which eventually embraces Taekwondo.

Korea's Sixth Republic[]

1988, February: Roh Tae-woo is elected president of South Korea, marking the transition of South Korea from authoritarian rule to modern democratic rule.

  • 1988: Taekwondo is an exhibition sport in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
  • 1990: Park Jung Tae splits from the ITF and establishes the Global Taekwondo Federation (GTF).
  • 1990: Chuck Norris establishes Chun Kuk Do as an American hybrid of Tang Soo Do.
  • 1990: Central American Sports Organization adopts Taekwondo as an official sport in the Central American Games.
  • 1991: The Goodwill Games adopts WTF Taekwondo as an official sport for the third World Games.
  • 1992: Taekwondo is again an exhibition sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
  • 1992: Taekwondo is adopted by the Olympic Council of Asia as an official sport for the Asian Games.
  • 1992: The Kukkiwon sponsors its first World Taekwondo Hanmadang
  • 1994: WTF Taekwondo is adopted as a full participatory sport for the 2000 Sidney Olympic Games.
  • 1996: WTF Taekwondo is an exhibition event in the Atlanta Olympics.
  • 1997: Taekwondo is adopted as an official sport for the second World Military Games, in Zagreb, Croatia.
  • 1998: The general assembly of the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa (SCSA) includes Taekwondo as an official sport in the seventh All African Games.
  • 2000: The IOC committee confirms that Taekwondo will be an official sport in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
  • 2002: Membership of countries affiliated with the WTF reaches 168.
  • 2002: General Choi, “Father of Taekwondo,” dies of stomach cancer.
  • 2002: The selection of a successor to General Choi is controversial. The ITF splits into three branches:
  • 2004: Amidst charges of corruption, WTF President Un Young Kim resigns. Dr. Sun Jae Park is elected as acting president.
  • 2004: Dr. Chung Won Choue is elected as the new president of the WTF.
  • 2004: Taekwondo is an official sport in the Athens Olympic Games.
  • 2005: WTF Taekwondo is declared an official sport for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
  • 2006: The World Taekwondo Federation includes affiliations of 182 different countries.
  • 2008: Taekwondo participates as an official sport in the Beijing, China 2008 Olympics games.
  • 2012: Taekwondo participates as an official sport for the London, England, 2012 Olympic games.
  • 2015: The ITF (the Chang Ung branch) and WTF sign a Protocol of Accord agreeing to allow competitors from the two federations to compete in each other's events.
  • 2015: Para-Taekwondo is announced as an event for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

See Also[]