History of Modern Taekwondo

Taekwondo includes a number of different training methods, each emphasizing a separate aspect of the art. Basically, one trains in fundamental stances, blocks, punches, strikes and kicks.

The method of training, however, can vary greatly depending on the objective. For instance, “forms training” (Poomsae) uses an extensive regimen of patterns and emphasizes prearranged movements. It’s objective is the best possible performance of the techniques that make up a given pattern.

On the other hand, sparring (Kyorugi) is trained around fitness, reaction time, flexibility and speed. Kyorugi is “free-form”- unrehearsed, semi to full contact sparring against real opponents. This form is what has become the known as the Olympic sport.

Lastly, training for self-defence generally emphasizes techniques and training methods which are different from those used in either forms training or sparring. The self defence shows it’s origins from within hapkido.

* We divided out the Hapkido to a new set of classes- Tysodo.

The best place to start the story of the modern development of taekwondo is just after Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonization at the end of World War Two in 1945. In the period between 1945 and 1947, the five main schools of what would later combine to become WTF taekwondo were opened. These five schools were the Chongdogwan (School of the Blue Wave), founded by Lee Won Kuk, the Mudokkwan (School of Martial Virtue), founded by Hwang Ki, the Yonmugwan (the School of Martial Training), founded by Chong Sang Sop, the Kwonboptojang (School of the Fist Method), founded by Yun Pyong In and the Songmugwan (The School of the Pine Tree), founded by No Pyong Chik.

In spite of the differences in the names, what the schools were teaching was, in fact, very similar. It was around the mid-1950’s that the leaders of the various schools started to feel the need for a common name for what they were teaching. It was in the early 1960’s that taekwondo began to systematically organize itself both in matters of administration and technique. Finally in 1965, the Korean Taekwondo Association was formed, and the name taekwondo became officially recognized.3