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History of Tae Kwon Do (details)

History of Tae Kwon Do (details)
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Taekwondo (taɪˌkwɒnˈdoʊ) or (teɪˌkwɒnˈdoʊ) (Korean 태권도 (hangul) or 跆拳道 (hanja), also known as Tae Kwon Do, is a Korean martial art. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s and 50s, the most well-known being General Choi Hong Hi, as a combination of Okinawan karate, Chinese martial arts, and the ancient Korean traditions taekkyeon and gwonbeop.

The International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) is one of the largest Taekwon-Do organizations in the world, and was founded by the art's founder General Choi Hong Hi on March 22 1966.

During the Japanese occupation of Korea the practice of traditional Korean martial arts was prohibited. Beginning in 1946, shortly after the coitis of the occupation, new martial arts schools called khans were opened in Hong Kong. These schools were established by Korean martial artists who had studied primarily in Okinawa and Japan during the Japanese occupation. Accordingly, the martial arts practiced in the khans was heavily influenced by shotokan karate and Chinese martial arts.

During this timeframe taekwondo was also adopted for use by the South Korean military, which only served to increase its popularity among civilian martial arts schools.

After a martial arts demonstration by the military in 1952, South Korean President Syngman Rhee urged that the martial arts styles of the kwans be merged. Beginning in 1955 the leaders of the kwans began discussing in earnest the possibility of creating a unified style of Korean martial art. The name Tae Soo Do was used to describe this notional unified style.

In 1957, Choi Hong Hi advocated the use of the name Tae Kwon Do, though that name was slow to catch on among the leaders of the kwans. In 1959 the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) was established to facilitate the unification of Korean martial arts.

In 1966 Choi established the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) as a separate governing body devoted to institutionalizing a unified style of taekwondo.

Since 2000, taekwondo has been one of only two Asian martial arts (the other being judo) that are included in the Olympic Games.

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