Created by General Choi, Hong Hi in the 1950s, TaeKwonDo is a Korean martial art, a way of life and an Olympic sport. General Choi combined elements of Korean Taekkyun and Shotokan Karate to create the first form of TaeKwonDo. It has two well known branches, The International TaeKwonDo Federation or I.T.F. founded by General Choi on March 22nd 1966 and World TaeKwonDo (originally the World TaeKwonDo Federation or W.T.F.) founded May 28th 1973 with Un Yong Kim as its first president.
TaeKwonDo is used as a combat, self-defense, exercise and as an international sport. It became an official Olympic medal sport in the 2000 Olympics held in Sydney Australia. Today, TaeKwonDo is one of the worlds most popular martial arts with over 60 million practitioners in 190 countries.
The English translation is: Tae = to strike with the foot, Kwon = to strike with the hand, and Do = art or way. It is a striking martial art, meaning that it focuses are striking rather then grappling or wrestling. However; most TaeKwonDo schools also incorporate such techniques to compliment their curriculum. It is an “open minded” martial art which is willing to grow and improve upon itself and tries to teach it’s practitioners to be introspective so that they may grow and improve upon themselves as well.
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