History of Taekwon-Do

Early Military TKD Instructors by Senior Master George Vitale

Although the origins of the martial arts are shrouded in mystery, we consider it an undeniable fact that from time immemorial there have been physical actions involving the use of the hands and feet for purpose of self-protection.
If we were to define these physical actions as “Taekwon-Do”, any country might claim credit for inventing Taekwon-Do. There is, however, scant resemblance between Taekwon-Do, as it is practised today, and the crude forms of unarmed combat developed in the past.
Modern Taekwon-Do differs greatly from other martial arts. In fact, no other martial art is so advanced with regards to the sophistication and effectiveness of its technique or the over-all physical fitness it impacts to its practitioners.
Only those who practice the techniques based on General Choi’s theories, principles and philosophy are considered to be students of the genuine Taekwon-Do.
A combination of circumstances made it possible for General Choi to originate and develop Taekwon-Do.
In addition his prior knowledge of Taek kyon, General Choi had an opportunity to learn Karate in Japan during the unhappy 36 years when his native land was occupied by the Japanese.
By the end of 1954, General Choi had nearly completed the foundation of a new martial art for Korea.
On April 11 1955 this martial art was named “Taekwon-Do”.
General Choi made it clear that although Karate and Taek kyon was used as reference in the course of his studies, the fundamental theories and principles of Taekwon-Do are totally different from those of any other martial art in the world.