History of TKD


Taekwon-Do (TKD) is not to be confused with many other styles of Martial Arts. Emphasis is placed on Self Defence, and the necessary personal development of self-control. Concurrent with the development of ones physical ability (co-ordination, strength, reflex, endurance, speed etc..), psychological development, leading to a greater self belief is assisted by the memorising and practising of the 6 Tenets (doctrine of belief) of Taekwon-Do. The precise interpretation of them in every day life is what makes one a true practitioner of the Art.

Taekwon-Do is a modernised and scientifically developed version of a centuries old Korean Martial Art. Hundreds ofyears ago in Korea, the warrior class of society known as the Hwarang-Do practised a form of weaponless combat known as Taek Kyon and developed a code of conduct to serve as a guideline to compliment their intensive physical training.

Taekwon-Do was 'born' on April 11th, 1955 having been created by General (he was a Major General in the South Korean Army) Grandmaster Choi Hong Hi - 9th Degree Black Belt.

Gen Choi was born on November 9th, 1918 in the rugged and harsh area of HwaDae, Myong Chun District in what is now D.P.R of Korea. Even at an early age, however, the future general showed a strong and independent spirit.

General Choi Hong Hi was trained in his native Korea in the art of Taek Kyon however during the Japanese occupation of Korea he became a Black Belt in Karate also. It was not until the 1940's when the General decided that Korea needed it's own martial art for it's own army that the foundations of Taekwon-Do were laid.

On the 11th of April 1955 a board, consisting of ministers and army officers was convened by Gen. Choi in order to officially name this art that he had researched into and invented. Taekwon-Do was the name submitted by the General and accepted thereby becoming the name of the most powerful Martial Art the world has come to know.

Although General Choi's fundamental training was in Taek Kyon and Karate the basic principles of Taekwon-Do are totally different from those of any other martial art in the world. When you look at some martial arts and you are impressed by their dance like grace and beauty, with Taekwon-Do you can marvel at its spectacular power and practical effectiveness. This is what makes it so special.

General Choi compiled a total of 24 Patterns frequently referred to as the Chon-ji or Chang Hon (his pen name) series and this is the compilation that forms the backbone of the BUTF’s syllabus.

In the technical area, General Choi Hong Hi created a wide variety of techniques that can be used in almost any situation. They are based on the following principles:

  1. All movement should be designed to produce maximum power in accordance with scientific formulas and the principle of kinetic energy;
  2. The principles behind the techniques should be so clear that even those ignorant to Taekwon-Do are be able to distinguish correct from incorrect movement;
  3. The distance and angle of each movement should be exactly defined in order to achieve more efficient attack and defence.
  4. The purpose and method of each movement should be clear and simple, in order to facilitate the teaching and learning process.
  5. Rational teaching methods should be developed so that the benefits of Taekwon-Do training may be enjoyed by everyone, young and old, men and women.
  6. Correct breathing methods should be devised, enhancing the speed of each movement and reducing fatigue.
  7. Attack should be possible against any vital spot on the body and it should be possible to defend against all varieties of attack.
  8. Each attacking tool should be clearly defined and soundly based on the structure of the human body.
  9. Each movement should be easy to execute, enabling the student to enjoy Taekwon-Do as a sport and recreation;
  10. Special consideration should be paid to promoting good health and preventing injuries.
  11. Each movement should be harmonious and rhythmical so that Taekwon-Do is aesthetically pleasing;
  12. Each movement in a pattern must express the personality and spiritual character of the person it is named after.