THE ORIGINS OF TAE KWON DO
Tae Kwon-Do originated from 2000 year old elements of the Korean martial arts:
Taek Kyon and Subak. Modern Tae Kwon Do is also influenced by Japanese Shotokan Karate as a result of the Japan's early 20th century occupation of Korea.
There are two main styles of Taekwondo, World Taekwondo Federation or WTF and International Tae Kwondo Federation or (ITF) which was founded by General Choi Hong Hi, the father of Taekwondo on 11th April 1955. The art general emphasizes kicks using the leg's greater reach and power. Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, punches, and open-handed strikes and also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws, and joint locks
Korea in the 20th Century
With a population of 12 million and a standing army of only 6 thousand, Korea was open to invasion. In 1910 Japan landed troops and started their iron fisted occupation. This lasted until Japan was defeated at the end of World War Two.
Until then it was strictly forbidden for a Korean to follow his own culture. Korean martial arts and also styles of dress and language were not allowed.
After it's release in 1947, the United Nations recognised Korea's claim for independence. On Aug. 15th 1948 the Republic of Korea was inaugurated. In North Korea the Communists established their own regime and created the 'Democratic People's Republic of Korea' in September 1948. The country was therefore divided along the 38th parallel. All was not well, and in 1950 Korea was torn by a bloody three-year civil war. To this day an uneasy truce between the two states exists
What this meant to Tae-Kwon-Do
Korea's split also divided Tae-kwon-Do into two separate factions, the WTF or World Tae kwon-Do Federation (South Korean) and the ITF or International Tae kwon-Do Federation (North Korean). For many years there has been much political infighting between these two groups.