Taekwondo

We have lots of tae kwon do supplies and tea kwon do equipment. We also have gear bags for your tae kwon do sparring gear. You can browse our huge selection of tae kwon do equipment. We have lots of uniforms too!

But first what about the history of this art?

Tae Kwon Do (tie-kwahn-doe) “the way of the hands and feet”

taekwondo kicksMany martial arts began in ancient Korea. That said, Tae Kwon Do, can trace its name and systematization to more modern times. In fact the official Olympic sparing rules for Tae Kwon Do continue to be revised even today.

Korean warriors received training in Chinese Chuan Fa techniques as early as the Silla Dynasty (668 AD – 935 AD). During the Koryo Dynasty (935 AD – 1392 AD) these ancient techniques were transformed into the empty-hand art of Subak. Later, Subak was divided into Yusul (a grappling art) and Taekyon (a striking art) during the early Joseon Dynasty (1393 – 1910). Over time Yusul decreased in popularity and practice and only Taekyon remained, although it too saw a decrease in practice.

An official marital arts text, called the Muye Dobo Tongji, was completed under the direction of King Chongjo in the late 18th century. This text included a description of Kwonbup, which is the empty-handed discipline that led to Subak. Korean families and street gangs kept Taekyon alive during the Chosun Dynasty through their secret practice of this ancient technique.

The Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910-1945 made many Koreans aware of their versions of the Chinese martial arts, most specifically karate. During this long period of the Japanese presence throughout much of the country traditional Korean martial arts such as Taekyon and other traditional Chinese martial arts that were studied in Korea began to include elements of karate.

Korea was liberated in 1945, giving them the freedom to open a variety of martial arts schools including Changmukwan, Chongdokwan, Odokwan, Mudokkwan, and Yonmukwan. General Choi Hong Hi is said to have trained his soldiers using a combination of Karate and Taekyon, and is now know as the founder of modern Taekwondo.

The president of South Korea, Syngman Rhee, ordered the unification of all the various arts taught by the schools. General Choi submitted the name Taekwondo for this new unified system, a name that was accepted by the government. This new unified system included many native Korean martial arts, including many difficult kicks.

General Choi became the president of the newly formed Korean Taekwondo Association (KTA) in 1959. This was also the year General Choi and 19 black belts in the art made the first international Taekwondo tour.

rheeJhoon Rhee is said to be the father of Taekwondo in America. He was originally teaching what he called Korean Karate (or Tangsudo), but changed the name to Taekwondo after a visit from General Choi.

General Choi lost favor with the South Korean government in 1966 as the result of a goodwill trip to North Korea. This caused him to move to Canada where he went on to found the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), which included affiliates in Malaysia, Vietnam, West Germany, Turkey, Singapore, Egypt, Korea, Italy, and the United States. The newly formed ITF did much to bring more of a martial style to Taekwondo, including forms (also known as tol) which Choi had developed. The ITF continued to grow, and has more that 65 member countries. General Choi died in Pyongyang, North Korea in 2002.

The headquarters of Taekwondo in South Korea, known as Kukkiwon, was founded in 1972. The South Korean government created the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in 1973 to directly compete with General Choi’s ITF. This organization was headed by Kim Un-Yong, who was later to be a member of the IOC, and had 35 delegates from various countries. Kukkiwon-WTF focused on the competitive aspects of Taekwondo, hosting the first World Taekwondo Championships in 1973.

The World Taekwondo Federation was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1980 and first entered the Olympics as a demonstration sport in the 1988 summer games, which where quite fittingly held in Seoul, South Korea. At the 2000 Sydney summer Olympic Games it became an official event. It was an official event for the Asian games 16 years earlier in 1984.