Taekwondo History 


Evidence of the practice of Tae Kwon Do had been traced back far as the year 37 B.C., through examination of ancient paintings found in royal burial tombs located in northern Korea. These tombs were built during the Koguryo kingdom period, when Korean territory included much of southern Manchuria and eastern China.

During the Silla period of Korean history, beginning in 668 A.D., Tae Kwon Do then called, Taekyon, was taught to the most infamous warriors of Korean history, the Hwrang Do Knights. These legendary warriors were skilled in many of the arts of war, including sword, lance, staff, archery, horsemanship, and hand to hand combat.

Silla’s military strength eventually unified Korea, when the three kingdoms Silla, Koguryo and Paekche were finally united after many centuries of internal war and conflict.

Other early evidence of Tae Kwon Do in early Korea are relics found at various Buddhist shrines and temples. At Pulkuk Sa temple, at the tomb of Kim Dae Sung, in the Sokkur Am cave, two giants carved into the stone walls of the tomb, are fixed for eternity in the Tae Kwon Do poses of Kum Gang Mac-gee.

Much written evidence of Tae Kwon Do comes to us from the Koryo dynasty, (918-1392) where Tae Kwon Do, then called Sudak, was practiced as a form of physical fitness, as a sport and as a martial art.

Modern Tae Kwon Do really began just after the 2nd world war, when the government of Korea started to resurrect many of the old national treasures and national heritage. After the war, many Korean masters began to move from Korea to other parts of the world, taking Tae Kwon Do with them and exposing it to people in other countries.

More recent history of the growth of Tae Kwon Do includes:

  • 1961 -Korean Tae Kwon Do Federation was formed.

  • 1963 -Tae Kwon Do makes it first modern appearance as an excepted competitive sport.

  • 1973 -World Tae Kwon Do Federation was formed.

  • 1973 -First World Tae Kwon Do championship tournament, Seoul, Korea, 18 countries competed.

  • 1986 -First World Cup Tae Kwon Do championship, Seoul, Korea.

  • 1988 -Olympic Games, Seoul, Korea, Tae Kwon Do as a demonstration event.

  • 1992 -Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain, Tae Kwon Do as a demonstration event.

  • 2000 -Olympic Games, Sidney, Australia, Tae Kwon Do becomes a competitive event.

Today, Tae Kwon Do is practiced by more than 30 million students, in over 120 countries around the world. It has become the most popular marital art form in history.