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Korean Tae kwon do enters the modern age



Korean Martail Arts


The first native Korean martial arts school, kwan, opened its doors in 1945. Korean tae kwon do was entering its most modern age.

This school was soon followed by several more schools all teaching various forms of traditional Korean martial arts.

Because of the many years that native arts were taught in secret and the addition of Chinese and Japanese methods, these schools all taught native arts which varied widely from one another.

Korean tae kwon do history relates that it took many years for these Masters of martial arts to agree on a unified umbrella name and to merge their various styles into one national style.

The name Tae kwon do was chosen not only for its meaning but for its similarity to the ancient Taek Kyon name.

There is debate, however, to whether the ancient taek kyon and modern tae kwon do even have any similarities.

The Korean Tae kwon do Association was formed on September 14, 1955, heralding a new future for the art of tae kwon do.

Tae kwon do spread rapidly throughout Korea. It spread from the military into high schools and colleges and became an integral thread in the public fabric of the new Korea. It also spread beyond Korea into Asia and ultimately around the world.

Demonstrations were held for governments all the world over with the end result always being a request for Korean instructors to teach in every new country introduced to the art.

By the early 1970ís, tae kwon do was firmly established around the world.

May 28, 1973 saw the formation of a new organization, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

The WTF is the largest of all governing bodies overseeing taekwondo instruction. The WTF oversees and coordinates all tae kwon do activities outside of Korea and remains the only body recognized by the Korean government for this purpose.

The WTF has worked diligently to regulate and encourage the rapid rise in success of tae kwon do worldwide, including the admittance of the WTF into the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1980.

Tae kwon do subsequently received the honor of becoming an official demonstration sport at the 1988 Olympics and was a full medal sport in the 2000 Olympic Games.

Tae kwon do will again be included as a full medal sport in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

The exposure brought by the Olympics helped increase the popularity of tae kwon do. The WTF claims over 5 million black belts worldwide and estimates that there are more than 50 million practitioners of the art in 188 countries.

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