1. Taekwondo Emerged After World War II
One historical fact about taekwondo is that it emerged after World War II. During the Japanese occupation of Korea, the practice of traditional Korean martial arts was heavily suppressed. However, after the liberation of Korea in 1945, there was a resurgence of interest in these martial arts. This led to the development of various styles and schools of martial arts in Korea, which later evolved into what is now known as taekwondo.
After the war, Korean martial artists began to unify and systematize the various martial arts styles. They sought to create a modern martial art that could be practiced by everyone, regardless of age or gender. This led to the formation of the Korea Taekwondo Association in 1959, which played a significant role in the development and promotion of taekwondo.
2. The President of South Korea Helped Unify the Country’s Martial Arts
Another interesting historical fact about taekwondo is that the President of South Korea, General Choi Hong Hi, played a crucial role in unifying the country’s martial arts under the name “taekwondo.” General Choi, who was a taekwondo practitioner himself, believed that a unified martial art would help promote national identity and foster a sense of unity among the Korean people.
In 1955, General Choi gathered various martial arts masters and leaders to establish a new martial art that would incorporate the best techniques from different styles. After much discussion and collaboration, they agreed to name this martial art “taekwondo,” combining the Korean words “tae” (meaning foot), “kwon” (meaning fist), and “do” (meaning way or path). This name reflected the emphasis on kicking techniques and the philosophical aspects of the martial art.
General Choi’s efforts in unifying the martial arts community and promoting taekwondo were instrumental in its recognition and spread both within Korea and internationally. He later went on to establish the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) in 1966, which further contributed to the global growth and standardization of taekwondo as a martial art.