• To put it simply Taekwon-Do is a version of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self-defence. It is more than just that, however. It is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defence; a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive physical and mental training.

    It is a martial art that has no equal in either power or technique. Though it is a martial art, its discipline, technique and mental training are the mortar for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve. It is this mental conditioning that separates the true practitioner from the sensationalist, content with mastering only the fighting aspects of the art.

    Bringing TKD values to life Since 1966

    International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) is a Taekwon-Do organization founded on March 22nd, 1966, by General Choi Hong Hi (최홍희) in Seoul, South Korea. The ITF exists to promote and encourage the growth of the Korean martial art of Taekwon-Do.

  • General Choi Hong Hi

    The founder of Taekwon-Do
  • General Choi Hong Hi was born on November 9th, 1918, in the Hwa Dae Myong Chun District of Korea.

    At the age of twelve he started to study Taek Kyon, an ancient Korean method of fighting with the feet. Later, when he was studying in Japan, he met a Karate teacher who helped him earn his first degree Black Belt in less than two years.

    He then intensified his training, striving to earn his second degree. Around the same time, he started teaching.

    Conscripted into the Japanese army during World War II, he was posted to Pyongyang where he was imprisoned. Wanting to maintain his good physical and mental health during his imprisonment, he practiced karate, alone at first, then by teaching it to the staff of the prison and the other prisoners.

    Becoming an officer in the new Korean Army after the end of the war, he continued to teach his martial art to his soldiers as well as to American soldiers serving in Korea.

    His beliefs and his vision of a different approach to teaching martial arts led General Choi to combine elements of Taek Kyon and Karate techniques to develop a modern martial art. He called it Tae Kwon Do, which means “the way of the feet and the hands”, and this name was officially adopted on April 11th, 1955.

    In 1959, General Choi was named President of the Korean Taekwon-Do Association. Seven years later, on March 22nd,1966, he created the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). As the Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the ITF, he had the ability to share his art with students everywhere. Today, Taekwon-Do training is available around the world.

    After a life dedicated to the development of Taekwon-Do, a modern martial art based on traditional values, philosophy, and training, General Choi, Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, died of cancer on June 15th, 2002, in the country of his birth.

  • List of the original Tae Kwon Do [I.T.F.] Pioneers

  • Baek Joong Ki
    Bong Suk Keun
    Cha Ji Chul
    Chang Tae Ik
    Chin Duk Young
    Cho Hee Il
    Cho Sang Min
    Cho Soo She
    Choi Chang Keun
    Choi Kwang Jo
    Choi Weh Bong
    Choo Kyo IL
    Chung Byung Gil
    Chung Suk Jong
    General Woo Jong Lim

  • Han Cha Kyo
    Han Min Kyo
    Hong Sung In
    Hyun Jong Myung
    Im Soon Ho
    Kang Suh Jong
    Kim Bok Man
    Kim Bong Sik
    Kim Gil Sung
    Kim Han Chang
    Kim Hong Sup
    Kim In Mook
    Kim Jong Chan
    Kim Keun Joong
    Kim Kwang Il

  • Kim Suk Kyu
    Kim Syung Bok
    Kim Yong Soo
    Ko Jae Chun
    Kong Young Il
    Koo Pan Hong
    Kwak Byung Oh
    Kwon Jae Hwa
    Lee Byung Moo
    Lee Heang Ung
    Lee Jae Bok
    Lee Joon Jae
    Lee Sang Koo
    Lee Suk Hee
    Lee Ung Sam

  • Lee Yoo Sun
    Nam Tae Hi
    Park Jong Soo
    Park Jung Tae
    Park Sun Jae
    Park Yang Kyu
    Rhee Jhoon Ku
    Rhee Jong Chul
    Rhee Jong Hyup
    Rhee Ki Ha
    Sung Hwang Kwang
    Sung Kwang Yong
    Woo Jae Lim
    Yang Yoo Yup
    Yoon Young Koo

  • General Choi Hong Hi

    Was born on November 9th, 1918, in the Hwa Dae Myong Chun District of Korea.

    In 1959, General was named President of the Korean Taekwon-Do Association.
    Seven years later, on March 22nd,1966, he created the International Taekwon-Do Federation
    (ITF).

    As the Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the ITF, he had the ability to share his art with everywhere. Today, Taekwon-Do training is available around the world.

    After a life dedicated to the development of Taekwon-Do, a modern martial art based on traditional values, philosophy, and training, General Choi, Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, died of cancer on June 15th, 2002, in the country of his birth.

     

    Kim Han Chang

    One of the founding fathers of Taekwon-Do in Argentina.

    TKD was introduced to the country in November 1967. Kim Han Chang received his third Dan in 1966. He was known for his flying scissors kick.

    After the ITF-WTF split that occurred in 1979, Kim worked with his original Chung Do Kwan school. He is ranked as Kuk Ki Won 9th Dan.

    Beyond political disputes he is very respected by all practitioners as a true gentleman.

     

    Brigadier Gen. Woo Jong Lim

    Oh Do Kwan, originally called Dae Han Taekwon-Do Oh Do Kwan Jung Ang Bon Kwan in Seoul, which trained the Korean Military branches, the Korean Police throughout South Korea.

    General Choi Hong Hi founded the Oh Do Kwan along with Nam Tae Hi in the mid-1950s as part of the ROK Army's Physical Training Program. The first people to instruct the ROK Army in "Tang Soo
    Do" (as Taekwondo was called in the early 1950s) were Nam Tae Hi, Woo Jong Lim, Ko Jae Chun, Kim Suk Kyu, Baek Joon Ki, Kwak Keun Sik, Kim Bong Sik, Han Cha Kyo, Kim Bok Man (almost all of whom were originally Chung Do Kwan members).

    Brigadier Gen. Woo Jong Lim; Mr. Han Cha Kyo, the Head Instructor in Singapore and Mr. Cha Soo Young eventually went on to spread the art to the world.

     

    Colonel Ko Jae Chun the 5th Chief of Taekwon-Do instructors in Vietnam.

     

    Park Jong Soo

    A first-generation student of General Choi, Hong Hi, the Father of Taekwon-Do, Grand Master Kong, Young Il's Taekwon-Do roots are in the Oh Do Kwan in Won Joo, Korea.

    Today, fifty-four years later, Grand Master Kong, Young Il teaches the martial art of Taekwon-Do with the same approaches and rigor he learned from the Father of Taekwon-Do and perfected through continuous practice of the art.

    Grand Master Kong, Young Il is steadfastly focused on promoting Taekwon-Do and General Choi's legacy.

     

    Nam Tae Hi

    In 1946 a young Korean named Nam Tae Hi began his martial arts training. He would leave school at 3:30 p.m. and go to the Dojang and train, not returning home until midnight. This was a 5 day a week regimen.

    Tang Soo Do training continued under Won Kuk lee at the Chung Do Kwan, and classmates included, Sun Duc Son, and Uhm Woon Kyu (the current head of the Chung Do Kwan in South Korea.)

     

    Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha

    Tae Kwon-Do is truly a Martial Art, having been used in the Korean War and is now a compulsory part of the training schedule of every Korean Solider.

    It was in this environment that Grand Master Rhee began his training and came to be regarded as the number one pioneer instructor being the first instructor to leave Korea for the purpose of teaching Tae Kwon-Do.

    He took the bold step of leaving his homeland and family to come halfway across the world to the UK in order to spread the art he loved. Then, in 1967, the teaching of Tae Kwon-Do in Britain began in earnest, initially with a military theme on bases across the country, eventually spreading to many non-military schools.

    Using contacts made in Singapore while founding the Singapore Tae Kwon-Do Association, Mr. Rhee, then V Dan, started to earn his living doing what he did best - teaching Tae Kwon-Do! The Main stay of his operation was the Royal Air Force. Service men who had learned the Art in Singapore invited Mr. Rhee to teach the here in the UK and the classes proved to be very popular.

    They grew into what we call the United Kingdom Tae Kwon-Do Association.

     

    Grand Master C.K. Choi

    GM CK Choi believes that Tae Kwon Do practioners must train both the mind and the body to achieve the highest levels of physical fitness and mental discipline.

    This will uncover the ultimate person within.

     

    Grand Master Jung Tae Park

    Among the first instructors to carry the national Korean sport outside the country, Mr. Park was hailed as a pioneer of modern tae kwon do.

    An immigrant to Canada in the early '70s, he later founded the Global Taekwon Do Federation, one of the strongest such federations in the world and the only one free of political affiliations.

    Contrary to tae kwon do traditionalists, Mr. Park believed that the form should keep on growing and created more than a dozen new patterns and teachings. In 1995, he created the longest pattern, the Jook-am, which is 95 moves and can take 10 minutes to complete.

     

    Grand Master Hwang KwangSung

    Grandmaster Hwang was born in Teagu Korea.

    Taegu is the third largest city south of the 38th parallel, and is south east of Seoul and north of Busan. At the age of eleven, he started his martial arts training.

    After graduating with a degree in Political Science from KyungPook National University he joined the Republic of Korean Army as a commissioned officer in 1964. Serving as a Korean Airborne and Ranger officer and serving his country in Vietnam. He was stationed in Saigon, Chu Ly, and several others. He taught Taekwon-Do to the Korean Tiger Division, the Korean Army, the US Army and the US Marines along with the Vietnamese Army. Receiving commendation medals from Korea and Vietnam.

    1970 marked his retirement from the ROK Army as a Captain, and Service Company Commander of the 26th Infantry Division. Also known as the Taekwon-Do Division.

     

    Grandmaster Hee Il Cho

    He has won numerous national and international open competitions and has appeared in several films, including Fight to Win, Best of the Best, Bloodsport II, and Bloodsport III. He is a member of the Black Belt magazine Black Belt Hall of Fame.

    At nearly 70 years old, Grandmaster Cho is one of the most respected, dedicated and accomplished martial artist in the world. He has produced over 67 Tae Kwon Do training videos, written 11 books, has been featured on over 50 martial arts magazine covers, and is the founder of the Action International Martial Arts Association (AIMAA).

    Grandmaster Cho also personally teaches every Tae Kwon Do class at his Tae Kwon Do center and AIMAA world headquarters in Honolulu. a true legend in the martial arts community, is one of the most respected martial artist of our time.

    Grandmaster Cho has been inducted to every major martial art Hall of Fame and has shared his 50 years of knowledge with thousands of people around the world. Grandmaster Cho has students journey from all parts of the world to train and study with him.

    From Ireland to India and all throughout the United States and Canada, martial arts students travel several times each year to enhance their skills as a martial artist. Grandmaster Cho has also instructed some of Hollywood's biggest stars as well as co-starred in several motion pictures himself.

     

    Grandmaster Kwon Jae Hwa

    Kwon, Jae-Hwa was born in 1937 in Pusan, a large harbour town in South Korea.

    He began practicing Taekwon-Do in his youth and soon made notice of himself through his exceptional talents. In Hae, Dea-Yeong, 6th Dan, he found a devoted mentor and coach who was totally devoted to the advancement of his students.

    Upon completion of college studies, in journalism, he was employed by Pusan IIbbo, the town's largest daily news publication. But his life's main commitment was still Taekwon-Do. At the age of 24 he was Chief Instructor (highest ranking coach) of the Yonmu-Kwan Taekwon- Do Schools.

    In 1964 he was appointed to the post of Association Technical Director for most of the Taekwon-Do departments at public schools - as well for private Taekwon-Do schools, and universities in the region of Pusan. Grandmaster Kwon, Jae-Hwa is also active functionary in both of these positions until this very day.

     

    Grandmaster Bok Man Kim

    Due in part to the efforts of Bok Man Kim, a 10th Degree black belt who has pioneered the international development of traditional Tae Kwon Do.

    He has been instructing for the past 53 years. Over the course of his career he has taught and performed for presidents and royalty in Southeast Asia and Europe.

     

    Grandmaster Ko Jae Chun

    In 1959, Choi Hong Hi toured the Far East with his top nineteen black belts. The tour was a major success, astounding spectators with Taekwondo's kicking techniques.

    Many of these same black belts later went on to spread Taekwondo to the world. Colonel Ko Jae Chun later became the 5th Chief of Taekwondo Instructors. Born in Chun-ju City, South Korea, Master Lee has earned international recognition during his many years of promoting Tae

     

    Grand Master Joon Jae Lee

    Kwon-Do around the world. A holder of a 9th Degree Black Belt, he commenced his study of the martial art at the age of thirteen.

    Through long days of intense, rigorous training, he became an instructor in his home province and eventually instructed in the Korean army. Following his discharge from the army, he was accepted into the Korean Police as an Instructor of the Force. He won the Police Championships and received top honours in the 1967 Korean National Championship.

    Master Lee was then invited to a charity demonstration in Singapore. As a result of his impressive display, the Singapore Tae Kwon-Do Association asked him to remain in the country and instruct the art. Two years later, Master Lee left on a world tour of teaching and demonstrating Tae Kwon-Do. He was one of the first Korean masters to introduce the art in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and North America.

    By early 1970 Master Lee settled in Calgary, Alberta, pioneering the art of Tae Kwon-Do throughout Western Canada.

     

    Grand Master Kwang Duk Chung

    Grand Master Kwang Duk Chung first brought Taekwon-Do to Argentina in 1967.

    As executive director of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, he carried the word and practice of Taekwon-Do all over South and Central America. For the first time, in 1968, he officially introduced the traditional Taekwon-Do of I.T.F. in New York. Eventually in 1990, feeling the need to preserve the true essence of Taekwon-Do, Master Chung founded the International Taekwon-Do Society.

    The first I.T.S. World Taekwon-Do Championship was helt in New York City (1994), followed by a second in Brazil (1997). Currently, Grand Master Chung is instructing and giving seminars to masters and instructors of I.T.S. in New York, every Sunday, the same way he has been doing it for the past 40 years.

    In 2008, Grand Master K. D. Chung founded the All International TaeKwon-Do Federation (A.I.T.F.) with Grand Masters Kang Seo Jong, Yu Hong Sun, Masters Franklin Araujo, Manuel Nina. Andrade Adon, Martin Song, Hector Espinal, Robin Robertson, Peter Lennon, Peter Van Slyke, Ramon Prensa, and Instructors Julio Mateo, Fredy Miller, Ronald Suarez, Yeison de los Santos, and Jean Ann McNanus.

     

    Grand Master Son Myung Soo

    Grandmaster Son (9th Dan), is President, founder and Chief Instructor for the Royal Tae Kwon Do Federation ( Toronto, Canada ).

    GM Son has taught Korean Martial Arts in Toronto, Canada , since 1971 and over the years has produced many fine martial artists, numerous black belt champions (including Canadian National Champions).

    Accomplishments in Taekwondo Awarded doctorate in Philosophy in Asian Martial Arts History, WAMAPS, Feb. 2010 Awarded doctorate in Philosophy in Korean Martial Art History, World MA League,08' Hall of Fame, Int'l Tae-Kwon-Do Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award, WMAL, 2008 Awarded Korea Culture Award as pioneer in Korean Martial Arts, Korean Can Award Committee, 2002 Founder and President of the "Royal Taekwondo Do Federation" 1991.