History Of Taekwondo

In the Korean kingdom of Koguryo, there is a mural painted on the wall of a tomb dating back to 37 BC. It depicts two fighters facing each other in battle using stances practiced in taekwondo today. They’re also shown wearing similar uniforms that are called “dobok.”

Taekwondo was used to train soldiers for unarmed combat and was called “Tae Kyon” at the time. The Kingdom of Silla, where Tae Kyon reached its zenith, established a class of elite warriors trained in Tae Kyon who were known as the “Hwarangs,” which means “flower of youth.”

Modern Taekwondo

In the 1940s, there were several new martial arts schools being established by masters with Chinese or Japanese martial arts backgrounds. These schools were called “Kwans.” They each practiced a moderately unique style but drew strong influence from Taekyyon, a traditional Korean martial art.

A 1952 demonstration by one of the kwans made South Korean president Syngman Rhee urge all Kwans to practice and create a unified system of martial arts that could be taught to the army. This became known as, you guessed it, taekwondo.

Taekwondo thus has had a long history of being constantly perfected. Today, it is a combat sport practiced in 206 different countries and is also part of the Olympics.

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