What is Taekwondo?

Taekwon-Do literally means, "Way or Art of hand and foot".

Flying KickTae means to smash, kick or destroy with the foot
Kwon means to smash or destroy with the hand
Do means way or art.

It is, however, more than this, it is the scientific use of the body in a method of self-defence and conditioning the body, both physically and mentally, to gain maximum uses of its facilities. Taekwon-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.


Tae Kwon-Do in this country first operated under the auspices of the United Kingdom Tae Kwon-Do Association (UKTA).  The Association was formed in 1967 when Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha (then V Dan black belt) came to the UK from Korea.  The UKTA is part of a larger group - The International Tae Kwon-Do federation (ITF) - which was founded by General Choi Hong Hi.



General Choi Hong-Hi

General ChoiGeneral Choi is considered the founder of Taekwon-Do. It was General Choi who personally evolved and brought Taekwon-Do to fruition during the 1930's and 1940's. Technically, 1955 signalled the beginning of Taekwon-Do as a formally recognised art. During that year, a special board was formed which included leading master instructors, historians, and prominent leaders of Korean society. A number of names for the new martial art were submitted. On the 11th of April, the board summoned by Gen. Choi Hong Hi, decided on the name of Taekwon-Do which had been submitted by him. This single unified name of Taekwon-Do replaced the different and confusing terms; Dang Soo, Gong Soo, Taek Kyon, Kwon Bup, etc. General Choi worked tirelessly to promote Taekwondo across the world, devoting his whole life to the creation and development of the art, until his passing on 15 June 2002.


Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha

Grandmaster RheeGrand Master Rhee Ki Ha is the most senior Grandmaster in the world having been the first Master to be awarded the title by the late General Choi, in 1996. He is regarded as the number one pioneer instructor - being the first instructor to leave Korea for the purpose of teaching Tae Kwon-Do. RAF service men who had learned the Art in Singapore invited Mr. Rhee (then a V Dan) to teach here in the UK. Mr Rhee accepted and this sowed the seeds for the formation of the United Kingdom Tae Kwon-Do Association in 1967. In the ensuing 40 plus years Grandmaster Rhee has travelled the length and breadth of the country promoting Taekwondo through lectures, seminars and demonstrations, and has travelled extensively throughout the world, being in great demand as the number one Grandmaster.


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