What do you know about the story of taekwondo? If you ever had the chance to hear “the story” odds are you know this much: taekwondo is an ancient form of martial arts originating from Korea. Actually contrary to popular belief that is not the true story, but don’t worry the truth is exciting in its own way. The truth is that general Choi Hong-Hi, the person who actually coined the name Tae Kwan Do also provided the first references to the myth according to which 1500 year old dynasties and hwarang warriors where the originating point of the martial art.
The rest of the story focuses around Korean CIA agent Kim Un-yong who was endowed with the mission of promoting the myth by building the now famous Kukkiwon and thus uniting the nine martial arts gyms also known as kwans. There are a lot of shady aspects of what followed but the point is the Kukkiwon was built in the image of Korean traditional culture and WTF ( World Taekwondo Federation) was formed as an “appropriate” alternative to Choi’s Canadian based ITF (International Taekwondo Federation).
We should be honest about the entire issue and recognize that Taekwondo is not an ancient art. There is nothing shameful in acknowledging the truth, especially that it doesn’t change in any way the awesomeness of taekwondo. The problem though is that the false information continues to circulate in cultures, online, and passed from one person to the next. Therefore it is very hard to get people to realize that they have been given information that is inaccurate all this time.
Taekwondo was created in the 1950s, it was not the brain-child of one person and thus no single person no matter his status or fame, can actually take credit for the taekwondo phenomenon. It was a group effort and there are many people who should be congratulated for making it all possible. Even though it isn’t an ancient art form, it is very similar to many of them out there. This is because of the formatting for it and the type of physical and mental discipline that a person needs to have while taking part in it.
Now even though the part regarding ancient warriors isn’t true that doesn’t mean that there is nothing special about taekwondo that can be used to promote the sport. Taekwondo’s sparring and kicking techniques are totally unique and we should focus on them with promotion. These techniques are actually the things that make the sport so great and not the stories, myths and other “improvements”.
Learning the basics of Taekwondo can help a person to feel balanced, to get stronger, and even to lose weight and to get fit. Many people refer to it as the modern martial art due to the fact that it isn’t very old at all. However, it does have a rich history that will likely ensure it is hear to stay. Even though the background for it isn’t what is often portrayed it is still a very interesting and exciting sport to be involved with.