Taekwondo Bible Vol.1

Taekwondo Bible Vol.2

Taekwondo Bible Vol.3

Taekwondo Poem


Taekwondo History


TKD Culture Network



1. Short History of Taekwondo


Old Choseon Period

Martial art activities organized as means of national defense. We call it "Martial arts of Tong-I". It is almost impossible to identify the Martial arts from the military force in this period, especially based on the literary materials. Korean Mandolin bronze swords, which are unique only in Tong-I people, used.Social martial arts was related to the Jecheon (Heaven Worship) ceremony and thus, to dance. Ideas of a developing Sinseondo (Hermits' Teachings) incorporated into Taekwondo.

The period of Power Struggles (B.C 140~)

Many countries developed Martial arts for national defense through the power struggles against another nations. These countries are North Buyeo, Jolbon Buyeo, East Buyeo, Nakrang, Dongye, Samhwan. Jecheon ceremony developed more and particularly : Yeonggo of Buyeo, Mucheon of Dongye, October Festivities of Samhwan, where martial arts were performed as an important component.

The Three kingdoms period

a. Koguryeo The warrior group `Seonbae' was formed. An alliance of Jecheon ceremony, which was called "Tong-Maeng", was organized. Koguryeo martial arts were called "Taekkyeon", "Subak", "Kwonbeop", "Kakjeo", or "Nalparam" and so on.

b. Shilla Pungwoldo was reconsolidated and intensified as Hwarangdo. Sesog Ogye (Five Teachings for Worldly Life) was developed for them.

c. Baekje The warrior group `Saurabi' was organized.

d. Gaya Some of the martial arts skills passed to Japan, and these become Karate (Originally Kayate(meaning Gaya's = Kaya's) Hand changed into Karate. These days Karate means Empty Hand).

Koryo period

The ancient Taekwondo, being acknowledged as a martial art, was developed to Subakheui ('Hand Striking Skills'). It becomes one of the indispensable skills for warriors. Subak was developed in the national institution to Obyeong ('Five Soldiers') Subakheui as a type of group competition. Taekwondo started to develop as a game or a sport. (as a Subak Game)

Chosun period

Byeongjo (the Department of National Defense) selected Subakheui as part of a national exam to select soldiers. Development of weapons like gunpowder and Jochong ('bird-guns') decreased relative importance of Taekwondo as a national defense martial art. The section of the martial arts open in the Gwageo(National Exam for Selecting Government Officials) was founded. The martial art text book Muye Dobotongji was published.


Various names of ancient Taekwondo unified into Taekwondo'.(1965) Korea Taekwondo Association joined Korea Athletic Society as a member organization.(1962) and Taekwondo was designated as a national sport.(1971) Kukkiwon was founded (1972), which means by its letters "National Skills Institute" and the World Taekwondo Federation (W. T. F.) was founded.(1973) The World Taekwondo Federation became an acknowledged organization by I.O.C. (1979)