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In order to understand the history of Taekwon-Do is to know the founder General Choi Hong Hi. He was born on November 9, 1918 in North Korea, an invaded country that suffered the destruction of its own culture. Korea was occupied by Japan at this time.

General Choi Hong Hi started practicing the ancient Korean art called "Tae Kyon" and later in Japan Shotokan Karate, which he mastered.

After the World War II and the division of the two Koreas, the armed forces in the South Korea were orgnized and in 1946 Lt. Choi Hong Hi started developing a martial art known for its style and Chang Hon.

In 1954, exhibitions were performed for the Korean president on army bases leaving everybody impressed; laying the foundations to the emerging Taekwon-Do. Nam Tae Hi was one of the most prominent Masters that formed part of the team that would give life to Taekwon-Do.

On April 11, 1955, General Choi Hong Hi institutionalized this advanced art known today as Taekwon-Do.

In 1962 General Choi Hong Hi was sent as an ambassador to Malaysia where he began the international diffusion and work on the 24 patterns and literature to lay the foundations of the Art.

In 1972, following a disagreement with the South Korean government, General Choi Hong Hi had to escape from his country and settled in Canada where he became the President of ITF.

The South Korean government decided to restructure Taekwon-Do taking into account their political need to enter the world and chose the sporting way (Olympic Goal), creating for this purpose "World Taekwon-Do Federation" (WTF) as opposed to the "International Taekwon-Do Federation" (ITF), presided by General Choi Hong Hi.

A division of styles started and deepened as time passed, WTF replaced the 24 Taekwon-Do patterns and developed their own distinct competition rules which years later (1988) introduced Taekwon-Do in the Seoul Olympics as a demonstration sport to be later incorporated as an Olympic sport.

Over more than forty years of division ITF Taekwon-Do has evolved as a traditional art including many aspects of its technical richness into sport competition like: sparring patterns, power breaking techniques, special high jumping techniques, and prearranged free sparring, sustaining at the same time the moral values that General Choi Hong Hi propitiated through the practice and teaching of ITF Taekwon-Do.

The paths between ITF and WTF were separated in 1972, being at this moment two completely different sports both in the substance of their combat techniques and in the patterns.

In 1983, the ITF established its headquarters in Austria and established itself as an international movement.

On June 15, 2002 in North Korea, General Choi Hong Hi, Founder of Taekwon-Do, passed away. One June 13, 2003 the late Grand Master Tran Tieu Quan was elected President of the ITF and Grand Master Pablo Trajtenberg as Senior Vice President and Grand Master Wim Bos as Treasurer.

During this Congress, the first Technical Committee of the ITF was born, with Grand Master Hector Marano as Chairmain and its two members, Grand Master Wim Bos and Grand Master Pablo Trajtenberg.

On December 20, 2009, the ITF headquartes moved to Benidorm, Spain and a delegation remained in Vienna, Austria.

Grand Master Tran Trieu Qan presided the ITF until he tragically lost his life on January 12, 2010 during the Haiti earthquake. Grand Master Pablo Trajtenberg assumed the role of ITF President, which was confirmed in Congress on March 2011 in New Zealand and Master Paul Weiler became Senior Vice President.

A fundamental part in the history of the evolution of the ITF Taekwon-Do are the International Instructor Courses (IIC) which provide training to instructors of the entire world in order to standardize and improve the technical level of the participants.



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