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Biography

General Choi Hong Hi

General Choi Hong Hi was born on November 9th, 1918, in the Hwa Dae Myong Chun District of Korea.

At the age of twelve he started to study Taek Kyon, an ancient Korean method of fighting with the feet. Later, when he was studying in Japan, he met a Karate teacher who helped him earn his first degree Black Belt in less than two years. He then intensified his training, striving to earn his second degree. Around the same time, he started teaching.

Conscripted into the Japanese army during World War II, he was posted to Pyongyang where he was imprisoned. Wanting to maintain his good physical and mental health during his imprisonment, he practiced karate, alone at first, then by teaching it to the staff of the prison and the other prisoners.

Becoming an officer in the new Korean Army after the end of the war, he continued to teach his martial art to his soldiers as well as to American soldiers serving in Korea.

His beliefs and his vision of a different approach to teaching martial arts led General Choi to combine elements of Taek Kyon and Karate techniques to develop a modern martial art. He called it Tae Kwon Do, which means “the way of the feet and the hands”, and this name was officially adopted on April 11th, 1955.

In 1959, General Choi was named President of the Korean Taekwon-Do Association. Seven years later, on March 22nd,1966, he created the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). As the Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the ITF, he had the ability to share his art with students everywhere. Today, Taekwon-Do training is available around the world.

After a life dedicated to the development of Taekwon-Do, a modern martial art based on traditional values, philosophy, and training, General Choi, Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, died of cancer on June 15th, 2002, in the country of his birth.

Interview Video

General Choi Hong Hi

Tribute to General Choi
General Choi Hong Hi
Father of Taekwon-Do
Born 1918, Kilju
Died 2002, Pyongyang

JOIN US BY SHARING YOUR MEMORIES OF GENERAL CHOI

In order to acknowledge the increasable effort of the Founder of Taekwon-Do General Choi Hong Hi in designing and development of Taekwon-Do….., ITF HQ Korea is launching this forum to share some of those special moments that you remember with him. You can post on the site and upload your photos that depict times past and what they mean to you. After 11 years his legacy continues and by sharing these times it may help to remind us all, that ITF Taekwon-Do is one entity, regardless of the path that individual practitioners follow as they make their journey.

  • Select a picture

    It can be any picture that you think it is related to General Choi - We encourage your artistic creativity

  • Tell us why

    Write a short message or comment about this picture and tell us why it is memorable for you

  • Send email

    You can send your picture and message to our email at korea@itfmaill.org

  • Upload Social Networks

    You can also upload those pictures by using Instagram with hashtag #choihonghi