Who created Taekwondo?

Taekwondo was developed by a number of influential martial artists in the mid and late twentieth century. Different styles of Taekwondo credit different martial artists as being significant in the development of, or the founder of, that style.

Choi Hong-hi was highly influential in creating Taekwondo, and is acknowledged as the founder of Changheon-yu Taekwondo – one of the two biggest styles of Taekwondo. Others, such as Nam Tae-hi and Choi Chang-keun, helped to develop this style of Taekwondo, and even created some of its forms. Choi also proposed the name ‘Taekwondo’ for the art.

Yi Won-guk and Son Deok-seong developed Cheongdo-kwan Taekwondo. Some Taekwondo practitioners around the world today continue to practise the style created by Yi and Son, but other Cheongdo-kwan practitioners follow the Kukki-won curriculum.

Hwang Ki is known as the founder of a style of Tangsudo which is closely related to Taekwondo and which nearly joined with it, but which today exists as a separate style.

Many people like to identify a single person as being the founder of Taekwondo. While figures such as Choi Hong-hi were pivotal to the development of Taekwondo, there were a number of people who were significant to the art’s development. Many of these people are recognised through Choi Chang-keun’s Taekwondo Pioneers project (http://www.taekwondopioneers.com/tae-kwon-do-pioneers/).

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