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Taekwondo: from the unification of Korea to today

La CoreaAfter the unification war, the Korean peninsula relatively crossed a long pacific period.

The members of Hwa Rang Do® devoted to art, to poetry and to the diffusion of the "Tae Kyon".

Between 668 and 935 A.D. they approached many apprentices to the "Tae Kyon" which started to be also known from the other classes, affirming itself as games-sporting activity for physical fitness.

During the Korio dynasty (an abbreviation of Koguryo, from which comes the term Korea), the "Tae Kyon" gave origin to the "Soo Bakh Do." This period was essential for this art. During the reign of Ui Jong, in fact, among 1147 and 1170 it regained his martial character, spreading itself in the army as military training to the fight.

The Korio's dynasty reigned up to 1392, followed by the Yi-dynasty (1392 A.D. - 1910 A.D.) whose founder, King Taejo, replaced Buddhism by Confucianism as the established religion.

The Confucian aristocracy did not practice martial arts but were devoted to the music, to the poetry and the song, so that the Soo Bakh Do" was practiced only by the lower classes.

During Japanese occupation (1910-1936) Soo Bakh Do became illegal also if a lot of people stood up against the Japanese, and trained Tae kwon do in secret. It was strongly influenced by "Karate", the Japanese martial art, from which inherited the quick and linear movements. During World War II, in fact, many Koreans were forced to enlist in the Japanese army and forced to learn the "Karate".

Maestro IX Dan Generale ChoiAt the end of World War II "Soo Bakh Do" was made up of eight Kwan:
· Chung Do
· Moo Duk
· Yun Moo
· Chang Moo
· Oh Do
· Ji Do
· Who Do
· Song Moo

Only in 1955, thanks to Choi Hong Hi (1918-2002), Kwans united in 1955 as Tae Soo Do®.
In 1957 the ancient Korean martial art was denominated Tae Kwon Do (very similar to the original Tae Kyon).

The spread of Tae Kwon Do, both in country and all over the world, is owed To General Choi. He imposed in Korea the practice of this martial art near the army, the aviation and the police and when in 1961 the South Korea government was installed, he moved to the U.S.A., where he founded the I.T.F. (International Taekwondo Federation), that gave to Tae Kwon Do an international fame.

Besides the I.T.F., exists another great international federation, the W.T.F. (World Taekwondo Federation), founded in 1973. In 1980 this last got the recognition of the Olympic Committee Cnternazionale, and in 1988 (Olympiads in Seoul) the Tae Kwon Do W.T.F. was introduced in the Olympic Games as demonstrative sport.

In 2000 Tae Kwon Do made his official entry among the Olympic disciplines.

Despite the repeated attempts, we are well distant from a reunification among the I.T.F. and the W.T.F.

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