Best Answer

Due to a controversial debate among experts, it might be difficult to identify or agree upon what was the first school, student, or master of Taekwondo. With a broad definition of exactly what Taekwondo is, and who is responsible for its origins, it is nearly impossible to say what constituted the first school, and its members.

While there are many influences of native Korean tradition and fighting tactics in modern Taekwondo, the culmination and restructuring of Korean Martial Art into what was labeled as Taekwondo in 1955 began from the unification of various Kwans (schools) that were operating in Korea between 1945, and 1955. Many of the founders of the original Kwans were students of Japanese Martial and Chinese Martial Art systems during the Japanese occupation of WWII.

The first official Kwan that was the forerunner for several of the later annex Kwans was the Chung Do Kwan ("School of the Blue Wave"), established in 1944 by Korean college professor Won Kuk Lee. The Chung Do Kwan became the largest civilian Kwan in Korea. The instructors of the Chung Do Kwan trained the Korean Police officers, and its Black Belt members became the President's secret service body guards at the Blue House (Presidential House). The military Kwan, Oh Do Kwan, that taught the soldiers of Korea was started by a few graduates of the Chung Do Kwan.

Some key figures important in the organization and development of Taekwondo as a modern Korean Martial Art included the first generation graduates of the Chung Do Kwan:

Duk Sung Son (3rd Kwanjang of the Chung Do Kwan - Founder of World Taekwondo Association)

Suh Chong Kang (Founder of Kyu Mu Kwan - Co-founder and 1st President of ATA: American Taekwondo Association)

Woon Kyu Uhm (current Chung Do Kwan Kwanjang and Kukkiwon President)

Later Graduates of the Chung Do Kwan include:

Hae Man Park (Vice President, Taekwondo Chung Do Kwan)

Hyun Ok Shin (President, United Chung Do Kwan Association)

Tae Zee Park (President, Tae Park Taekwondo)

In Mook Kim (President, American ChungDoKwan Taekwondo Association)

Edward B. Sell (Founder, United States Chung Do Kwan Association in 1967)

Jhoon Rhee (First permanent Tae Kwon Do Instructor in America)

There are those who argue that Hong-Hi Choi, who eventually became a General in the newly formed South Korean Army after WWII, was the founder or "father" of Taekwon-do because he is believed to have been the one who submitted the term "Tae Kwon" on a ballot during a meeting for the naming of the art on April 11, 1955. However, like other Kwan founders, Choi had studied Japanese Martial Art systems during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910 - 1945), and created his own curriculum for teaching known as a "Kwan." He founded the "Chang Hon" system which teaches his version of what Taekwondo is.

Both Choi and Chung Do Kwan's founder Won Kuk Lee had become Black Belts of Shotokan Karate-do under Gichen Funakoshi, but Lee was the senior rank, and began teaching much earlier. Choi was a student in the Chung Do Kwan under Won Kuk Lee before breaking away to form his own Kwan (school) for training of soldiers in the military which he called Oh Do Kwan ("Gym of my way"). When the various Kwans of Korean Martial Art united in 1961, they formed the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), but the curriculum was sill being developed, and was mostly a blend of all of the Kwans with influence from the senior master and founder of the Chung Do Kwan, Won Kuk Lee.

The first national academy for Taekwondo in Korea is called the Kukkiwon, and was completed in 1972 in Seoul, Korea. The Kukkiwon stands today as the World Taekwondo Headquarters, and supreme international authority for issuing Dan (Black Belt), and instructor certification in the Martial Art of Taekwondo from Korea. Many independent organizations, as well as descendents of the original Kwans still issue their own school or organizational color belt grades (geup), Black Belt Degrees (Dan/Poom), Instructor certification, and school charters which are only recognized within their respective organizations.

User Avatar

Wiki User

13y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What was the first Tae Kwon Do school?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass