major dojangs emerged immediately following the end of the war. The first to
open was GHUNG DO KWAN (Won Kook Lee - 1945). MOO DUK KWAN (Kwang Kee - 1945)
was next, fololowed by YUN MOO KSAN (Sup Chun Sang - 1945), CHANG MOO KWAN
(In Yoon Byung - 1946) and CHI DO KWAN (Yon Kye Pyang - 1946). For the next
decade Korean martial arts flourished. Three more kwans opened in the early
1950s: SONG (sang) MOON KWAN (Byung Chik Ro - 1953), OH DO KWAN (Nam Tae Hi
and Choi Hong Hi - 1953/54 and KI (Jae) DO KWAN (Gae Byang Yun - 1953/54).
Of these, Moo Kuk Kwan became the largest. In 1955, a meeting was convened
to unify the various kwans under a common name, and the name Tae Kwon Do came
are a great many organization that practice Tae Kwon Do. Among the largest
organizations is the World Tae Kwon Do Federation (WTF). The WTF is the only
organization sanctioned by the South Korean government and recognized by the
international Olympic Committee. There are innumerable other smaller Tae Kwon
Do organizations, and individual dojangs that are not affiliated with any larger
organization and are not recognized by the South Korean government.
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Kwon Do, the "way of kicks and punches" is the most well known
of the Korean martial arts in the western world. Tae Kwon Do is known for
its fantastic spinning and jumpming kicks combined with various hand striking
techniques. Tae means "to kick" or "strike with the foot",
Kwon means "fist" or"to strike with the hand", and Do
means "method, discipline or art". Tae Kwon Do is often called "Korean
Kwon Do is derived from the ancient Korean fighting art used by its warrior
class called Taek Kyon (later called Subak), which it resembles in name and
style. Several separate styles are said to have evolved frojm Taek Kyon, including
Hapkido and Tang Soo Do. Lesser known styles include Kuk Sool and Yu Sool.
Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 - 1945 made it illegal for any Korean
to teach or practice their native martial arts. Even though it was illegal,
people were taught in secret. The end of World War II released Koreas from
Japanese occupation and the restrictions they had placed on the Koreans.
Kwon Do was first introduced to Americans during the Korean War, when some
American officers received formal instructions. In the late 1950s Korean
masters started coming to America to teach Tae Kwon Do, and it is now estimated
that Tae Kwon Do is the most widely practiced martial art in America.
Kum Sung & son Char Hee featured
Grandmaster Kum Sung featured