Tilak Punn
History of Tae Kwon do
The earliest records of Martial Arts practice date back to about 50 B.C. It was then known as Tae Kyon. Evidence that martial arts were being practiced at that time can be foundin tombs where wall-paintings show two men in a fighting stance. At that time there were three kingdoms: 1. Koguryo (37 B.C. - 668A.D.) 2. Paekje (18 B.C.- 600 A.D.) 3. Silla (57 B.C. - 936A.D.)

Silla unified the kingdoms after winning the war against Paekje in 668 A.D. and Koguryo in 670 A.D. THe Hwa Rang Do played an important role at this unification. The Hwa Rang Do was an elite group of young noble men, devoted to cultivating mind and body and serving the kingdom of Silla. The best translation for Hwa Rang is flowerboy (Hwa = flower, Rang = young man). The Hwa Rang Do had an honor code and practiced various forms of martial arts, including Tae Kyon and Soo Bakh Do. The honor code of the Hwa Rang is the philosophical bacground of modern Tae Kwon Do.

What followed was a time of peace and the Hwa Rang turned from a military organization to a group specialized in poetry and music. It was in 936 A.D. when Wang Kon founded the Koryo dynasty, an abbreviation of Koguryo. the name Korea is derived from the name Koryo.

During the Koryo dynasty the sport Soo Bakh Do became popular. The sport was then used as a military training method. During the Yi-dynasty (1392 A.D. - 1910 A.D.) this emphasison military training disappeared. King Taejo, founder of the Yi-dynasty, replaced Buddhism with Confucianism as the state religion. Accordingto Confucianism the higher class should read poetry and play music. Martial arts was something for the common or even inferior man.

Korea was under Japanese colonial rule for centuries until the end of W.W.II. During the occupation of Korea the Japanese tried to erase all of the Korean culture to supress the people, this included the martial arts. Masters of the art trained in secracy in order to preserve their martial art. Once liberated the Korean masters realized they needed to give their arts one name.

At the end of W.W.II, several Kwons arose. These Kwons were; chung Do Kwon, Moo Duk Kwon, Yun Moo Kwon, Chang Moo Kwon, Oh Do Kwon, Ji Do Kwon, Chi Do Kwon, and Song Moo Kwon. The Kwons united in 1955 as Tae Soo Do. In the early 1957 the name Tae Kwon Do was adopted by several Korean martial rts masters for it's similarity to Tae Kyon.

Demonstrations were given all over the world. It took a while before real progress was made but eventually, in 1973, the World Taekwondo (W.T.F.) was founded.In 1980, W.T.F. Taekwondo was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) and became a demonstration sport at the olympics in 1988. In the year 2000 W.T.F. style Tae kwon Do became an official Olympic sport.
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