The Origin of Taekwondo

The origin of Taekwondo traces back to the three kingdoms of Koguryo (37BC - 668AD), Paekche (18BC - 600AD), and Silla (57BC - 936AD).  Mural paintings on the royal tombs of the Koguryo Dynasty, the stone sculptures of pagodas of temples of the Silla period, and documents written in the Paekche Dynasty showed fighting stance, skills, and formalized movements similar to today's Taekwondo styles and forms.


All three kingdoms indulged in growing national strength with trained warriors.  Therefore, the Korean history tells that were military personalities among the well-known prominent national leaders of the three kingdoms, which proves the military tendency of ruling heirarchy.


Although Taekwondo first appeared in the Koguryo Kingdom, it is the Silla's Hwarang warriors that are credited with the growth and spread of Taekwondo throughout Korea.  Silla was the smallest of the three kingdoms and was always under attack by Japanese pirates.  Silla got help from King Gwanggaeto and his soldiers from the Koguryo Kingdom to drive out the pirates.  During this time, a few select Sillan warriors were given training in Taek Kyon by the early masters from Koguryo.



The Taek Kyon trained warriors, who became known as the Hwarang.  the Hwarang set up a military academy for the sons of royalty in Silla Called Hwarang-do, which means "the way of flowering manhood".  The guiding principles of the Hwarand warriors were loyalty, filial duty, trustworthiness, valor, and justice.  the makeup of the Hwarang-do education was based on the Five Codes of Human Conduct written by a Buddhist scholar, fundamental eduction, Taek Kyon, and social skills.  taek Kyon was spread throughout Korea because the Hwarang traveled all around the peninsula to learn about the other regions and people.


The modern period of Taekwondo began with the liberation of Korea in 1945 after World War II.  Korea wanted to eliminate japanese influences (in martial arts) and began to unite the various martial arts schools and styles into a single style and national sport.  In 1965, the name Taekwondo was chosen to represent this unified style of Korean martial arts.

The  present Kukkiwon was finished in 1972 and was used as the central gymnasium as well as the site of various Taekwondo competitions.  A year year later, on May 28, 1973, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), now World Taekwondo, came into existence.  The first World Taekwondo Championships were also held in 1973.  In 1980, the World, the World Taekwondo Federation was granted recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  The adoption of Taekwondo as an official event was followed by the World Games in 1981, the Pan-American games in 1986, and finally, by the 2000 Olympics held in Australia.

Hong's USA Taekwondo Habgido Gumdo, Inc.


Grandmaster Soon Pil Hong founded his Dojang (practice gym) in 1985.  throughout the years, he has done many great things for the Martial Arts  world and the communities that surround his facility.  Please view the Affiliations & Credentials Page, and the Honors & Awards Page for more information on Grandmaster Hong.  The School was founded to instruct the teachings of Traditional Taekwondo.  Grandmaster Hong is able to provide these teachings and updates his curriculum often to coincide with the traditional teachings from homeland of Taekwondo - South Korea.

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