-Warrior Legend Series-
General Choi Hong Hi
Founder of Tae Kwon Do
Choi Hong Hi was a military man retired from his service as a Major General. Furthermore, he is considered to be the father of Tae Kwon Do - the art translated as "the way of the hand and foot."
The Legend is born
General Choi was born on November 9, 1918 in Hwa Dae, Myongchon County, which was under the rule of the Japanese (now North Korea) leading up to WWII.
Becoming a man
Choi's father was adamant on him learning and studying. He began learning calligraphy from an instructor named Han Il Dong who was especially skilled in fighting with foot techniques.
Choi then moved on to Japan where he studied 3 things: Math, English, and Karate! Karate was of course his favorite and greatest passion. He learned a couple different types of karate during this time, one of which was Shotokan Karate from the martial arts Legend, Gichin Funakoshi
Inspired by a threat
Prior to leaving Korea however, Choi supposedly angered a man known as Mr. Hu (angering a Mr. Hu does not sound like a good idea...). Mr. Hu was a wrestler that apparently promised to literally tear Choi from limb to limb when he returned to the homeland.
As a result of this threat, Choi became obsessed with training to defend his life against Mr Hu. The end product was Choi becoming a lethal weapon and eventual founder of Tae Kwon Do.
WWII gets in the way
Interesting enough, Choi was forced to serve for the Japanese Army during WWII. A true Korean at heart, he pushed back and rebelled, naturally leading to his imprisonment. While most would throw this time away and think only about escape, Choi decided to maximize his time alone in prison by mastering his craft.
Address him as General Choi
Once the war ended, Choi was released to the Korean Army in 1946 where he began his incredible ladder climb from second lieutenant to Major General. From now on, we would recognize this man as GENERAL CHOI - Pretty badass!
Born is "The Way of the Hand and Foot"
General Choi took the best parts of Taekkyeon and Karate to develop the art he called Tae Kwon Do (TKD) - "The Way of the Hand and Foot." Nearly 62 years ago, General Choi named this art, which my family and I are proud to say we have practiced nearly our entire lives. I can say without a shadow of a doubt this art shaped who I am today and my path and purpose in life. I am eternally grateful for the work of General Choi Hong Hi.
Controversy between North and South Korea. Really?
Who would have guessed that the North and South were fighting during this time? There are 2 federations: International Tae-Kwon Do Federation (ITF) and World Tae-Kwon Do Federation (WTF) that belong to the North and South, respectively.
The South simply hated General Choi. Due to this push and other variables accumulated, the South lashed out against General Choi and started the WTF in spite of him. Their goal was to dishonor and omit him from any association with the founding of TKD.
The reality is that General Choi is the true founder of Tae-Kwon Do regardless of the name of the federation.
General Choi died in 2002 from cancer in North Korea. He is in the TKD Hall of Fame as the Father and Founder of Tae-Kown Do and the ITF. His legacy lives on with his students and pioneers like Grandmaster Jong Soo Park (subscribe to Warriors Magazine to read Cover on him) promoting TKD around the world. Moreover, he published his book on TKD IN 1965, which has since been updated. It is simply titled "Tae-Kwon Do."
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Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of Warriors Magazine