Taekwon-Do is a Korean form of martial art founded by General Choi Hong Hi in 1955. In 1966 General Choi created the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and became its president.
ITF Taekwon-Do, as presented by General Choi Hong Hi, is in a constant state of evolution. The General believed that any organisation that is perceived to have reached its objectives is likely to lose momentum, stagnate and die. The evolution that Taekwon-Do is undergoing is the reason it differs greatly from other martial arts. No other martial art is so advanced with regard to the sophistication and effectiveness of its technique and the overall physical fitness it imparts to its practitioners.
Taekwon-Do is an art involving mental training and techniques of unarmed combat for self-defence as well as health, and the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet to the rapid destruction of the moving opponent or opponents. It is the scientific use of the body in the method of self-defence; a body that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive physical and mental training.
On a philosophical level, Taekwon-Do is based on the culture and ethics held in the ancient Orient, and as a practitioner you are obliged to live by the five tenets of Taekwon-Do: courtesy; integrity; perseverance; self-control; indomitable spirit. Students are also required to be aware of the international student oath (left) at all times and follow the values it embodies.
To summarise, translated directly Taekwon-Do is the way of the hand and foot. However, to its practitioners it is much more than that, it is also a way of life.