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HISTORY & DEVELOPMENT OF OF TAE-KWON-DO AS A GLOBAL SPORT AND LIFE OF THE FOUNDER OF TAE-KWON-DO MASTER GEN. CHOI HONG HEE

1918 General Choi Hong Hi was born on November 9th, 1918 in the rugged and harsh area of Hwa Dae, Myong Chun District in what is now DPR Korea. In his youth, he was frail and quite sickly, a constant source of worry for his parents.

Even at an early age, however, the future general showed a strong and independent spirit. At the age of twelve, he was expelled from school for agitating against the Japanese authorities who were in control of Korea. This was the beginning of what would be a long association with the Kwang Ju Students’ Independence Movement.

After his expulsion, young Choi’s father sent him to study calligraphy under one of the most famous teachers in Korea, Mr. Han II Dong. Han, in addition to his skills as a calligrapher, was also a master of Taek Kyon, the ancient Korean art of foot fighting. The teacher, concerned over the frail condition of his new student, began teaching him the rigorous exercises of Taek Kyon to help build up his body.

In 1937, Choi was sent to Japan to further his education. In Kyoto, Choi met a fellow Korean, Mr. Kim, who was engaged in teaching the Japanese martial art. With two years of concentrated training, Choi attained the rank of first degree black belt. These techniques, together with Taek Kyon (foot techniques), were the forerunners of modern Taekwon-Do.

There followed a period of both mental and physical training, preparatory school, high school, and finally the University in Tokyo. During this time, training and experimentation in his new fighting techniques were intensified until, with attainment of his second degree black belt, he began teaching at a YMCA in Tokyo, Japan.

After WWII Master Choi journeyed to Seoul where he organized a student soldier’s party. In January of the following year, Choi was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the new Korean army, the “Launching Pad” for putting Taekwon-Do into a new orbit.

Soon after, he made company commander in Kwang-Ju where the young second lieutenant lighted the torch of this art by teaching his entire company and was then promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to Tae Jon in charge of the Second Infantry Regiment. While at his new post, Choi began spreading the art not only to south Korean soldiers but also to the Americans stationed there.

This was the first introduction to Americans of what would eventually become known as Taekwon-Do.

 

1947 was a year of fast promotion. Choi was promoted to captain and then major. In 1948, he was posted to Seoul as the head of logistics and became Taekwon-Do instructor for the American Military Police School there. In late 1948, Choi became a lieutenant colonel.

In 1949, Choi was promoted to full colonel and visited the United States for the first time, attending the Fort Riley Ground General School. While there, this art was introduced to the American public. And in 1951, brigadier general. During this time, he organized the Ground General School in Pusan as Assistant Commandant and Chief of the Academic Department.

 

Choi was appointed as Chief of Staff of the First Corps in 1952 and was responsible for briefing General MacArthur during the latter’s visits to Kang Nung. At the time of the armistice, Choi was in command of the 5th Infantry Division.

The year 1953 was an eventful one for the General, in both his military career and in the progress of the new martial art. He organized and activated the crack 29th Infantry Division at Cheju Island, which eventually became the spearhead of Taekwon-Do in the military and established the Oh Do Kwan (Gym of My Way) where he succeeded not only in training the cadre instructors for the entire military but also developing the Taek Kyon into a modern system of Tae kwon-Do, with the help of Mr. Nam Tae Hi, his right hand man in 1954.

In the latter part of that year, he commanded Chong Do Kwan (Gym of the Blue Wave), the largest civilian gym in Korea; Choi was also promoted to major general.

Technically, 1955 signalled the beginning of Taekwon-Do as a formally recognized art in south Korea. During that year, a special board was formed which included leading master instructors, historians, and prominent leaders of society. A number of names for the new martial art were submitted. On the 11th of April, the board summoned by Gen. Choi, decided on the name of Taekwon-Do which had been submitted by him. This single unified name of Taekwon-Do replaced the different and confusing terms; Dang Soo, Gong Soo, Taek Kyon, Kwon Bup, etc.

In 1959, Taekwon-Do spread beyond its national boundaries. The father of Taekwon-Do and nineteen of his top black belt holders toured the Far East. The tour was a major success, astounding all spectators with the excellence of the Taekwon-Do techniques. Many of these black belt holders such as Nam Tae Hi, President of the Asia Taekwon-Do Federation; Colonel Ko Jae Chun, the 5th Chief of Taekwon-Do instructors in Vietnam; Colonel Baek Joon Gi, the 2nd Chief Instructor in Vietnam; Brigadier Gen. Woo Jong Lim; Mr. Han Cha Kyo, the Head Instructor in Singapore and Mr. Cha Soo Young;presently an international instructor in Washington D.C. eventually went on to spread the art to the world.

 

In this year, Choi was elevated to two illustrious posts; President of his newly formed “Korea Taekwon-Do Association” and deputy commander of the 2nd Army in Tae Gu.

The south Korean Ambassador to Vietnam, General Choi Duk Shin was instrumental in helping to promote Taekwon-Do in this nation.

During that year, the General attended the Modern Weapons Familiarization Course in Texas followed by a visit to Jhoon Rhee’s Karate Club in San Antonio, where the author convinced the students to use the name Taekwon-Do instead of Karate. Thus Jhoon Rhee is known as the first Taekwon-Do instructor in America. This marked the beginning of Taekwon-Do in the United States of America.

Armed Command with direction of the infantry, artillery, armored, signal and aviation schools. The years 1961 through 1962 were the years of maturation for Taekwon-Do, with the command of the largest training centers in south Korea.

 

 

Taekwon-Do spread like wildfire, not only to the Korean civilian and military population but to U.S. soldiers of the 7th Infantry division which was under his operational control. Through his students, Taekwon-Do was even introduced to the greatest military academy in the world, West Point.

1962, Choi was appointed as Ambassador to Malaysia, where, as a dedicated missionary of Taekwon-Do, the art was spread.

In 1963, the Taekwon-Do Association of Malaysia was formed and reached national acceptance when the art was demonstrated at the Merdeka Stadium at the request of the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rhaman.

The same year, two important milestones took place: the famous demonstration at the United Nations building in New York, and the introduction of Taekwon-Do to the Armed Forces of Vietnam under Major Nam Tae Hi. In February of the Following year, a Taekwon-Do Association was formed in Singapore, and the groundwork was laid for forming associations in the outer reaches of Brunei.

The same year, Ambassador Choi made a trip to Vietnam with the sole purpose of teaching the advanced Taekwon-Do patterns that he perfected after years of research to the instructors group headed by Lt. Col. Park Joon Gi, in person. This was indeed a new era for Taekwon-Do in that he was able to draw a clear line between Taekwon-Do and Karate by completely eliminating the remaining vestige of Karate.

Late this year, he was re-elected to be the President of the “Korea Taekwon-Do Association” upon returning home, which gave him a chance

to purify the Taekwon-Do society by cleaning up the political circles within its organization.

In 1965 Ambassador Choi, retired two star general, was appointed by the authority of the south Korea to lead a goodwill mission to West Germany, Italy, Turkey, United Arab Republic, Malaysia, and Singapore. This trip is significant in that the Ambassador, for the first time in Korean history, declared Taekwon-Do as the national martial art of Korea.

This was the basis not only for establishing Taekwon-Do Associations in these countries but also the formation of the International Taekwon-Do Federation as it is known today. In 1966, the dream of the sickly young student of calligraphy, who rose to Ambassador and the Association President of the most respected martial art in the world, came true. On 22nd of March, the International Taekwon-Do Federation was formed with associations in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, West Germany, the United States, Turkey, Italy, Arab Republic of Egypt and Korea.

In 1967, the father of Taekwon-Do received the First Class Distinguished Service medal from the Government of Vietnam and he helped to form the Korea-Vietnam Taekwon-Do Foundation, presided by Gen. Tran Van Dong. That same year the Hong Kong Taekwon-Do Association was formed. In August, Choi visited the All American Taekwon¬Do tournament held in Chicago, Illinois, where he discussed expansion, unification, and the policy of the United States Taekwon-Do Association with leading instructors. This visit led to the formal establishment of the U.S. Taekwon-Do Association in Washington, D.C. on November 26, 1967.

 

In late 1967, Master Oyama visited Seoul to continue the discussion they had earlier at Hakone, Japan, whereby Master Oyama would eventually change his techniques to that of Taekwon-Do.

In that same year, five instructors were selected from the Armed Forces for Taiwan.

In 1968, Master Choi visited France, as the chief delegate of the south Korean authority to attend the Consul International Sports Military Symposium held in Paris. Taekwon-Do was a major topic on the agenda. Delegates from 32 countries witnessed demonstrations of Taekwon-Do by a team of experts.

That same year, the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association was formed and the author visited Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and India with the hope of spreading Taekwon-Do.

When Choi returned to south Korea he was presented with the first Sports Research Award from the authority of south Korea for his dedicated work on behalf of the Korean martial art.

 

In 1969, Choi toured Southeast Asia to personally investigate the preparations of each country for the First Asian Taekwon-Do Tournament that was held in September in Hong Kong. Immediately after the tournament, the author undertook a worldwide tour of twenty-nine countries to visit instructors

August 1970, the Master Choi left for a tour of twenty countries throughout Southeast Asia, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Choi, of course, held seminars for international instructors every place he went and helped spread and weld the International Taekwon-Do Federation into a cohesive force.

In March 1971, Choi attended the Second Asian Taekwon-Do Tournament, held at Stadium Negara in Malaysia, which was opened with the declaration of Tun Abdul Rhajak, the Prime Minister, and closed with the presence of their Majesties.

Also in this year, the Author was asked by Gen. Kim Jong Hyun, head of the Army Martial Art department, to select qualified instructors for the Republic of Iran Armed Forces.

The world tour in 1972 was quite retrospective in that Choi had an opportunity to introduce Taekwon-Do to those heads of state of Bolivia, Dominica, Haiti and Guatemala respectively.

1974 was indeed an exuberant and long remembered year for Choi, because the founder of Taekwon-Do was not only able to proudly present the superiority of techniques as well as the competition rules of this art, but also to bring his dream into reality by holding the First World Taekwon-Do Championship in Montreal.

In November and December of this same year, he led the 4th International Taekwon-Do Demonstration Team consisting of 10 of the world’s top instructors to Jamaica, Curacao, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela and Surinam.

In 1975, Taekwon-Do alone had the privilege to demonstrate at the Sydney Opera House for the first time since its opening.

 

 

In the middle of 1976 First European, Taekwon-Do Championships held in Amsterdam.

September 1977, the founder of Taekwon-Do visited Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia following the Tokyo meeting in which he publicly denounced the south Korean President Park Jung Hee who had been using Taekwon-Do for his political ends. Later that year he visited Sweden and Denmark to aid in the formation of their National Associations of Taekwon¬Do.

 

In May 1978, General Choi toured Malaysia, Pakistan, Kenya and South Africa accompanied by Rhee Ki Ha. In this year he led the 5th International Taekwon-Do Demonstration Team consisting of Choi Chang Keun. Rhee Ki Ha, Park Jung Tae and Liong Wai Meng to Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia. In September the same year the Second World Taekwon-Do Championships was held in Oklahoma City, U.S.A.

In June 1 979, the All Europe Taekwon-Do Federation was formed in Oslo, Norway. After this historic event General Choi toured Sweden, Denmark, West Germany, France and Greenland accompanied by Khang Su Jong and Rhee Ki Ha.

In November of that year he led the 6th International Taekwon-Do demonstration team consisting of Kim Jong Chan, Choi Chang Keun, Rhee Ki Ha, Park Jung Tae, Lee Jong Moon, Chung Kwang Duk, Kim Suk Jun and Michael Cormack to Argentina.

In the early 1980s Gen. Choi was finding difficulties without Taekwon¬Do training materials,That time Instructor Woo Jin Jung, pioneer of Taekwon-Do in USA (publisher of “Taekwon-Do Times”) helped the author and published the “Condensed Version of Taekwon-Do” for the first time inspite of various political obstacles.

The year 1980 was indeed an unforgetable one for the father of Taekwon-Do, both for himself and the future of his art. He and 15 of his students, including his son Choi Joong Hwa, made a monumental trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This was the first time that Taekwon-Do was introduced to the people of DPRK, Choi’s birth place.

In November of the same year, the first All Europe Taekwon-Do Championships was held in London with 18 countries participating.

In January 1981, Gen. Choi made a visit to Queensland, Australia, accompanied by Choi Chang Keun, to declare opening the first Pacific Area Taekwon-Do Championships. At this time he helped to form the South Pacific Taekwon-Do Federation as well as the Australia Taekwon-Do Federation.

In June of the same year, the author led the 8th International Taekwon-
Do Demonstration Team to Tokyo, Japan. In October, he conducted a seminar for the founding members of Taekwon-Do in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and in November he proudly presented the unified Taekwon-Do demonstration team consisting of north and south Korean instructors to the historic meeting called North and Overseas Korea Christian Leaders, held in Vienna, Austria.

 

 

In August, President Choi visited Argentina to declare the opening of the Third World Taekwon-Do Championships held in Resitancia, Chaco.

In January 1982 the President of International Taekwon-Do Federation formed the North America Taekwon-Do Federation, in Toronto Canada.

In this year, the author was finally able to realize his long anticipated dream since 1967 when a Taekwon-Do gym opened for the first time in Japan under the auspices of patriot Jun Jin Shik.

It was indeed a very busy year for the President in that he visited Puerto Rico in July accompanied by Master Park Jung Tae, to conduct seminars.

During the months of October and November he toured Greenland, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Finland, accompanied by Master Han Sam Soo, Park Jung Taek and Choi Joong Hwa to promote Taekwon-Do. He also attended the First Intercontinental Taekwon-Do Championships held in Quebec, Canada in November and the Second All Europe Taekwon-Do Championships held in December in Naples, Italy.

In October of the same year Gen. Choi met with Mr. Csanadi, the Chairman of programming committee of I.O.C. in Budapest, Hungary to discuss the recognition of I.T.F. by the I.O.C.

Taekwon-Do Federation, to grade Charles E. Sereff, the President of U.S. Taekwon-Do Federation, for 7th degree.

In February 1983, the author toured Latin America including Argentina, Colombia, Panama and Honduras to conduct full scale seminar. During his stay in Honduras he helped to activate the Central America Taekwon-Do Federation.

During the months of March, April and May he toured Santa Barbara, California, Europe and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to conduct last minute preparation of this edition, the last product of his life¬long research.

In October and November of the same year, he made a visit to Yugoslavia and Italy accompanied by Park Jung Taek and Choi Joong Hwa to prepare photographs to be used for this Encyclopedia.

In April 1984, President Choi declared the opening of the Fourth World Taekwon-Do Championships held in Glasgow, Scotland. In the same month, he visited Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee, in Lausanne accompanied by Master Rhee Ki Ha, Charles Sereff and Kim Yong Kyu to prove convince that only the International Taekwon-Do Federation is the world governing body of true Taekwon-Do.

In September, the author invited key instructors such as Lee Suk Hi, Rhee Ki Ha, Park Jung Tae and Choi Joong Hwa to Pyongyang to finalize the publication of this Encyclopedia.

In fact, this was the time when the relocation of the I.T.F. to Vienna, Austria was seriously discussed.

 

In October of the same year, the President made an official visit to Budapest, Hungary to declare the opening of the 3rd All Europe Taekwon¬Do Championships. This indeed was of particular importance as it was the first large scale international event held in a socialist country as far as Taekwon-Do tournament is concerned.

In the following month, General Choi visited New York City along with masters Lee Suk Hi and Park Jung Tae to declare open the 3rd annual General Choi’s Cup in North America.

In December the 5th, I.T.F. Congress meeting was held in Vienna, where it was unanimously decided to relocate the IT.F. here by March of the next year. Also at the meeting, President Choi Hong Hi was re-elected for another term. Mr. Jon Jin Sik, the President of Japan International Taekwon-Do Federation, masters Lee Suk Hi and Rhee Ki Ha were elected as Vice Presidents with master Park Jung Tae as Secretary-General.

Without doubt, 1985 was one of the most significant years for the founder of Taekwon-Do as he was able to document all of the techniques he had researched for years by publishing the Encyclopedia of Taekwon¬Do. He was also able to establish a strong foundation for the spreading of his art to the entire world, especially the socialist and other countries by moving the International Taekwon-Do Federation to Vienna, the capital city of Austria.

 

In April of this year, President Choi visited Puerto Rico accompanied by Tran Trien Quan, the President of the Canadian Taekwon-Do Federation, James Lim and Kim Suk Jun to attend the 1 st Latin American General Choi’s Cup. I n J une, he visited East Berli n to attend the openi ng ceremony of the 24th I.O.C. Congress.

In November of the same year, Gen. Choi, accompanied by Secretary¬General Master Park Jung Tae and Tran Trien Quan, visited Norway to honour the opening of the 1985 Scandinavian Taekwon-Do Championships.

In December, various festivals celebrating the 30th anniversary of Taekwon-Do held in Quebec, Canada sponsored by the Taekwon-Do Federation of Canada were highlighted with the presence of the Father of Taekwon-Do, Gen. Choi Hong Hi.

In June 1986 the founder took D P R K Taekwon-Do demonstration team to the People’s Republic of China. This visit eventually became the motivation for the Chinese people to adopt the Korean martial art, Taekwon-Do.

1987 was a significant year for General Choi because he showed once again the indomitable spirit as well as perseverance to the Taekwon-Do world by declaring the 5th World Championship in May in Athens, Greece, despite persistent interference of South Korean dictatorial regime.

In December of the same year, President Choi began to formulate the Promotion and Popularization Foundation of I.T.F. boosted by the pledge given by Mr. Jon Yon Sik, the elder brother of Senior Vice-President Mr. Jon Jin Sik, in the amount of 100,000,000 Japanese Yen.

 

The year 1988 was culminated by two important events. In May, the Hungarian government hosted the 6th World Championship in Budapest which was by far, the largest in scale, finest in technique and also for the first time, televised via satellite throughout Europe.

In August, the Father of Taekwon-Do was at last able to realize his ultimate dream of introducing and teaching his art without regard to religion, race, national or ideological boundaries, by leading the ITF demonstration team to Moscow, USSR.

In the beginning of 1989 the author published the Condensed Version of Taekwon-Do with the help of DPR Korea, a quarto edition of 765 pages. In June he travelled to Yonkil, China, a self-governing district bordering the northern part of Korea, where he met with leading Korean nationals and reached an agreement to organize the Yuan Bin Taekwon-Do Association.

It is understandable that the founder of Taekwon-Do rejoiced immensely in July when Taekwon-Do was chosen as a formal event of the Thirteenth World Festival of Youth & Students.

In September, ensuing the Second Pan-American Taekwon-Do Championship held in Honduras, Gen. Choi conducted seminars on Taekwon-Do techniques for the participants from fourteen countries for two days.

In March 1990, the author, accompanied by his son Choi Joong Hwa (seventh degree) and Rhee Yong Seuk (sixth degree/head instructor in the U.S.S.R.) visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan. For ten days he elaborated on the method and proficiency of Taekwon-Do for eight hours each day, to over sixty Karate black belt holders who travelled from six republics across the U.S.S.R. to meet the Founder of Taekwon-Do.

Following this seminar, President Choi stopped in Moscow to give another five-day technical seminar
that laid a firm foundation for Taekwon¬Do in the U.S.S.R.

Late in June he made a trip to Hanoi and met the minister for physical culture, where they revolved diverse Taekwon-Do issues. He then visited Ho Chi Minh City where a seminar was held for some one hundred black belt holders.

In August the Seventh Taekwon-Do Championship took place in Montreal, Canada. The four-day event was an immense success with some six hundred competitors from fifty-one nations.

In September, Gen. Choi accompanied by Phap Lu (fifth degree and secretary of the Canadian Taekwon-Do Federation International) visited

 

Yonkil, People’s Republic of China. A three-day seminar was given on Taekwon-Do techniques to black belt holders at Yian Bin University which resulted in producing three International Instructors for the first time in the history of People’s Republic of China.

 

 

In the spring of 1991, the Founder of Taekwon-Do, accompanied by Vice President Rhee Ki Ha, went to Moscow where he gave an historic lecture that lasted four hours at the Lenin Central University of Physical Education of the U.S.S.R. As a result of this lecture, the University decided to adopt Taekwon-Do as a four-year credit course.

In August of the same year, Gen. Choi, Secretary General Lee Ki Young, and Walmir Ligai, the highest degree holder of Taekwon-Do in the U.S.S.R., paid a visit to the President of Uzbekistan where agreement was reached on various matters concerning Taekwon-Do. Later, the Founder awarded the President of Uzbekistan with an honorary fifth degree.

1992 was a year of pride not only for Gen. Choi himself, but also for all Korean people. He was conferred with an honourary doctorate in physical education by the Lenin Central University of Physical Education of the U.S.S.R., one of the most authoritative institute of physical education in the world. This honor was the fruit of his endeavor throughout his life.

In 1992 Gen. Choi met Mr. Woo Jin Jung, publisher of “Taekwon-Do Times” and talked him that the magazine, which is distributed to 130 countries worldwide has been treating ITF Taekwon-Do fairly.

In September, the eighth World Taekwon-Do Championship was held at the Taekwon-Do Hall, so named by Gen. Choi. The championships lasted five days, in which, for the first time in the history of Taekwon-Do, as many as sixty-six countries and some seven hundred competitors participated. The event took place in Pyongyang, capital of the ancient kingdom of Koguryo, with full pomp and cermony. At this championship Korea demonstrated to the world its place as the home of Taekwon-Do by placing first in the individual and overall results.

In addition, the widely respected New Encyclopedia Britannica put forth in that year clearly referred to Gen. Choi Hong Hi as the principal founder of Taekwon-Do. Gen. Choi now has been recognized worldwide as the true father of Taekwon-Do.

In April of 1993 the Author visited the President of Kyrghyzstan Republic to discuss the development of Taekwon-Do. 1993 was an another historical year for President Choi as he was able to hold the First Junior Taekwon-Do World Championship — in capital city of Russia.

In July 1993, General Choi, accompanied by Vice-President Vallery Kuzin, went to Razyan, hundreds of kilometers from Moscow, to look around the Paratrooper School of the Russian Army where an agreement was reached on organizing Taekwon-Do club there.

In July of the same year, Gen. Choi went to Saint-Petersburg and visited the Russian Military Physical College, where he made an agreement on propagating Taekwon-Do and adding it to the college’s curriculum.

And he went to Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, where he opened the 1st Asia-Pacific Taekwon-Do Championship that greatly con¬tributed to the spread of Taekwon-Do in Asia.

In April 1994, the Founder of Taekwon-Do met the Ukrainian Minister of Physical Culture in Kiev and talked on the matter of Taekwon-Do.

 

 

In July 1994, the 9th World Taekwon-Do Championship was grandiosely held in Malaysia, the Prime Minister of that country participated with over thirty thousand citizens. 72 countries were represented at the Championship.

In September 1995, General Choi went to Tajikistan and met the First Deputy Premier of that country and solved the problem concerning Taekwon-Do and then gave technical seminars to the degree holders of Tajikistan, Kirghizstan, Moldova and Russia.

In April 1996, Author convened the 1st Conference of International Taekwon-Do Federation in Tornto, Canada, which was attended by high degree holders of above 5th degree from different countries. Many sided problems for the future development of International Taekwon-Do were discussed at the April Conference and the technical seminar was held to finally revise the pattern movement.

And on the last day, the birthday of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (April 11) was commemorated.

In July, the President Choi Hong Hi, accompanied by Vice-President Rhee Ki Ha, attended the 3rd World Junior Taekwon-Do Championship which was held in Prague, Czech. It was participated by hundreds of excel¬lent younger Taekwon-Do people from 34 countries.

In July that year, General Choi met Gennadiy Sellejnyov, the President of the Parliament of Russia at his office with whom he established friendship in the circumstances of trials.

General Choi had the President of the Russian Parliament as a perma¬nent counselor of the International Taekwon-Do Federation and conferred him an honorary degree.

In July 1997, the President Choi went to Saint-Petersburg so as to guide the 11th Congress of ITF and attended the 10th World Taekwon-Do Championship.

At the Congress General Choi appointed Master Choi Jung Hwa as the Secretary General of the ITF.

The Championship was grandiosely held with the participation of athletes from 73 countries.

In July of the same year, the Founder of Taekwon-Do also looked round the projected site of Taekwon-do Sanctuary.

In 1997, the President Choi along with Master Choi Jung Hwa paid a courtesy call to the Canadian Prime Minister, and talked with him. On that occasion he presented the Prime Minister with his own calligraphic work.

In July 1998, General Choi Hong Hi, accompanied by Secretary General Choi Jung Hwa, gave a course of Taekwon-Do in Phnom Pen.
During his stay in Cambodia, General Choi and Master Choi Jung Hwa were received by His Majesty King Nordom Shihanouk and the First Prime Minister Mr. Ung Huat and discussed the matter of promoting Taekwon¬Do.

 

 

In September 1999, the 11th World Championship was held in Argentina with a large attendance than what it has expected and Gen. Choi has started IMGC which he had dreamed for 11 years.

Here he had led the 12th Congress of ITF and also participated in the 11th TKD World Championship. Present here were the 800 excellent competitors from 75 countries.

In 1999 the founder of Taekwon-Do visited Pyongyang and he was conferred Honorary Sports Doctors Degree from the Supreme People’s Assembly of DPR Korea.

In March 2001, the author was conferred the Honorary Doctor’s Degree of Philosophy at Kishnov University in the Republic of Moldova. The Prime Minister took part in the ceremony.

In May 2005, the 1st Congress of the International Martial-Art Games Committee was held in Pyongyang. Here participated the delegates of Taekwon-Do, Wushu, Karate, Aikido, and Ju-jitsu from 9 countries of Russia, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Cambodia and DPR Korea.

In July 2001, Gen. Choi guided the 13th Congress of ITF and also participated in the 12th World Taekwon-Do Championship. In participation of 700 competitors from 64 countries, the Championship made a great success.

And in August of the same year, President Choi completed and let the world known his Memoirs “Taekwon-Do and I” in 3 volumes, which had paid a great effort for many years.

Gen. Choi Hong Hi passed away in Pyongyang, DPR Korea by long illness on June 15, 2002 at the age of 84.

On his deathbed Gen. Choi left ITF to Mr. Chang Ung, the IOC member, 1st Vice Chairman of Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Committee of DPR Korea and member of Standing Committee of Korean Taekwon-Do Committee.

The founder also created “Chang Hon” Foundation (pseudonym of Choi Hong Hi) and nominated Prof. Chang Ung as the president of it in 2002.
The copyright of Taekwon-Do encyclopedia and Condensed Version is entirely belonged to Chang Hon Foundation.

Gen. Choi appointed GM. Rhee Ki Ha, pioneer of European Taekwon¬Do as the ITF Senior Vice President.

The founder also organized Consultative Council in 1st September 2001 and nominated Master Leong Wai Meng as the president of it. Gen. Choi is now laid to rest at the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang.

The achievements of Gen. Choi Hong Hi will exist forever in the heart of all Taekwon-Doists of the world.

It is hoped that all instructors will follow his example by devoting part of their time towards introducing the art into the school system in their respective areas.

 

Merely introducing the art, however, is not enough. The instructor must also concern himself with imbuing and maintaining a positive influence that will eventually serve as a guiding light to all students.

Then, and only then, can the instructor consider himself an apostle of Taekwon-Do.

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