North East Schools of TaeKwon Do
Marske, Redcar, Middlesborough

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THE HISTORY OF TAEKWON-DO


Although the origins of the martial arts are shrouded in mystery, we consider it an undeniable fact that from time immemorial there have been physical conditions involving the use of the hands and feet for purpose of self-protection. If we ere to define these physical actions as "Taekwon- Do", any country might claim credit for inventing Taekwon-Do. There is, however, scant esemblance between Taekwon-Do, as it is practiced today, and the crude forms of unarmed combat developed in the past.

Modern Taekwon-Do differs greatly from other martial arts. In fact, no other martial art is so advanced with regard to the sophistication and effectiveness of its technique or the over-all physical fitness it imparts to its practitioners. Technically, 1955 signaled the beginning of Taekwon-Do as a formally recognized art in 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 Hong Hi, 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. In 1965 Ambassador Choi, retired two star general, was appointed by the Government of the Republic of 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 the 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.

TAEKWON-DO HISTORY IN THE UK

Sir Luke William Burke Teeling

 

The first President of UKTA was Sir Luke William Burke Teeling. Having finished a career in the RAF he thenbecame Member of Parliament for Brighton until retiring in 1969. He was born on 5th Feb 1903 and died on26th October 1975, after which GM Rhee became President. Throughout his Parliamentary career Teeling remained on the backbenches, but his expertise on foreign affairs was acknowledged. He was a Freeman of the city of Seoul in Korea.

First Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha

FGMR is the Founder of UKTA and became its second President in after Sir Luke William Burke Teeling stepped down, holding the position until 2010.

FGMR was born on 20th March 1938 in Seoul, Korea, the eldest of seven children of Rhee Yung Ei and Ahn Soon Rae.His martial arts training began when he learned Judo from his father at around 8 years of age, and he was the only one of his siblings to pursue the martial arts. He later learned karate from one of his schoolteachers.

While serving in the South Korean military forces, he came into contact with Gen. Choi Hong Hi and learned Taekwon-Do in the 35th Infantry Division. FGMR, as a TKD Pioneer, was a key figure in the introduction of Taekwon-Do around the world, performing demonstrations in many different countries. He taught Taekwon-Do to the US 8th Army and in 1964 travelled to Singapore, where he trained (RAF) personnel. Through the late 1960s and 1970s, FGMR was a key member of the ITF Demonstration teams that accompanied Gen. Choi around the world.

In 1967, some of his students from RAF Changi, who had returned home to the United Kingdom, invited FGMR to teach them in the UK. He arrived on 2 July 1967, ranked 5th Dan, reportedly only planning to stay for two years. FGMR founded the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association (UKTA) in 1967, the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association (RITA) in 1972, and the All Europe Taekwon-Do Federation (AETF) in 1979 (This in later years was renamed as the European International Taekwon-Do Federation, EITF). He was promoted to 7th Dan by 1974, followed by 8th Dan in 1981. Gen Choi then made TKD history by promoting FGMR to 9th Dan on 2nd July 1997 at the ITF Congress in , Russia.

 Grandmaster Paul Cutler 2010 – 5th May 2012

 GM Cutler became the 3rd UKTA President following the re-structure of the Association in 2010. The Master’s Council would take on more responsibility in the day to day running of the UKTA, and he was elected unchallenged by the other members of the Council.

He started training in TKD under Mr. Ted Hopwood in 1973 at the UKTA class in Oxford Polytechnic. In 1981 he took on his first challenge as Instructor, taking over at Abingdon from the retiring Phil Holmes. In 1982 he opened the first TKD School in Reading, Berkshire.

GM Cutler held the role of UKTA National Secretary for many years before working abroad teaching TKD in Australia. Prior to his promotion to Master on 11th September 1998 he relocated back to the UK, after which he settled in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Promotion to 8th Dan followed in 2004.

Senior Master John Williamson
(Acting President from May 2012 - Present)

Senior Master Williamson, is one of the Britian's most senior Scottish Instructors. He is based in Elgin and travels the country conducting seminars and classes to all the members of the UKTA.

For further information please contact us on  


Please call for further information 07866461047

e-mail: instructor@nest-tkd.com