Midwest Academy
of Tae Kwon Do

The name TaeKwon-Do officially came to be in 1955 when general Choi Hong Hi submitted it to the Korean Naming Board for the newly formed martial art of Korea. As far back as 1300 years ago, martial arts were known to been practiced in Korea by the Hwa Rang-Do, a warrior class of young men formed to defend the smallest of the three kingdoms of Korea, the Silla. Another martial art practiced in Korea was Taekyon, the ancient art of foot fighting.

When Japan occupied Korea, many of the ancient Korean arts were forbidden and those, which were allowed, were of Japanese or Okinawa origin. When Korea was liberated after World War II, the nationalist feelings were to get rid of the Japanese and other foreign names in the Korean martial arts.

A young man named Choi Hong Hi had secretly practiced Taekyon underground with a Korean master while the Japanese forbade it. When Choi came of age his parents sent him to Japan, to Tokyo University to study calligraphy. While there, Choi earned a second-degree black belt in Japanese Karate, which chiefly emphasized hand techniques. When Choi returned to Korea, he joined the newly formed Republic or Korea Army as a second Lieutenant. By 1951 Choi was a Brigadier General of the R.O.K. Army. In 1954 General Choi combined his knowledge of Japanese hand techniques and Korean foot techniques to form his own martial art "Oh Do Kwan" (Gym of my way).

Then in 1955 a board of martial artists, historians, and prominent members of Korean society formed to give a new name to the Korean martial art to replace the old names of: Kwon Bup, Gong Soo, Dong Soo, Taekyon, etc. General Choi's submission was TaeKwon-Do and was unanimously accepted by the board for its accurate description of the "art of hand and foot fighting" and its close resemblance to the ancient art of Taekyon. The Korean TaeKwon-Do Association was formed and General Choi Hong Hi was named president.

General Choi had the idea of spreading the art of TaeKwon-Do throughout the world, to make it a brotherhood of all men, not just Korean, no matter their race, religion or politics. In 1966 General Choi formed the International TaeKwon-Do Federation, with its headquarters in Korea. In 1972 the headquarters was moved to Toronto, Canada and once again to its present location in Vienna, Austria. There is now TaeKwon-Do associations in countries throughout the world.