Tae-kwon do was created in South Korea by General (he was a major in the South Korean army) Choi Hong Hi. This is the South Korean flag. Tae means to strike with the fist. Kwon means to smash with the foot. Do means the way or art. Tae-kwon do has been at the Olympics since 2000.


Choi Hong hi was born on the 9/November/1918 in Hwa Dae, it is now North Korea, which was under Japanese rule. Choi travelled to Japan, where he studied English, Maths and karate. In Kyoto he met another Korean with the surname Kim, who was a karate instructor an he taught Choi Hong Hi this martial art. Just before he left Korea, Choi Hong Hi apparently had a disagreement with a wrestler named Hu and the possiblety of an attack inspired Choi Hong Hi to train. In his own words Choi said " I would imagine that these were the techniques I would use to defend myself against the wrestler, Mr.Hu , if he did attempt to carry out his promise to tear me limb from limb when I eventually return to Korea."


Tae-kwondo was first in the Summer Olympic games as a demonstration sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Tae-kwon do was a demonstration sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona in Spain. Tae-kwon do became a full medal sport at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and has been a sport at the Olympic games since then.

Medals are awarded in four different weight classes for both men and women

Event Men Women
Flyweight -58kg -49
Lightweight 58-68kg 49-57kg
Middleweight 68-80kg 57-67kg
Heaveyweight +80kg +67kg


A normal tae-kwon do student wears a suit called a dobok(pernounced do book). The dobok is normally white but it can sometimes be black. There are 6 kinds of belts: white, yellow, green, blue, red and black. There are a few things that everyone has to know. They are integredy, curtessy, perseverence, self-control and Indomnible spirit. They all basicly mean respect each other and the instructers.

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