Tae Kwon Do has a fascinating background that most practitioners often miss. It was a rebirth of Korean martial arts in order to reach more citizens of the world with the ideology of "Benefiting All Mankind" in mind.

Revolving around General Hong Hi Choi, various Korean martial art masters woke up into the dawn of Tae Kwon Do era in the 1940s. It was the era of independence as well as the era of regaining their lost treasures. Starting from oppressed, torn, and scattered martial art expertise, they rebuilt the body of Tae Kwon Do.

During its rebuilding process, many biomechanical principles of Tae Kkyon, spirit of Silla's Hwarang (empowered by King Jinheung in 6th century) Warriors, and possibly other traditional martial arts such as Subak including both tribal and monks' practices were incorporated to give a birth to a true Action Philosophy that was later named Tae Kwon Do.

In 1955, General Choi (and other members of council) officially named this art "Tae Kwon Do" with intent to keep the basic spiritual aspects and biomechanical principles for further development.

In the 1970s, South Korea President Chung Hee Park (former General) politically empowered Tae Kwon Do and put an intangible seal on the ideology of "Benefiting All Mankind" through its globalization.

Tae Kwon Do truly distinguishes itself from other traditional martial arts by specializing in empty handed and straight lined movements while simultaneously applying speed-over-power, agility-over-stability, and dynamic distance control principles.

Furthermore, these physical principles were successfully combined with its unique rebuilding themes of the unity in diversity, indomitable spirit in common mind, new within old, and benefiting all mankind.

Lastly, the military mentalities of its rebuilding era and Three Kingdom era (Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje) greatly influenced its mental and spiritual codes solidifying the importance of loyalty, honor, and indomitable spirit on every Taekwondoist's life-long journey.



Color Belt

  1. Taegeuk 1 - Origin of All Things
  2. Taegeuk 2 - Inner Fortitude and Outer Gentleness
  3. Taegeuk 3 - Heart of Fire
  4. Taegeuk 4 - Dignity of Thunder
  5. Taegeuk 5 - Pride of Wind
  6. Taegeuk 6 - Endless Flexibility of Water
  7. Taegeuk 7 - Fortitude of Mountain
  8. Taegeuk 8 - The End and New Beginning

Black Belt

  1. Koryo - Spirit of Scholar Warrior
  2. Keumgang - Quality of Iron Mountain
  3. Taebaek - Holy Mountain of All Mankind
  4. Pyongwon - Peace in Great Land
  5. Sipjin - Prosperity in Faith, Hope, and Love
  6. Jitae - All Human Endeavor on Earth
  7. Cheonkwon - Unlimited Power of Heaven
  8. Hansu - Great Water (Origin of Life)
  9. Ilyeo - Spiritual Unity of Body and Mind


Note that there could be several different ways to translate the meanings of these forms.