What is TaeKwon-Do?

TaeKwon-Do is a Korean Martial Art. It means “the art of hand and foot”.

TKD signs

TaeKwon-Do is not to be confused with many other styles of Martial Arts. Emphasis is placed on Self Defence, and the necessary personal development of self-control. Concurrent with the development of one’s physical ability (co-ordination, strength, reflex, endurance, speed etc…), psychological development, leading to a greater self-belief is assisted by the memorising and practicing of the 6 Tenets (doctrine of belief) of TaeKwon-Do. The precise interpretation of them in everyday life is what makes one a true practitioner of the Art.


TaeKwon-Do is a modernized and scientifically developed version of centuries old Korean Martial Art. Hundreds of  years ago in Korea, the warrior class of society known as the Hwarang-Do practiced a form of weaponless combat known as Taek Kyon and developed a code of conduct to serve as a guideline to complement their intensive physical training.

TaeKwon-Do was ‘born’ on April 11th, 1955 having been created by General  Grandmaster Choi Hong Hi (a Major General in the South Korean Army) 9th Degree Black Belt.

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 D.P.R of Korea. Even at an early age, the future general showed a strong and independent spirit.

General Choi Hong Hi was trained in his native Korea in the art of Taek Kyon, however during the Japanese occupation of Korea he also became a Black Belt in Karate. It was not until the 1940’s when the General decided that Korea needed it’s own martial art for it’s own army that the foundations of TaeKwon-Do were laid.

On the 11th of April 1955, a board consisting of ministers and army officers was convened by General Choi Hong Hi in order to officially name this art that he had researched into and invented. TaeKwon-Do was the name submitted by the General and accepted thereby becoming the name of the most powerful Martial Art the world has come to know.

Although General Choi’s fundamental training was in Taek Kyon and Karate the basic principles of TaeKwon-Do are totally different from those of any other martial art in the world. When you look at some martial arts you may be impressed by their dance like grace and beauty, but with TaeKwon-Do you can marvel at its spectacular power and practical effectiveness. This is what makes it so special.

General Choi compiled a total of 24 Patterns frequently referred to as the Chon-ji or Chang Hon (his pen name) series and this is the compilation that forms the backbone of the BUTF’s syllabus.