Are ITF and WTF the only notable styles?

mastercole

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I believe the story behind tukong musul is that some captured North Korean soldiers and tested their hand to hand combat ability. Hapkido, Judo, Taekwondo trained people went up against them, and the result of these experiments was the creation of tukong musul. I think.

I just asked my Taekkyon instructor about Tukongmusul and he said the same thing. He also said it is only practiced by some special units of the military in addition to Taekwondo. He said all military personnel take at least some Taekwondo, especially in basic. In basic they don't wear a dobok, but the training with kicking and punching just like they do running, shooting, climbing, etc. It's simply part of basic training. 1 year military personnel does not have to get 1st Dan in Taekwondo, 2 years or more does, unless you already have Kukkiwon Dan.

He said that Tukongmusul was designed for intense "crazy" training, like running and diving high in the air and landing on your chest, breaking objects with your head, throwing knives at the trainees, etc. It was their intention to create something that seemed more extreme than their North Korean counter parts. Foreigners don't practice it. But now there are several off shot organizations market their brand of Tukongmusul, but it is not like the original, it is packaged for foreigners.

That said, Taekkyon is offered in only one place in the Korean Military, it's Korea's equivalent of USA's West Point, called "Yuk-kun Sakwan Hak Kyo", these Cadet's learn Taekkyon in addition to Taekwondo.
 

ETinCYQX

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Not interested in going through your nonsense about the ITF being a terrorist org again. Enjoy yourselves.

Hey, I just stated a fact, didn't say anything remotely untrue. ODK did teach the military and Choi did associate with the North Korean government. I will point out though I've never said anything negative about Choi personally or his decisions or methods.
 

puunui

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I thought about the kwans being the oldest, but they were, essentially, independent schools directly under the control of their kwan jang. In todays world, unaffiliated strip mall dojangs. That's neither good or bad, in and of itself, but to my way of thinking it does keep them from being an organization. I see organizations as being somewhat more corporate (that's not worded exactly right, but it's the best I can do - I'll give it more thought).

Thought about it overnight. These are my opinions on it. The kwan were more than strip mall type dojang, especially starting in the 1950s when branches (ji kwan) started spreading all over the country. Back then, it was a race to see who could expand the fastest. During this period, the kwan were competing against each other and were not truly interested in coming together.

Also in the 50's there were "organizations" that sprouted up which attempted to unify the arts into a single group. These early efforts all failed because the kwan jang could not agree. This was for many different reasons, one of the big ones was there was a discrepancy between the older generation of practitioners (although not necessarily divided by seniority) and the younger generation of practitioners who all started training in the 1940s and were all roughly about the same age. It wasn't until the younger generation became empowered that taekwondo began to unify, under the KTA. This happened starting around 1961 and continued through the late 70s.

So as far as organizations go, I would agree with you that the KTA is the oldest organization in taekwondo, because it, like you said, was the first to really unify taekwondo, which I believe is the function of organizations, in taekwondo.
 

puunui

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The Kukkiwon is the actual style that is promoted via the WTF, and the Kukkiwon is the result of the merger of the nine kwans extant prior to Unification act of 1973 (?).

Close. The Kukkiwon serves as the World Taekwondo Headquarters and is entrusted with three main functions, among others: 1) rank certification; 2) establishment of the technical standards of taekwondo; and 3) the training of leaders for taekwondo, whether at an instructor course, coach course, etc. I believe the Kwan Unification Proclamation was signed in 1965, and another more final one was signed in 1978. There were nine main kwan that participated in the unification process, including the Oh Do Kwan, but there were ten kwan who signed the 1978 proclamation. The tenth was the Kwan Ri Kwan, which included members of the Moo Duk Kwan that got separated. Never understood why there was a need for two kwan for Moo Duk Kwan members, but that is what happened. However, with the building and development of the Taekwondowon in Muju, the Kukkiwon's function and purpose main change.


The WTF is the World Taekwondo Federation and is the sport sanctioning body of Kukki Taekwondo and the governing body for Olympic taekwondo.

Correct. The WTF serves as the International Federation for taekwondo with the IOC and the Olympic movement, and as such focuses mainly on the competition aspects of taekwondo. However, this may also change, with the building of the Taekwondowon in Muju.


The USTU was the US Taekwondo Union and was the national governing body for Olympic Taekwondo in the US. It was reorganized into USAT, which is USA Taekwondo.

Correct. The USTU served as both the Member National Association for the WTF, and the National Governing Body for taekwondo under the US Olympic Committee. In 2004-2005, there was a reorganization and remediation of the USTU and during that process, the name was changed from USTU to USAT.


The ITF is the International Taekwondo Federation and promotes Chang Hon taekwondo. The ITF was established by General Choi Hong Hi. The ITF developed, if I'm not mistaken, prior to the completion of unification efforts and predates the Kukkiwon.

Yes, the ITF was created in 1966 and therefore predates the kukkiwon, which was established in 1972.


The ATA is the American Taekwondo Association and promotes Songahm taekwondo. It was founded in 1969 by Haeng Ung Lee. I was led to believe that they originally used the Chang Hon forms prior to establishing the Songahm forms and I also have heard that he came out of the ITF (not sure of the details there).

Close. The ATA was first created as the US Member National Association of the ITF. I don't remember the exact date of the ATA's creation but do know that the organization was founded by a group of practitioners, composed of mainly students of GM KANG Suh Chong, who served as the ATA's first president. GM LEE Haeng Ung was one of GM Kang's students from Incheon, where GM Kang's dojang was located. GM Lee was a refugee from North Korea during the Korean War, and like many other refugees from North Korea, landed and settled in the Incheon area. While there, he learned taekwondo from GM Kang, and later got a job at Osan AFB. He and his friends opened the Osan Chung Do Kwan, he had an american student who sponsored him, and that is how he came to the US. Later, GM Kang resigned from the ATA and GM Lee took over as President.


There are some smaller organizations:

Jhoon Rhee Taekwondo, which promotes 'Might for Right' taekwondo, is an offshoot of the ITF. I trained at the Jhoon Rhee dojang back in the late seventies in Kensington Maryland. Fond memories. I know that early on, he taught Chang Hon forms. I have no idea what they teach now.

I don't know how large GM Rhee's organization is at this point. I don't think very large, compared to other groups out there, only because many of his senior students have broken away and are now doing their own thing.


The NPTA, National Progressive Taekwondo Association, which I'm pretty sure uses Chang hon forms and is an offshoot of the ITF.

Never heard of this organization.

The ITA; International Taekwondo Alliance, which promotes Ho-Am (Tiger rock) taekwondo, and is an offshoot of the ATA. There is a small, but present contingent of ITA members here, but I haven't seen any presence of the NPTA here at all.

I heard of this organization but am not familar with it, other than I believe Dr. He Young Kimm serves as a technical advisor of sorts.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Close. The ATA was first created as the US Member National Association of the ITF.
Now that I did not know.

I don't know how large GM Rhee's organization is at this point. I don't think very large, compared to other groups out there, only because many of his senior students have broken away and are now doing their own thing.
I suspect that it is fairly wide, but very thinly, spread, with concentrations in certain areas. Jhoon Rhee is a pretty big deal around here. Everyone has heard of him and his organization probably has the most schools after the KKW/WTF. There are virtually no other large organizations with a presence in this area; I think that there might be an ITF school in Baltimore (the one in Montgomery County that mentions the ITF on their website is not an ITF school) and I don't think that there are any ATA schools at all in the state, though I could be wrong on that. I think that there is, or at least was, one ITA school out in Takoma Park. There are five Jhoon Rhee schools in Maryland (Frederick, Potomac Valley, Jefferson, Walkersville, and Columbia) and two in Northern Virginia (Falls Church and Arlington).

I heard of this organization but am not familar with it, other than I believe Dr. He Young Kimm serves as a technical advisor of sorts.
Granfire could tell you more, as I'm pretty sure that she is ITA. I think that there are a couple of other MT members who are also ITA.
 

dancingalone

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Close. The ATA was first created as the US Member National Association of the ITF. I don't remember the exact date of the ATA's creation but do know that the organization was founded by a group of practitioners, composed of mainly students of GM KANG Suh Chong, who served as the ATA's first president. GM LEE Haeng Ung was one of GM Kang's students from Incheon, where GM Kang's dojang was located. GM Lee was a refugee from North Korea during the Korean War, and like many other refugees from North Korea, landed and settled in the Incheon area. While there, he learned taekwondo from GM Kang, and later got a job at Osan AFB. He and his friends opened the Osan Chung Do Kwan, he had an american student who sponsored him, and that is how he came to the US. Later, GM Kang resigned from the ATA and GM Lee took over as President.

There's been some rewriting of history in the ATA, whether intentional or not. GM Kang's contributions are largely unknown to the broad base. Perhaps it's because they regard the establishment of Songahm, which occurred after GM Kang left, to be the true birth of their group?

I don't know how large GM Rhee's organization is at this point. I don't think very large, compared to other groups out there, only because many of his senior students have broken away and are now doing their own thing.

I think there are lots of schools in Texas which still refer to him in their histories but they have no day-to-day ties with him. My first dojang was one such. We teamed together with a number of our sister schools to bring in GM Rhee for a shim sa, so I was honored to have him as the chief examiner for my chodan test, but we otherwise had no regular contact with him.
 

dancingalone

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Granfire could tell you more, as I'm pretty sure that she is ITA. I think that there are a couple of other MT members who are also ITA.

They don't call it ITA anymore. It's something like TRMAI now, doubtlessly the change had to do with changing company structures and such. My niece used to be an ITA black belt but she's ATA now. The ITA was a split off from the ATA, and her transition from one org to the other was pretty seamless.

Both the ITA/TRMAI and ATA are strong in the southern parts of the US. They outnumber every other TKD option in my market.
 

puunui

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Now that I did not know.

I believe that was the original goal of the ATA to be the national body for the ITF. But other groups popped up, like the USTF and I think that sort of fell apart and the ATA moved into a different direction. But the original ATA group was composed of students of GM Kang, people like Dr. He Young Kimm, GM Lee Park, and GM Haeng Ung Lee. GM Hee Il Cho was also a member of the ATA, but I don't know if he was a direct student of GM Kang. I vaguely remember that GM Cho spent time or was raised in Incheon when he was young, so there might be some training time with GM Kang mixed in. I can go ask him, he lives on the same island as I do and he is my kwan senior.
 

Earl Weiss

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GM HU Lee was a Chung Do Kwan product originaly and General Choi apparently remained friends since I have a video the ATA did in NK in early 2000 or so and GM Lee is shown sitting and observing with General Choi.
 

puunui

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GM HU Lee was a Chung Do Kwan product originaly and General Choi apparently remained friends since I have a video the ATA did in NK in early 2000 or so and GM Lee is shown sitting and observing with General Choi.

I don't know if General Choi and EGM Haeung Ung Lee "remained friends". I think the reason why EGM Lee was in North Korea was because that is where he was born, before he became a North Korean refugee, landing in Pusan after the Korean War, which is where his teacher, GM KANG Suh Chong was teaching.
 
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