The Way: Traditional Taekwondo Volume A, Philosophy and Tradition. Chapter 2, History.
Posted: February 12, 2021
Although Taekwondo can be trace back 1300 years, evidenced by the "Ancient Warriors" found in a Buddhist shrine, all other history was passed on in stories from generation to generation.
There was general concern that the versions practiced were heavily weighted in Chinese and Japanese styles. After Korea regained it's independence, at the end of World War II, General Choi tried to unify all the styles in Korea including the 9-kwans (5-kwans developed during the occupation and 4-kwan developed after) using the term Taekyon. The other styles at the time, were Tang-so Do (the Chinese word for empty hand), Gong-soo Do, the Chinese word used by the Japanese and Soo-bak Do based on the ancient Korean art of Soo-bak.
In 1955, General Choi decided to petition for the art to be called Taekwondo; Tae (the foot or jump or kick), kwon (strike) do (the Way). This was to reclaim the art under the Korean umbrella and begin a movement to create forms that would demonstrate the flexibility and kicking abilities of the Korean martial artists. On April 11, 1955 General Choi presented the name to a committee that was responsible for choosing the name of the Natalional Martial Art for Korea.
According to EGM HU Lee, the Koreans thought training the body for the sole purpose of fighting
Today, I practice Songahm Taekwondo. The forms were designed to highlight the flexibility and kicking skills of the Korean martial art. There were 2 form systems before Songahm, Cheon-jee (or Chahng-hun) and Pal-gae. Haeng Ung Lee practiced PyeongAhn forms (pre-Taekwondo, Japanese based forms) before he developed the Songahm system.
I started in 1989. I believe the forms were PyeongAhn or they may have been Soo-back Do forms. We called the first forms, "L-form" and "I-form". We used Japanese terminology, not Korean. And well, that was ages ago.