George VitaleGeneral Choi taught Martial Arts to soldiers under his command as early as 1946. Being a proud and patriotic Korean national he was driven to create a new Korean Martial Art of Self Defense. He named that Art Taekwon-Do in 1955 (April 11) and began the internationalization of it starting in 1959 when he lead the 1st Taekwon-Do Demo Team abroad to Vietnam and Taiwan. As a result his ROK Military Taekwon-Do Instructors were later officially deployed there in 1962 and 1967 respectfully. Also in 1959 he authored the first book ever on Taekwon-Do to assist with the cataloging of this new Art and established the Korea Taekwon-Do Assocation, serving as the inaugural President. General Choi was detached for military training in the United States in 1960. While living there for several months he took every opportunity to introduce Taekwon-Do there as well. In 1962 he personally introduced the Original Taekwon-Do to Malaysia when he was dispatched there an a diplomatic assignment as the first Korean Ambassador to that Southeast Asian Country. As a result of these efforts national Taekwon-Do associations were established in Malaysia (1963) and Singapore (1964) and Vietnam (1965). All this was accomplished when the civilians back in Korea preferred to operated under the Tae Soo Do banner.
When his diplomatic posting ending he returned to the Republic of (south) Korea (ROK) and was elected the 3rd President of the Korea Tae Soo Do Assocation in 1965. He was successful later in the year in getting them to adopt his Takedown-Do name. As Ambassador-At-Large he led a ROK government sponsored Taekwon-Do Goodwill Tour around the world in the fall of 1965. While on this worldwide demonstration tour he also distributed the first English book on Taekwon-Do, which he authored to aide in the internationalization of his Original Taekwon-Do. This historic tour also laid the foundation for establishing national Taekwon-Do associations in Germany, Egypt, Italy and Turkey.
The above efforts came together when 8 of these previously listed Nations came together as founding members with South Korea to form the ITF on March 22, 1966. This marked the first time in Korea’s 5,000 year history that it was ever the headquarters of any international organization.