In 1959, Taekwon-Do spread beyond its national boundaries. The father of Taekwon-Do and nineteen of his top black belt holders toured the Far East. The tour was a major success, astounding all spectators with the excellence of the Taekwon-Do techniques.
In this year, Choi was elevated to two illustrious posts; President of his newly formed Korea Taekwon-Do Association and deputy commander of the 2nd Army in Tae Gu. In 1965 Ambassador Choi, retired two star general, was appointed by the Government of the Republic of Korea to lead a goodwill mission to West Germany, Italy, Turkey, United-Arab Republic, Malaysia, and Singapore. This trip is significant in that the Ambassador, for the first time in Korean history, declared Taekwon-Do as the national martial art of Korea.
This was the basis not only for establishing Taekwon-Do Associations in these countries but also the formation of the International Taekwon-Do Federation as it is known today. In 1966, the dream of the sickly young student of calligraphy, who rose to Ambassador and the Association President of the most respected martial art in the world came true. On the 22nd of March, the International Taekwon-Do Federation was formed with associations in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, West Germany, the United States, Turkey, Italy, Arab Republic of Egypt and Korea.
The philosophical values and the goals of Taekwon-Do are firmly rooted in the traditional moral culture of the Orient. On the technical side, defensive and offensive tactics are based on principles of physics, particularly Newton´s Law, which explains how to generate maximum force by increasing speed and mass during the execution of a movement.
Wanting to share the results of his philosophical reflections and his technical experiments, General Choi planned and wrote a unique reference work, the Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do. In its fifteen volumes, he explained in detail the rules and practices of this art.
Always striving for excellence, General Choi presented Taekwon-Do as in a state of continuous evolution, open to changes that would improve its effectiveness. He wrote that anyone who believes he has fully discharged his duty will soon perish. Likewise, any undertaking that is perceived to have reached its objectives is likely to lose momentum, stagnate, and die.
Since the beginning, Taekwon-Do has never stopped evolving, driven by the strong will and a lot of hard work by its Founder. The leaders of the ITF today also recognize the need to evolve and they are equally passionate about the future of the organization.
Important Dates in the History of the ITF
|1955||Taekwon-Do officially named|
|1966||March 22nd – ITF founded by General Choi Hong Hi, the Father of Taekwon-Do|
|1969||First Asian Tournament, Hong Kong|
|1972||ITF headquarters moved to Toronto (Canada)|
First World Championships, Montreal (Canada)
|1976||First European Championships, Rotterdam (Netherlands)|
|1979||First Pacific Championships, Wellington, (New Zealand)|
|1979||All Europe Taekwon-Do Federation created|
|1982||North American Federation created|
|1983||Central American Federation created|
|1985||ITF headquarters moved to Vienna (Austria)|
|2002||June 15th – passing of General Choi Hong Hi
The Honourable Russell Maclellan became Acting President
|2003||June 13th – election of Master Trân Trięu Quân as President of the ITF at the 14th Congress of ITF , Warsaw (Poland)|
|2007||June 1st – Re-election of Master Trân Triêu Quân for a second mandate as President of the ITF at the 16th Congress of ITF, Quebec City (Canada).
30th October ITF is legally registered Minister of Internal Affairs in Madrid (Spain) Rec. Grupo 1/Secc. 2/ number 50813
|2010||Passing of Grandmaster Trân Triêu Quân
Grandmaster Pablo Trajtenberg became acting President
|2011||Election of Grandmaster Pablo Trajtenberg as ITF President|
|2015||Re-election in 2015 of GM Trajtenberg as ITF President ( Congress in Jesolo)|