survival fighting system to a complete Martial Art. It became the ethical, mental and physical foundation of the Hwarang, the legendary warrior-knights of the Silla Dynasty.
Throughout the centuries the Korean peninsula was often attacked and invaded by neighbouring countries, however the fierce spirit of the Korean people was never crushed and the art of Taekwondo was preserved as part of the culture and martial heritage of the nation. It was handed down from one generation to the next, refined and strengthened in the process. When its practice was outlawed by invaders, it was kept alive secretly, often in secluded monasteries. Finally in the early 1950’s many associations were formed to revitalise, organise and promote the ancient Martial Art of Korea. In 1965, the Korea Taekwondo Association was recognised by the government as the organisation to bring together the different schools (Kwan) and styles into one.
Since then Taekwondo has achieved great popularity becoming the first national sport of Korea. It is now included in the Korean school curriculum from first grade to college and it is required practice for the Korean police and the military. Today Taekwondo is a traditional Martial Art, a scientific Self-defence system and a modern sport practiced by over 20 million people in 165 countries. Taekwondo was introduced as a demonstration sport at the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics, and is the only form of Martial Arts that is recognised as a sport and traditional Art. Since then Taekwondo was introduced as a medal sport at the Sydney (200), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) & London Olympics (2012), and will continue to be a medal sport in upcoming Olympics.