Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art dating back more than 2000 years. Meaning the “way of kicking and punching”, it was initially viewed as a form of military training which varied considerably in form.
For some 2000 years, a range of martial arts were practiced on the Korean peninsula. During the early 20th century, taekwondo became the dominant form of martial arts practiced in Korea. Subsequently taekwondo was designated as the Korean national martial art to be promoted internationally.
In 1973, World Taekwondo (WT; formerly named the World Taekwondo Federation) was created as the sport’s global governing body. The first World Championships were held in Seoul, Korea, that year.
In 1980 it was recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which fast-tracked taekwondo’s development from a Korean martial art to a global sport as it is today.
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