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::Original masters of taekwondo

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The Republic of Korea sent the original masters of taekwondo to introduce this Korean martial art across the world

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Original Masters of Taekwondo is a group of twelve South Korean martial art masters assembled by the Korea Taekwon-Do Association (KTA) in the early 1960s to promote the newly established art of taekwondo.<ref name="ITF1972">Choi, H. H. (1972): Taekwon-Do: The Korean art of self-defence. Mississauga: International Taekwon-Do Federation.</ref><ref name="Park1993">Park, S. H. (1993): "About the author." In H. H. Choi: Taekwon-Do: The Korean art of self-defence, 3rd ed. (Vol. 1, pp. 241–274). Mississauga: International Taekwon-Do Federation.</ref><ref name="OriginalMasters">A tribute to the original masters (c. 2007). Retrieved 13 June 2007; link has expired, as at 1 July 2011. Archived copy retrieved on 7 November 2011.</ref><ref name="UCT">United Confederation of Taekwon-Do: ITF and history Retrieved on 5 January 2010.</ref><ref name="Warrener">Early Masters of Tae Kwon Do (DVD). Directed by D. Warrener (2005). Rising Sun Productions.</ref><ref name="McPhail">Taekwon-Do Pioneers: Historic footage of the original Taekwon-Do Masters (DVD). Compiled by P. McPhail (c. 2007). PaulM Taekwon-Do.</ref> In alphabetical order following Korean naming conventions, they are: Choi Chang Keun, Choi Kwang Jo, Han Cha Kyo, Kim Jong Chan, Kim Kwang Il, Kong Young Il, Park Jong Soo, Park Jung Tae, Park Sun Jae, Rhee Chong Chul, Rhee Chong Hyup, and Rhee Ki Ha.<ref name="OriginalMasters"/>

The group came under the leadership of Choi Hong Hi (1918–2002),<ref name="ITF1972"/><ref name="Park1993"/><ref name="OriginalMasters"/><ref name="UCT"/> inaugural President of the KTA and later founder of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), and Nam Tae Hi (1929–2013),<ref name="WTANam">World Taekwon-Do Alliance: Grand Master Nam Tae Hi Retrieved on 22 February 2009.</ref><ref name="Nguyen">Grandmaster Van Binh Nguyen, IX degree Retrieved on 8 January 2010.</ref><ref name="Burdick1990">Burdick, D. (1990): A history of Taekwondo Retrieved on 8 January 2010.</ref><ref name="VanBinh">Van Binh Self Defense Academy: History of Taekwon-Do Retrieved on 8 January 2010.</ref> known as the Father of Vietnamese Taekwondo. Many of these men held senior positions in the ITF under Choi, but several left over time. Most of the men settled in North America, while others settled in Europe or Australia.

The phrase "original masters of taekwondo" is used to describe this group of men, but does not indicate that they were the first (or original) masters in the KTA. The leaders of the nine kwans that unified to form the KTA was a different group of men who, while perhaps senior to some of those listed as "original masters of taekwondo", were practising arts with other names, such as tae soo do, kong soo do, and others. Some of those leaders resisted using the name taekwondo. The men in the present group were among the first to adopt and promote the name taekwondo.


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