Washington State University

Tae Kwon Do

History

Taekwondo is a martial art that originated in Korea and has been developed over the past 20 centuries. It has only recently become a modern international "sport". The World Taekwondo Center, Kukkiwon, was built in 1972 and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) was inaugurated in 1973. Currently, there are over 40 million practitioners of TKD in the world. TKD was adopted as an official Olympic sport for the 2000 games in Sydney and it continues to grow rapidly.

Although Kukkiwon remains the most recognized home of TKD and the (World Taekwondo Federation) is the strongest and most popular world organization, TKD has many branches and variations in its' application. Sport Taekwondo, or "Olympic style" Taekwondo, is pure sport and not generally thought of as a "martial art." Its function is competition through sparring, athletes are "TKD players", and matches are refereed and points awarded.

  
Other applications of TKD include a focus on self-defense, self development, fitness, or combinations of all. Traditional TKD schools often function independently, or as part of a smaller organization where practical applications such as developing student morals, functionality in our communities, and for bettering oneself. Explore the variation to gain a holistic view of the martial art.

Whatever variation of Taekwondo, the goals are usually similar. Taekwondo creates spiritual balance through physical activity. It originated from the efforts to balance the mind and body through harmony of power, actions, and the need to control the mind. Taekwondo is a sport that exercises the entire body including the vital organs thus giving the student a high level of motivation.
Despite the ongoing changes to Taekwondo's identity, and the ever-present political struggle between its practitioners, we try to remain focused on the simple aspects that make Taekwondo (whatever variation you like) such a great way to exercise and improve oneself. Currently our club is WTF-based, but we do not place great importance on affiliation, certification, and all that mess. 

WSU Taekwondo is coming to its 12th year this fall. The club was originally founded by Jeong-Suh Choi. Many people have come and gone through the club over the years, and it has seen many changes. In fall '03, we became a intercollegiate competitor and a member of the WSU Sport Club Federation in Spring '04. Prior to that the club had been through many years as an RSO teaching and training together, building a reputation and a spot on campus to which we could better and more safely instruct new and continuing members in Martial Arts.

With our induction to the sports club federation our ability to travel and compete on a national scale has been widely increased. Every year since then we have made it our goal to attend national scope collegiate tournaments at least once a year and have had more than 1/2 of all team members sent to compete medal at these events. Despite this success we are still a young and growing program. Currently we are trying to raise funds and support to further increase our clubs competition team, and to begin hosting our own regional or national scale tournament here at WSU. We hope that in years to come WSU will be established as having one of the premier martial arts program in the country, but we will need YOUR support to take this from a hope to true piece of our clubs history!

**Some images courtesy of the Kukkiwon**

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University Recreation, PO Box 641830, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1830 | (509) 335-8732 | urecweb@wsu.edu