55 year Anniversary of ITF
This week sees us celebrate the 55 year anniversary of the formation of the International Taekwon-Do Federation.
On March 22nd, 1966, General Choi Hong Hi (dec) formed the International Taekwon-do Federation (I.T.F) in Seoul, Korea. At the time it had associations in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, West Germany, America, Turkey, Italy, Egypt and Korea.
The years that followed saw Taekwon-Do spread like wildfire to become the most practiced martial art in the World.
The now iconic and coveted ITF badge and plaque were designed by Grandmaster Kim Jong Chan (JC) for the ITF. Grandmaster JC Kim was very instrumental in the formation of the ITF. He designed and taught the 1st International Instructor’s courses, ITF Umpires courses, and later hosted the 1st ITF World Championships.
In 1972, the International Taekwon-Do Federation headquarters moved from Seoul, Korea to Toronto, Canada.
The first ITF World championships was held in 1974, in Montreal, Canada.
Early pioneer demonstration teams included famous names such as Rhee Ki Ha, Choi Chang Keun, Park Jong Soo, Kong Yong Il, Han Cha Kyo, Kim Jong Chan, Choi Kwang Jo and others.
In 1985 the ITF headquarters moved to Vienna, Austria.
by 1993, the first ITF Junior World Championships was held in Moscow, Russia.
In 1997, GM Rhee Ki Ha was the first person promoted to the rank of 9th Degree, Grandmaster by General Choi Hong Hi and the International Taekwon-Do Federation. On the 55 year anniversary, today there are now many ITF Grandmasters.
By 2000, General Choi, the Founder of Taekwon-Do, was announced by Taekwon-Do Times magazine, as the most influential martial artist on the century.
General Choi sadly passed away on 15 June 2002 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Choi is listed in the Taekwondo Hall of Fame with various titles: “Father of Taekwon-Do,” “Founder and First President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation,” and “Founder of Oh Do Kwan.”
General Choi is survived by his wife, Choi Joon Hee; his son, Choi Jung Hwa; two daughters, Sunny and Meeyun; and several grandchildren.
We wish all of those persons who have been members and valuable contributors of the International Taekwon-Do Federation through its 55 year journey…. a very happy anniversary.
Thank you to General Choi Hong Hi and all the original pioneers of the ITF for their vision and dedication.