General Choi Hong Hi Seminars
We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend many General Choi Hong Hi seminars, particularly through the 1990’s.
Here’s a selection of clips from some of those seminars, as they are archival in nature, sound and picture quality may vary, we hope you will enjoy them.
General Choi Hong Hi Biog
The Taekwon-Do Founder, General Choi Hong Hi (dec) was born on November 9th, 1918 in the Hwa Dae, Myong Chung District. A sickly but wilful child, he was expelled from school at the age of 12 for leading a protest against the occupying Japanese.
He is regarded as the Founder of Taekwon-do and served as President of the International Taekwon-do Federation (I.T.F.) for many years. General Choi Hong Hi (dec) passed away in June 2002, after a long battle with cancer.
His father then persuaded him to study calligraphy and Chinese characters. Choi’s tutor, Master Han II Dong, was also a master of Taek Kyon, the ancient Korean art of foot fighting which Han II Dong had practised in secret throughout the Japanese occupation. Noticing Choi’s frail physique, he decided to teach him Taek Kyon too.
Choi travelled to Japan, where he studied English, mathematics, and karate. In Kyoto, he met a fellow Korean with the surname Kim, who was a karate instructor and taught Choi this martial art. Choi also learned Shotokan karate under Funakoshi Gichin.
Just before he had left Korea, Choi apparently had a disagreement with a wrestler named Hu, and the possibility of a future confrontation inspired him to train; in his own words, “I would imagine that these were the techniques I would use to defend myself against the wrestler, Mr. Hu, if he did attempt to carry out his promise to tear me limb from limb when I eventually returned to Korea” . Choi attained the rank of 1st Dan in karate in 1939, and then 2nd Dan soon after.
General Choi’s military career began in 1937, when he was forced, as were all Korean soldiers, to join the Japanese army as a student volunteer, during Japan’s occupancy of Korea.
On his return to Korea in 1942, he hid to avoid conscription into the Japanese Army, but was eventually caught, and in October 1943 began his basic training. He was soon arrested during an attempt to escape and join the underground Korean Liberation Army. Sent to Pyung Yang prison for treason, he was due to have been executed on August 18 1945, three days after Korea was liberated.
In 1945, Choi enrolled in the Koreans Military Academy, later to be commissioned to the rank of second lieutenant in 1946. By 1948, he had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was a Taekyon instructor for the military troops of the R.O.K. and the American Military Police School based in Korea.
On the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Choi hurried back to Korea, where he was ordered to set up an officer training academy. In 1952 he was appointed chief of staff of the First Corps, and soon found himself briefing General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the United Nations troops, on the situation at the front line.
During the Korean War (1950-1953), Choi was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, becoming Chief of staff to the Korean Army. In 1954 Choi was promoted to the rank of Major General.