Taekwondo is an Olympic sport and Korean martial art that incorporates a number of hand techniques and locks/throws with the fantastic amount of Korean kicking techniques that Olympic Taekwondo is famous for.
Taekwondo is made up of three Korean words - Tae means to kick or smash with the feet, Kwon means to strike or smash with the hands and Do means a path or a way of improving oneself.
While Korea has a long history of native martial arts going back thousands of years with Soobahk and Taekkyon, the martial art known as Taekwondo was founded in April 1955 when a group of senior martial artists, representatives from the military and government in South Korea got together in an effort to unify various martial arts in use in South Korea and create their new national sport.
Before this point various major martial arts schools (kwan in Korean) taught their own techniques. The first step was the unification of the name and they later unified their curriculum under a body called the Kukkiwon which means "Place for National Sport". The Kukkiwon today is the international body that provides official worldwide recognized black belt certificates as well as international instructor certification and training. Stevenage Taekwondo Club's Head Instructor is a Kukkiwon-certified 5th Dan.
Stevenage Taekwondo Club is also a recognised member of the World Taekwondo Changmookwan Federation and the Head Instructor is a certified 7th Dan black belt in Changmookwan Taekwondo. The Changmookwan was the fourth major martial arts school to open in Korea (Chungdokwan 1944, Jidokwan 1946, Songmookwan 1946, Changmookwan 1946) and one of the nine schools that unified to form Taekwondo. Originally founded by Great Grandmaster Byung In Yoon and run for many years by Great Grandmaster Kim Soon Bae, the Changmookwan's current President is Grandmaster Kim Joong Young. Grandmaster Kim personally promoted our Head Instructor to 6th Dan. Changmookwan means "House of Developing/Creating Martial Arts".