Taekwon-do is a way of life and is a universal art of unarmed combat designed for the purpose of self defense. Modern day Taekwon-do is practiced by millions of people around the world today. In Korean, Taekwon-do means the way of the hand and foot, as Tae is literally translated as “to smash with the foot”, kwon means “destroy with the hand or fist” and do means “the art or way of.”
On April 11, 1955, General Choi Hong Hi was credited with officially naming this martial art, calling it Taekwon-Do, which he had developed, initially based off of elements of Taekkyon (an ancient Korean martial art dating back 2000 years) and Shotokan Karate, which he studied while in Japan. General Choi was also credited with starting the spread of Taekwon-Do internationally by stationing Korean Taekwon-Do instructors around the world to promote and teach it. The ITF (International Taekwon-Do Federation) was officially formed on March 22, 1966. Modern day Taekwon-do has evolved and has been perfected over the years, encompassing philosophical values and goals which are rooted in the traditional moral culture of the orient. Taekwon-do is also a technical martial art and based off of principles of physics.
General Choi had developed the 15 Volume Encyclopedia of Taekwon-do in order to spread his teachings. His work can also be found in a condensed version.