Choi Hong-hui
Founder of Changheonyu Taekwondo

최홍희 · 崔泓熙

Choi Hong-hui (9 November 1918 – 15 June 2002) 2 was a South Korean military commander who is seen as the founder of the International Style of Taekwondo.

Choi was born in Hwa Dae, Myeongcheon county, in what is now North Korea. He studied calligraphy under Han Il-dong, who was also trained in Taekkyeon. Han proceeded to teach Taekkyeon to Choi alongside his calligraphy. 1, 2

In 1937, Choi moved to Japan for further education. In Kyoto he took up Karate under a Korean man named Kim, and within two years he had attained first degree black sash. After moving to study at the University of Tokyo, he trained in Karate for a further two years, reaching the level of second degree black sash. 1, 2

In 1946, Choi was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Korean Army, and a few months later he was promoted to First Lieutenant. He was subsequently promoted to Captain, and then Major, in 1947, and then to Lieutenant Colonel in 1948. In 1949 he was promoted to Colonel, and in 1951 he became Brigadier General. 1, 2

In 1953 he commanded the 29th Infantry Division on Jeju Island. Here, Choi and his colleagues developed the art that would later be named Taekwondo. He established Odo Kwan, and also became the head of Cheongdo Kwan (School of the Blue Wave). In 1954 he was promoted to Major General. 1, 2

On the 11th of April 1955, a special naming board decided to name the new art Taekwondo, replacing Tangsudo, Taekkyeon, and Gwonbeop. (Many of these other names have survived however, and they describe arts which have similarities to Taekwondo, but which are by no means identical.) 2


  1. Taekwondo, Choi Hong-hi (Second Edition, 1965) (Daeha Publication Company, Seoul)
  2. Taekwondo, Choi Hong-hi (Fifth Edition, 2004) (International Taekwondo Federation, Changheon Foundation)

Korean Date

The date today is,

4349 년 12 월 25 일 (4349, Month 12 Day 25) (20 February 2017 CE)

This is the date according to the traditional lunisolar calendar of Korea. (Note that this is not an authoritative calculation; I’m still working on the details.) The years count back to the legendary founding of Korea by 단군 왕검 (Dan-gun Wanggeom).