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The Birth of Taekwondo

The Birth of Taekwondo

Our latest collection features Taekwondo-inspired hoodies, displaying funky illustrations that represent the essence of the sport. While Korea is home to other martial arts, such as Hapkido and Taekkyeon, we decided to pay tribute to Taekwondo, Korea’s national sport and only Olympic sport. It was first introduced at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but became an official addition at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  

Taekwondo, literally meaning “the way of the fist and the foot”, was founded by Hong Hi Choi (1918-2002), a South Korean general who was originally a student of Taekkyeon and Karate. By combining and modifying fighting techniques from these forms, Choi eventually developed the art of Taekwondo, emphasizing the use of speed and agility through kicks, throws, punches, and blocks. In 1959, he established the Korean Taekwondo Association and began teaching this new martial art around the world along with four other instructors. By 1966, the International Taekwondo Federation was formed with representatives stationed globally. 

General Hong Hi Choi

 Choi wanted to introduce Taekwondo to North Korea, an idea opposed by the South Korean government. This stance in addition to other political reasons caused Choi's exile to Canada in 1972, but his teachings of Taekwondo did not cease. He organized the very first World Taekwondo Championship in Montreal with the participation of 23 countries, and eventually Choi expanded Taekwondo into North Korea, where he spent the remainder of his life. After Choi's exile, the South Korean government also moved forward to establish the World Taekwondo Federation (known today as World Taekwondo) as the official federation of Taekwondo. 

Clip of Korean special forces members using Taekwondo

Our TKD hoodie uses a playfully designed patch on the right sleeve, mimicking one that might be found on a typical “dobok,” the uniform that Taekwondo-ins (or Taekwondo athletes) wear during training or competition. We also incorporated red and blue colors, which are commonly used on sparring gears. These colors are used to represent the yin and yang on the Korean flag.

Shop our new TKD pieces.

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