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History of World Taekwondo Federation

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Taekwondo, a martial art characterized by its dynamic kicks and fast-paced movements, has a vibrant history that dates back to ancient times. It has evolved over centuries, blending Korean indigenous martial arts with influences from neighboring countries.

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The Origins of Taekwondo

1 Korean Martial Arts in Ancient Times

The early foundations of Taekwondo can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms period in Korean history, when martial arts were an essential aspect of military training and self-defense.

2 Influence of Japanese Martial Arts

During Japan’s occupation of Korea in the early 20th century, Korean martial arts faced suppression, but this period also saw the fusion of Korean and Japanese martial arts, contributing to the development of modern Taekwondo.

3 The Birth of Modern Taekwondo

After Korea regained independence, various martial arts schools emerged, each teaching their unique styles. In 1955, efforts to standardize and unify these styles led to the establishment of Taekwondo as an independent martial art.

Foundation of the World Taekwondo Federation

1 Establishment and Early Years

In 1973, the World Taekwondo Federation was founded as the governing body for international Taekwondo. Its headquarters were set up in Seoul, South Korea, reflecting the sport’s deep-rooted connection with its homeland.

2 WTF’s Mission and Objectives

The primary mission of the WTF was to promote Taekwondo on a global scale and regulate competitions to ensure fair play and safety for athletes.

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Taekwondo’s Journey to International Recognition

1 Taekwondo in the Olympics

One of the most significant milestones for Taekwondo and the WTF was its inclusion as an official Olympic sport. Since its debut at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Taekwondo has become a prominent fixture in the Games.

2 Expansion of WTF Membership

Over the years, the WTF expanded its membership to include numerous national Taekwondo associations, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration among practitioners worldwide.

3 Pioneering Taekwondo Demonstrations

The WTF played a pivotal role in introducing Taekwondo to global audiences through captivating demonstrations and exhibitions.

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Prominent Figures in WTF’s History

1 Dr. Un Yong Kim – A Visionary Leader

Dr. Un Yong Kim, the first president of the WTF, was instrumental in elevating Taekwondo’s status as an international sport and shaping its future.

2 Inspirational Taekwondo Champions

Throughout its history, the WTF has been graced by remarkable Taekwondo athletes who have not only achieved sporting excellence but also inspired millions around the world.

WTF’s Contributions to Taekwondo’s Development

1 Standardization of Taekwondo Techniques

The WTF focused on standardizing Taekwondo techniques, forms, and rules to create a unified system that could be practiced globally.

2 Global Competitions and Championships

Through hosting world-class competitions, such as the World Taekwondo Championships, the WTF provided a platform for athletes to showcase their skills and compete at the highest level.

3 Taekwondo’s Impact on Culture and Society

The global popularity of Taekwondo led to the emergence of a vibrant community that transcends borders, promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding.

Evolution of WTF’s Rules and Regulations

1 Safety Measures and Protective Gear

Over time, the WTF introduced various safety measures and protective gear to ensure the well-being of athletes during competitions.

2 Scoring Systems and Referee Guidelines

The continuous refinement of scoring systems and referee guidelines aimed to enhance the fairness and transparency of Taekwondo competitions.

WTF’s Efforts in Gender Equality and Paralympic Inclusion

1 Advancements in Women’s Taekwondo

The WTF made significant strides in promoting gender equality within the sport, leading to increased participation and recognition for female Taekwondo athletes.

2 Para Taekwondo – A Triumph of Inclusivity

Recognizing the abilities of differently-abled athletes, the WTF played a crucial role in the inclusion of Taekwondo in the Paralympic Games.

Challenges and Controversies

1 The Transition to World Taekwondo

In 2017, the World Taekwondo Federation rebranded itself as “World Taekwondo” to avoid the negative connotations associated with its previous acronym.

2 Doping and Fair Play Issues

Like many other sports, Taekwondo faced challenges concerning doping and fair play, prompting the WTF to adopt stringent measures to maintain the integrity of the sport.

The Future of World Taekwondo Federation

1 Taekwondo’s Global Popularity Today

Taekwondo continues to enjoy global popularity, with millions of practitioners and enthusiasts spread across all continents.

2 WTF’s Ongoing Initiatives and Programs

The WTF remains committed to the growth and development of Taekwondo, investing in grassroots programs and educational initiatives to secure its future.


The World Taekwondo Federation has played a pivotal role in the journey of Taekwondo, elevating it from a traditional Korean martial art to an international Olympic sport. With its continuous efforts to promote inclusivity, safety, and fair play, the WTF has cemented Taekwondo’s place in the hearts of millions worldwide.

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The World Taekwondo Federation was founded in 1973.

Taekwondo was included as an official sport in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

 The WTF has made significant advancements in promoting gender equality in Taekwondo, leading to increased recognition for female athletes.

The WTF rebranded itself as “World Taekwondo” to avoid negative associations with its previous acronym.

The WTF invests in grassroots programs and educational initiatives to secure the future growth and development of Taekwondo.

“The most important thing in sport is not winning, but participating, because the essential thing in life is not success, but striving to achieve it.”

Baron Pierre de Coubertin

Taekwondo the path of Punch and Kick a sport of attack and defense, a long way to go but with dedication and love for the sport anything is possible.

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