Founder Of TaeKwon-Do: General Choi Hong Hi
General Choi Hong Hi was born on November 9th 1918. He was a frail child and caused his parents constant anxiety. At the age of twelve he was expelled from school and so his father sent him to study Calligraphy under Mr Ok Nam Han II Dong, one of the most famous teachers of Korea. He was also a master of Taek Kyon. Concerned over the frailty of his student, he began teaching him Taek Kyon to build up his body.
April 11th 1955 saw the christening of TaeKwon-Do when General Choi after exhaustive researching, developing and experimenting proclaimed TaeKwon-Do to the world as a completely valid and unique martial art having a basic Korean origin. In 1965, General Choi received approval from the South Korean Government to declare TaeKwon-Do as Korea’s National Martial Art.
The Last Words of General Choi:
I am the man who has the most followers in the world. I am the happiest man who has done everything to do in my life. It is fortunate you have come. Is Mr. Chang Ung here?
Mr. Rhee Ki Ha, it is good that you have come. I am glad that my son and daughters like you most. You probably might know Mr. Chang Ung well. It is time to introduce Mr. Chang Ung proudly in public. Please carry on propaganda that Mr. Chang Ung is the tallest and in the highest position in the ITF.
If only I had been as tall as Mr. Chang Ung I could have had less opponents. However, as my body was so tiny that there were many opponents. Thus all alone I could not but fight against them for so long. But I have never been worn out for the justice was on my side. I have always worried about a successor to the president. However, my mind is set at ease for there is Mr. Chang Ung.
Mr. Hwang Kwang Sung, your duty is very big and important as a spokesman, and chairman of the Merger Committee. It was my wish to merge the Taekwon-Do into one. Please get on your own duty responsibly.
Mr. Park Jong Soo had immigrated into Canada in 1967. Before that he educated Taekwon-Do in Europe. In 1972 went to Canada where Mr. Park Jong Soo resided leaving my children behind without informing them. In those days Taekwondo was not widely spread, so that I used to say to crave the words of Taekwon-Do on my coffin. Now Taekwon-Do has developed on a large scale. I love Mr. Tom MacCallum. I have always worried if he might die before me. In case he dies first I have been thinking how to help his family. He has given the special contributions to the ITF. I have no secrets to him. Thank you very much for what you have done. I love you. Mr. Leong Wai Meng is a man of conscience indeed, He has given great contribution to educating the Taekwondo. As I thought his finance is in good condition I drew his name out on the stockholders list of the Chang Hun Foundation.
Mr. Hwang Jin is doing well on the way of Mr. Chon Jin Sik. So I appointed him as a member of the Consultative Committee. Please enlarge the Consultative Committee into 9 members. Here I appoint Mr. Jong Jae Hun.
Taekwondo never exists without the DPR of Korea. You should know this. The ITF is an international organization and does it need to argue about ideology? Does the United Nations belong to the Africans because the Secretary General a black man? Please give up this kind of idea. Taekwondo must be Korean centered.
Choi Jung Hwa lied to me at the airport. I was again deceived. You ought to tell the public throughout the internet that I did not forgive Jung Hwa. I forgave him as a father but the Taekwondoists would never forgive hi. Before Jung Hwa apologizes to Taekwondoists the world over, he will never be forgiven. While I am still alive you should send the message to the internet the soonest as possible.
On 11th June 2002 in Pyongyang (16,30-17,10h), DPR Korea.
The ones who heard the last words of General Choi.
Mr. Rhee Ki Ha
Grand Master and the Vice-President
Mr. Tom MacCallum
Master and the Secretary General
Mr. Leong Wei Meng
Master and the Chairman of the Consultative Committee
Mr. Hwang Kwang Sung
Grand Master, spokesman and special aide
Mr. Park Jong Soo
Grand Master and a member of the Consultative Council
Mr. Hwang Jin
Master and a member of the Consultative Council
Mr. Hwang Bong Yong
Chairman of the Korean TaeKwon-Do Committee
Mr. Jong Jae Hun
Secretary General of the International Martial Art Games Committee
Mr. Rang Bong Man
Secretary General of the Korean TaeKwon-Do Committee
On September 22, 2002, 70 representatives from 46 countries attended a memorial service for General Choi. The solemn and memorable service was held in Pyongyang, North Korea, the birthplace of General Choi. A special Congress of the ITF was also held on September 22, 2002 to uphold the General's last wish to elect Mr. Chang Ung as the new president of the International Taekwondo Federation. In his last words, and before nine officials of the ITF, General Choi named Mr. Chang Ung as the new president of the International Taekwon-Do Federation.