History of Chang Moo Kwan


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Grand Master Nam Suk Lee, President World Changmookwan


    Tae Kwon Do is a traditional martial art which was developed in Korea over twenty centuries ago.  It's origin dates  back to Koguryo Dynasty founded in 37  B.C. Modern times saw Taekwondo being oppressed by Japanese policy, this included the elimination of certain Korean Cultural practices during  the Japanese colonial rule.  This is why quite a few
Korean Taekwondo masters left their motherland in an effort to preserve their traditional art in foreign countries.  Some of these masters hurried back to Korea near the end of World War II to rejuvenate the spirit and techniques of Taekwondo
in the newly liberated Korea.  Grand Master Byung In Yoon was one of them.

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                                                      GREAT GRAND MASTER BYUNG IN YOON
                                                                         (Center of of Picture)

On Se Grand Master Byung In Yoon established the Taekyon Club at NgNSung Agricultural High
School in Seoul, Korea. He then inaugurated Chang Moo Kwan at the Taekyon department of the Y.M.C.A. and appointed Nam Suk Lee as first Instructor.  Political and military  conflicts erupted bringing about the Korean War from June 25th, 1950 to June 27, 1953.  In South Korea martial arts trained commandos were used and dispatched to spy and execute  the enemy  occasionally .  The cost to the arts was high.  By the end of the war, Sup Chun Sang and  Byung In Yoon , respective founders of Yun Moo Kwan and Chang Moo Kwan were declared missing.  Nam Suk Lee took over  Master Byung's school. Woo Lee Chong succeeded  Master Sang in the Yun Moo Kwan.  Because of these actions,  Chang Moo Kwan was considered the leading self-defense method.                                                                                   

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                              Participants at the 1st test in the Ministry of Communications Taekwondo Dept. on December 21, 1948. 
                                                       1) Great Grand Master Byung In Yoon and 2) Grand Master Nam Suk Lee.

    In 1952, during the Korean War, a demonstration before Korean President Syngman Rhee was considered  the most significant turning point for the Korean martial arts.  Rhee watched a 30-minute performance by Korean martial arts masters, and was especially impressed when Tae Hi Nam broke 13 roofing tiles with a single punch.  When the demonstration ended, Rhee asked Hong Hi Choi some questions about the martial arts.  So impresses was Rhee he immediately turned to his
military chiefs of staff and ordered that ALL Korean soldiers receive training in these arts.  This dictate ultimately accounted  for a tremendous surge in schools and students.

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                      A commemorative photo taken after the 3rd regular promotion test held at the YMCA Seoul on November 3rd, 1948.
                                                           Depicted in the Circle Great Grand Master Yoon, in the triangle Grand Master Lee.

    In 1953-54, three more Kwans emerged.  Gae Byung Yun founded the Ji Do Kwan (a.k.a. Jee Do Kwan), Byung Chik Ro the Song Moo Kwan, and Hong Hi Choi, with help of Tae Hi Nam, the Oh Do Kwan.  Counting the original schools, (Kwans) there where now eight Kwans, all apparently espousing a different style.

    On April 11, 1955, at a pivotal conference of kwan masters, historians, and Taekyon advocates, it was decided to
uniformly adopt the term "Tae Kwon Do" which had been created and submitted by General Choi.

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