History of Taekwondo
Taekwondo is one of the most popular martial arts in the world. Breaking it down, Tae means to destroy with the feet; Kwon means to strike or smash with the hand; and Do means "path", "way" or "method". Therefore Taekwondo is often translated as meaning "the way of the feet and fist". Another common translation is “the art of smashing with the hands and feet”.
Taekwondo is a combination of self-defense, sport, exercise, philosophy and moral guidance. The latter is becoming especially prevalent within the ITF.
Despite all the 'historical fact' behind the evolution of Taekwondo it is not over a thousand years old. Indeed if you look at the earlier ITF patterns such as Chonji, Dan Gun, Do San and Won Hyo you can find a lot of similarities between them and the Shotokan Heian patterns (as well as the earlier Pinan forms).
As a result of all this cross-training and the return of many Koreans to their homeland, several schools of martial art form including Chung Do Kwan, Moo Duk Kwan, Jidokwan (or Yun Moo Kwan), Chang Moo Kwan, Han Moo Kwan, Oh Do Kwan, Jung Do Kwan, Kang Duk Won, and Song Moo Kwan were formed.
By the end of the Korean War in the 1950s, nine martial arts systems had been formed. The Syngman Rhee (South Korean President at that time) then ordered that they unify under a single system. After much debate it was decided that the system should be called Taekwondo.
1973 saw the formation of the World Taekwondo Federation and Taekwondo's drive to achieve Olympic acceptance. The result of all the hard work was Taekwondo being accepted as a demonstration event at the 1988 Seoul and the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games and an official medal event at 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
In the mid 70’s Bok Nam Kim, a Korean Taekwondo instructor was brought to Ghana to teach the sports in the Ghana Armed Forces but Taekwondo was accepted as an official sports by the National Sports Council in 1980 and the first ever tournament was held in 1981 at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The first International assignment was in 1982 and Ghana also participated in All African Games for the first time in the same year winning three medals.
Currently, the Ghana Taekwondo has recorded three African Champions namely, Felix Ayensu, Charles Hansen Adu and Anthony Amu Mensah. Micheal Annan and Felix Ayensu are black belt holders (7th Dan black belt).
The discipline can also boast of three international referees; Frederick Lartey Otu, Joseph Brako, Norbert Amefu and, an Olympian, Alexander da Rocha.