Tae Kwon Do by Scott Mansfield
Some youngsters playing Tae Kwon Do at the National Martial Arts Festival
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Taekwondo (/ˈtɛˈkwɒnˈdoʊ/) is a Korean martial art with a heavy emphasis on kicks. Taekwondo was developed during the 1940s and 1950s by various Korean martial artists as a blend of the indigenous Korean fighting styles of taekkyeon, gwonbeop, and subak, with influence from foreign martial arts, such as karate and Chinese martial arts.
The oldest governing body for Taekwondo is the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), formed in 1959 by a collaborative effort by representatives from the nine original kwans, or martial arts schools, in Korea. The main international organizational bodies for Taekwondo today are the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), founded by General Choi Hong Hi in 1966, and the World TaeKwonDo Federation (WTF), founded in 1973 by the KTA. Gyeorugi ([kjʌɾuɡi]), a type of full-contact sparring, has been an Olympic event since 1992. The body known for taekwondo in the Olympics is the World TaeKwonDo Federation.