The foundations of Taekwondo can be traced back thousands of years. Korea possesses a long and illustrious history of developing and refining advanced systems of martial arts. This history was idealized by the Hwa Rang warriors of the fifth century. The 'Flowering Youth,' as they known, brought an end to regional conflict, united the kingdoms on the Korean peninsula, and spread their understanding of Buddhism and warfare to the island nation of Japan. This historic transmission of knowledge helped to give birth to Japanese samurai culture. Although martial culture on the Korean peninsula dates back to the beginning of recorded time, the systems of martial arts that came to be known as taekwondo is less than a century old.
In early interviews, Hwang Kee stated that he studied numerous systems of Chinese martial arts while living in China. Later, it was revealed that he had also studied a system of karate while he was there. Is it significant that this was revealed later-or it is at least notable. Hwang returned to Korea near the end of Japanese occupation and formalized his system of self-defense on his birthday, November 9, 1945. In 1946 his system began to be taught at the Yong San Railway Station in Seoul. It was called Tang Soo Do Bu, and he titled his martial arts organization Kyo Tong Bu Woo Hae. The Korean term tang soo literally translates as 'knife hand,' and the Japanese character used to depict this term is the same one used for karate.
Since Hwang Kee's first school was in a railway station, many of his first students were railway employees. The school flourished for many years. Then, like most schools of martial arts on the Korean peninsula, it was closed on June 25, 1950, at the onset of the Korean War. In 1953,when the school reopened, Hwag Kee had changed the name of the system to moo duk kwan.
Nam Tae Hi became a student of Chung Do Kwan immediately after Korean independence.He quickly mastered the art and began teaching at the Korean Army Military Signal School in 1947.During the same period, Nam Tae Hi met Choi Hong Hi. This laid the foundation for the birth of the Oh Do Kwan. As the years progressed, in no small part due to General Choi's senior position in the Korean military, Oh Do Kwan became the main martial art taught to the Korean Army.