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The history of Ji Do Kwan

The roots of Jidokwan can be traced back to Chun Sang Sup, who studied Judo and Karate in Seoul and Japan. After returning to Korea during World War II, he opened a school in Seoul and taught Karate and Judo. Though Chun disappeared around 1950, his first two black belts, Yoon Gwae Byung and Lee Chong Woo, continued to run the school, eventually renaming it Jidokwan. Jidokwan developed a reputation for excellence in sparring, producing highly regarded champions during the 1950s and 1960s.

The period of the 1950s and 1960s was crucial for the development of Jidokwan, as Yoon and Lee disagreed on the direction the school should take. Yoon believed in retaining the school's identity and control over its curriculum, standards, and rank testing, while Lee advocated joining the Korea Tae Soo Do Association. This conflict led to the ouster of Yoon Gae Byung as president of Jidokwan in 1967, and Lee Chong Woo became the second president of the organization.

Under Lee's leadership, Jidokwan joined a new organization, which would later become the Kukkiwon, and Lee himself became an influential member. While black belts within the Kukkiwon knew each other's origins, as time passed, membership in the Kukkiwon superseded allegiance to schools of origin. Today, many older members of these schools may recognize these lineages to varying degrees, but many younger practitioners are not aware of the roots that connect them back to an older tradition.

In summary, Jidokwan has its origins in Chun Sang Sup's teachings of Judo and Karate, which led to the formation of the Jidokwan organization in 1946. The organization developed a strong reputation for excellence in sparring, and its history is marked by leadership conflicts and its eventual affiliation with the Kukkiwon in the 1960s. Despite evolving over time, Jidokwan's roots are an important part of the history of Taekwondo and serve as a reminder of its earlier traditions.


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