Monday, 30 March 2015

First ever book on Taekwondo (1959) will be available for download!!!!!

I have written numerous times that the first book on Taekwondo ever written was published in 1959 and written by Choi Hong Hi. The closest thing I (and 99% of the people I know) have come to it is the 1965 English book (first ever English Language book on Taekwondo also by Choi Hong Hi). After discussing the 1959 book with George Vitale he said the content and layout of the 1959 book and 1965 book was very different. He shared a very interesting post on facebook revealing that the first ever book on Taekwondo will be available for download on Taekwondos Birthday 11th of April :-) Read below for George facebook post and details:
On April 11, 2015 we will make available the first ever book on Taekwon-Do. Of course this book was written by General Choi Hong Hi - Tae Kwon Do Father who can rightfully be known as the principle founder of the original Taekwon-Do. This book is further undeniable evidence of that statement. It will be another step in proving General Choi Hong Hi's invaluable contributions, as without,there would simply be no Taekwon-Do.
The book will be available as a free download at:
For that that are interested visit that website now and you can download for free the program from the 1959 historic first ever Taekwon-Do demonstration team to travel outside of Korea to perform Taekwon-Do. That team was of course led by you guessed it, General Choi! The team included among others, Master-Sergeant Bok Man Kim. The sharing of the program was made possible by the generosity of GM C.K. Choi. The book was made possible by the generosity of Master Nathan Doggett (WTF).


  1. Unfortunately my Korean is limited to TKD terminology and a few choice words for mean people, so I cannot get the full appreciation for this book but based on the pictures I think it contains a satisfactory overall snapshot of TKD at that time.

    We have forms (incomplete Naihanchi?), striking tools, training tools, ho sin sul (step sparring???) & various other tidbits. Concepts like kicking to the lower body to attack or block, chair fighting, fighting on knees, dallyon joo, building training tools, stretches, pulling hand (what?!?!?!) are demonstrated. Some of these items have recently been put up on Iain Abernethy's YouTube page like they just came back in style (chair fighting being one). And Ørjan you have already covered the training tools and knee fighting.

    Have a look. It may not be as complete as the encyclopedia or even Master Chun's book on TKD (which came out years later) but it contains GEMS in the photos that give a much needed boost to the items that TKDin should be looking at that have also appeared to have vanished due to competitive prohibition.

    1. It provides a great overview on the art ss practised in 1959 :-) I have yet to find the time to really enjoy the book but I will give a short comment on the "incomplete forms". They are not incomplete but the chulgi series can be divided in two halfs where the first half mirrors the second half completly. Therefore only the first half is illustrated to preserve space. The second halfs are explained in the text though:-)

      I agree that it contains a lot of gems and I cant wait to have a little more freetime so I can sit down and enjoy it:-)