What is Taekwon-Do?

Taekwon-Do is a hard (powerful) style Korean martial art, created in 1955 by General Choi Hong-Hi, for use by the Korean army. “Taekwon-Do” literally means kicking and punching art.  It is a synthesis of other martial arts, combining Taek Kyon foot-fighting with Soo Bak-Gi and Karate.  Newtonian physics informs the physical techniques of Taekwon-do, and shape General Choi’s theory for generating maximum power.  Taekwon-Do is enjoyed for fitness, self-defense, and as a competitive sport. It teaches humility, courage and self control.  General Choi went to exhaustive lengths to define and maintain rigid technical standards with the goal of total continuity in form and philosophy, worldwide. 

Other styles profess to teach Taekwon-Do but the only authentic version is that taught by General Choi and his descendants.  In short, Taekwon-Do is the mental training and techniques of unarmed combat for self-defense and health. It involves the skilled application of punches, kicks, blocks and dodges with bare hands and feet for the rapid destruction of a moving opponent or opponents.


General Choi Hong Hi and the International Taekwon-do Federation

Taekwon Do is  Korean martial art, created by Choi Hong Hi, a General in the South Korean Armed Forces. He studied Taek Kyon, a Korean form of foot-fighting, from the age of 15, and Karate while studying in Japan. He was imprisoned in a Japanese army jail for attempting to liberate Korea. There he developed the art of Taekwon-Do. He began teaching the techniques to his soldiers, and decided it was time for Korea to have a national martial art, "superior in both spirit and technique to Japanese Karate." He he perfected the art and on April 11, 1955, it was given the name "Taekwon-Do."  It has a strong spiritual component based on traditional oriental culture and the General's personal philosophies. The physical components are based on scientific research designed for simplicity, power and mobility and incorporate military practices.


General Choi was a loyal patriot to Korea. He spent many years of his life attempting to regain Korea's freedom from Japanese oppression. Ignoring political views, his hope was that Korea would eventually be reunited. Many of the patterns are dedicated to the philosophers, spiritualists, patriots and prominent leaders of the Korean history.

In his encyclopedia he uses a 6th century map of Korea to highlight the struggles that the country has faced. During that time, the country was separated into three kingdoms: Baek Je, Silla and Kogoryo . These kingdoms were reunited in the late 7th century primarily to the strong leadership of a group of youths dedicated to honor, discipline and loyalty. The Hwa Rang Youth Group facilitated the reunification of these three kingdoms through their acts of bravery and intensity.

History of the United States Taekwon Do Federation (USTF)

Senior Grand Master Charles (“Chuck”) Sereff started his career in the martial arts back in 1961.  He joined General Choi and the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) in 1965.  He then started the USTF in 1973, and was elected President of the USTF in 1979.  It is a testament to his character and leadership that he has grown from the instructor of a small gym with six students, to the president of a 15,000-plus student organization. Senior Grand Master Sereff has given demonstrations and taught instructors and students around the world.  He intends to continue to teach and perform seminars and testings as long as he is able.  

The USTF was founded by Grand Master Charles E. Sereff, with the goal of making its members some of the best martial artists in the world, through the practice of the true, traditional form of Taekwon-Do, as set forth by General Choi, Hong Hi. The USTF has directors in most states with a membership roster of over 5,000 practitioners.  Grand Master Renee Sereff, the first and only female Grand Master, is the main contact person at USTF headquarters.  The USTF offers advanced black belt training up to and including the rank of Grand Master Instructor.  Senior Grand Master Sereff and Grand Master Mike Winegar developed a series of educational handbooks with requirements for Gup and Dan grading, step sparring, rules and regulations and pattern workout.  The USTF offers many Regional and National Championships, Instructor Seminars to certify within the USTF, USTF Referee seminars, Weapons and Knife Defense certification, Ho Sin Sul Self Defense seminars, Regional summer camps plus Sereff World Camp.  DETAILED BIOGRAPHY FOR SENIOR GRAND MASTER SEREFF