History of the Chung Do Kwan

The system of “Chung Do Kwan” was founded by Won Kuk Lee, in 1944. In the time between the end of WWII (1945), and the forming of the Korean Taekwondo Association (1961), there were many annex kwans that sprang up from former graduates of the Chung Do Kwan, and others of different backgrounds as well. Even though the “officially recognized” Kwans were merged into the KTA, numbered, and the Kwan names supposedly retired, each Kwan remains active in teaching their own unique variations of Taekwondo curriculum, and certifying ranks and master titles within their own Kwan.

For those who are not familiar with the terminology, in Korean language and culture, a “kwan” is a “family” or “clan” with one head of the family, like the father who is the patriarch, and becomes the grandfather, and then the great-grandfather. While there are many people who can trace their Taekwondo roots to the Chung Do Kwan in one way or another, it is not always the case that they were ever authorized as a sabeom (school master or head of a dojang), or if they were at one time, they might have severed ties from the authority and guidance of their family head (“Kwanjangnim”) yet continue to teach under the title of “Chung Do Kwan.” For those that are authorized from the origins of Chung Do Kwan, they have spread throughout the world. Thus, the World Chung Do Kwan Association