The Kukkiwon Seoul, South Korea

The “Kukkiwon” established in 1972 is the name of the building in Seoul, South Korea that serves as both the National Academy, and the World Taekwondo Headquarters, or “World Academy”. It acts as the issuing body for Taekwondo Dan grade certification and promotion.

The common term used these days is to say that your school teaches Kukki Taekwondo (“Kukki TKD”), or that you are “certified” by the Kukkiwon if that is where your Dan or teaching credentials come from, and you follow the Kukkiwon curriculum. Even though the Kwan system was officially dissolved, numbering the nine Kwans (plus a 10th administrative Kwan) and uniting them in the KTA, each of the Kwans are still actively functioning through leadership and organization outside of the Kukkiwon. Most of these Kwan jang nim support the Kukkiwon, and certify their Black Belts with Kukkiwon Dan certificates, but maintain some differences and preferences in their approach to teaching Taekwondo. Many schools, instructors, and students will often identify themselves by their Kwan affiliation, in addition to their Kukkiwon relationship.

In addition, the Kukkiwon conducts holds International Instructors Courses and is home to the World Taekwondo Academy, which trains and certifies Taekwondo instructors. The Academy is also entrusted to conduct two instructor courses by the Korean Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The Kukkiwon is also the only taekwondo organisation whose black belt Dan grades are recognised by World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The WTF governs the sport fighting discipline of Taekwondo and does not issue Dan grades or black belt certification. In actual fact the Kukkiwon and the WTF are totally separate organisations either though the two are sometimes confused.

Visitors to the Kukkiwon can also experience a visit around the museum.