Choi claimed to have studied Korean martial arts when young and earned a blackbelt in Shotokan karate in Japan from a mysterious man named Mr Kim. However, every Kwan senior disagrees with this statement. Subsequently, Choi fell out of favor with the authorities in South Korea and moved his organization to Canada in 1972. It is also worth noting that he is regarded by ITF Taekwondo practitioners as the founder of taekwondo and equally worth noting that all the major Kwan leaders disagree and state that taekwondo was founded by many men, not one.
In 1972, the Korea Taekwondo Association Central Dojang was opened. A few months later, the name was changed to the Kukkiwon. The following year, the WTF was formed. The International Olympic Committee recognized the WTF and taekwondo sparring and the sport was accepted as a demonstration event at the 1988 Seoul and the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games. It became an official medal event as of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Taekwondo is one of two Asian martial arts (judo being the other) in the Olympic Games.
Both the ITF and the WTF operate internationally, and taekwondo is one of the most popular martial arts in the world. Although competition is a significant feature of taekwondo many practitioners study taekwondo for personal development, to learn self -defence, or for a combination of reasons.