Report on the Conference for the 100th Anniversary of Choi Hong Hi: Taekwon-Do and Life; How to View Choi Hong Hi




red complex, International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), Taekwondo Promotion Foundation, martial arts, combat sports


Keimyung University (grant #20180269)


General Choi Hong Hi has long been a controversial figure in the Republic of Korea (ROK; South Korea) despite his extreme influence on Taekwondo. The “Conference for the 100th Anniversary of Choi Hong Hi: Taekwon-Do and Life; How to View Choi Hong Hi” was held on November 28, 2018 at the Korea National Sport University. This report on that conference intends to disseminate the speakers’ findings to a wider audience and establish new directions for academic discussions on International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Taekwon-Do. This conference also illuminated some problems with Taekwondo literature; namely that ITF literature is greatly overshadowed by research on its Olympic counterpart. Additionally, it seems that the only ROK Taekwondo governing body interested in reestablishing General Choi’s legacy is the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation. Nevertheless, even though he was a taboo topic in the ROK a decade ago, the political climate in the ROK has changed and General Choi’s legacy is re-emerging slowly.


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Author Biographies

John A. Johnson, Department of Taekwondo, College of Physical Education, Keimyung University

John A. Johnson (PhD) is an assistant professor in the Department of Taekwondo at Keimyung University (Daegu, South Korea). He received his PhD from the Department of Taekwondo at Kyung Hee University (Suwon, South Korea) and was the first ITF Taekwon-Do practitioner to do so. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on Taekwondo international relations, pedagogy, and philosophy, but he has published in other academic areas as well. He is the executive director of the International Association for Taekwondo Research ( and vice president of the International Academic Conference for Taekwondo ( Email:

Sanko Lewis, Sahmyook University

Sanko Lewis (PhD) is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Humanities at Sahmyook University (Seoul, Korea). He received his PhD from the Department of Taekwondo at Kyung Hee University (Suwon, South Korea), and his dissertation focused on the use of Mohism to resolve the paradoxical ethics of war and self-defense in East Asian martial arts. Dr. Lewis is a multi-disciplined university lecturer, and his academic foci are East Asian Philosophy and Martial Arts Studies, as well as English Literature & Creative Writing. Dr. Lewis is the Constitutional Director, Research Director, and International Liaison Officer for the national governing body for the South Africa (ITF) Taekwon-Do Institute (SATI). Email:


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How to Cite

Johnson, J. A., & Lewis, S. (2018). Report on the Conference for the 100th Anniversary of Choi Hong Hi: Taekwon-Do and Life; How to View Choi Hong Hi. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas, 13(2), 177–183.



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