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The name Chung Do Kwan means "The School of the Blue Waves'.

The Chung Do Kwan was founded by Lee Won Kuk. This was the first school of martial arts to be established in modern Korea and was the first school to begin laying the foundations for what was to become Tae Kwon Do.

Lee Won Kuk began his career in the martial arts in 1926, at the age of nineteen, when he moved to Japan to attend college. Whilst at university he studied Shotokan karate directly from its founder, Gichin Funakoshi. Lee eventually returned to Korea and began teaching karate in September of 1944.

During the Japanese occupation, it was virtually impossible for a Korean to open a school of karate in his homeland. Due to Lee's close relationship with the Japanese governor general of Korea, however, he was one of the very few people who were allowed to do so. It was believed that he must be a Japanese sympathizer, or he would not have been allowed to open his school. This distrust ran so deep that in 1945, when Korea was liberated, Lee was put on trial for his Japanese affiliations and had to temporarily close the doors of his school.
Lee was not convicted, however. Upon his acquittal, he became very proactive in his stance about Korean independence. Lee formed a tight alliance with the Korean National Police. So much so, that when his Chung Do Kwan was reopened in Seoul, in April of 1946, it became known as the National Police Dojang.

The second grandmaster of the Chung Do Kwan was Son Duk Sung who took over in 1951.


Written by Conrad Howard — November 21, 2012

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