Upon liberation of Korea from the Japanese colonial rule after World War II, the Korean people began recovering the thought of self-reliance and the traditional folkloric games resumed their popularity. Song Duk-Ki, afore-mentioned master of Taekkyon, presented a demonstration of the martial art before the first republic of Korea president Syngman Rhee on the occasion of his birthday, clearly distinguishing Taekwondo from the Japanese Karate which had been introduced by the Japanese rulers.
Martial art experts began opening Taekwondo gymnasiums all over the country and after the end of Korean War [1950-1953] Taekwondo was popularized among the dan-grade black-belters within the country, also dispatching about 2,000 Taekwondo masters to more than 100 countries.
After all, following the nomination of Taekwondo as a national martial art in 1971, the present Kukkiwon was founded in 1972 to be used as the headquarters as well as the site of various Taekwondo competitions. Then a year later, in 1973 the World Taekwondo Federation was established. In 1973, the biennial World Taekwondo Championships was organized.
In 1984, Taekwondo was admitted to the Asian games as an official event. In 1975, Taekwondo was accepted as an official sport by the U.S Amateur Athletic Union [AAU] and also admitted to the General Association of International Sports Federations [GAISF], followed by the adoption of official sports event by the International Council of Military Sports [CISM] in 1976. The WTF became an IOC-recognized sports federation in 1980, making Taekwondo an Olympic sport. Then the adoption of Taekwondo as an official event was followed by the world games in 1981, the pan-American games in 1986, and finally by the Sydney 2000 Olympics in 1994 and then Athens 2004 Olympic Games in 2000. On November 29, 2002, the 114th IOC Session also confirmed the inclusion of Taekwondo in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Taken from the WTF website
May 25-27, 1973
The 1st World Taekwondo Championships organized by the Korea Taekwondo Association were held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 200 competitors and officials from 19 countries.
May 28, 1973
The World Taekwondo Federation was established at the inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 35 representatives from the world. Dr. Un Yong KIM was elected President for a four-year term.
Oct. 8, 1975
The WTF was affiliated to the General Association of International Sports Federations [GAISF].
May 22-23, 1976
European Taekwondo Union's inaugural meeting was held in Barcelona, Spain on the occasion of the 1st European Taekwondo Championships.
April 15-16, 1980
Program Commission of the IOC in its meeting in Lausanne decided to recommend recognition of the WTF to the IOC Executive Board and Session.
July 17, 1980
The International Olympic Committee recognized WTF at its 83rd Session in Moscow. The IOC granted its recognition to the WTF, following the recommendation of the IOC Program Commission to the IOC Executive Board.
Jan. 15, 1981
The WTF was affiliated to the International Council of Sports Science & Physical Education [ICSSPE]
July 29-31, 1981
Taekwondo participated in the first World Games as an official sport.
Sep. 28, 1984
Taekwondo was adopted by the Olympic Council of Asia [OCA] as an official sport of the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, Korea at its 3rd General Assembly.
June 2-6, 1985
Taekwondo was adopted as a demonstration sport of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea at the 90th Session and Executive Board of the IOC in Berlin.
July 28, 1986
WTF President and Secretary General gave a presentation of the sport of Taekwondo to the IOC Programme Commission Meeting at the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne in the presence of all 14 members of the commission at the invitation of the commission.
Sep. 17-20, 1988
Taekwondo was first staged in the Olympic Games as one of the demonstration sports in the 24th Olympic Games at Changchung Gymnaisum in Seoul, Korea. 120 male and 63 female athletes from 34 countries competed in respective eight weight classes for male and female division. It also had attendance of 243 Taekwondo instructors, including 58 officials from WTF member national associations.
Goodwill Games, Inc. adopted Taekwondo as an official sport of the 3rd Goodwill Games.
April 22, 1992
Taekwondo was adopted by the Olympic Council of Asia [OCA] at its general meeting in Hiroshima as an official sport of the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan.
May 18, 1992
The WTF appointed unremunerated Regional Deputy Secretaries General in European, African and Pan American regions to activate Taekwondo promotion in these regions.
Aug. 3-5, 1992
Taekwondo participated in the 25th Olympic Games at the Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona, Spain as a demonstration sport. The competition had participation of 64 male athletes from 27 nations and 64 female athletes from 25 nations, 86 officials and 30 International Referees in respective eight weight classes for male and female division.
May 4-8, 1993
WTF Vice President Josiah Henson, WTF Technical Committee Chairman Bong Sik KIM visited the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to give presentation for promotion of Taekwondo as an official Olympic sport.
June 2-7, 1993
Sydney Olympics 2000 Bid Limited invited a WTF official to visit Sydney, expressing a strong interest in inclusion of Taekwondo in the official programs of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games if their bid had been successful.
June 25, 1993
The IOC informed WTF "Taekwondo is on the list of sports to be studied for their inclusion in the program of the Games of the 27th Olympiad in 2000."
Aug. 19-21, 1993
The 11th World Taekwondo Championships and the 4th Women's World Taekwondo Championships were held at the Madison Square Garden in New York, USA with 443 male athletes from 82 countries and 226 female athletes from 54 countries, 474 officials and 100 International Referees participating.
Sep. 21, 1993
Dr. Un Yong KIM was awarded the Order of Commander by King of Monaco Rainier in recognition of his contribution to the Olympic Movement.
Oct. 7, 1993
IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch made a visit to Dr. Un Yong KIM at the Kukkiwon during his visit to Korea on the occasion of the IOC Pavilion set up in the EXPO '93 in Taejon, Korea.
Oct. 29, 1993
Sydney Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games would choose two among Taekwondo, gold, triathlon and women's softball if permitted to select several events of the games, President of the Australian Olympic Committee President and SOCOG Olympic Commission Chairman John Coates was quoted as saying, according to the AP.
April 22-23, 1994
The IOC Centenary Seoul International Taekwondo Championships took place at the Changchoong Gymnasium in Seoul, Korea with 32 male and 32 female athletes participating from Australia, Korea, Spain and USA. Six IOC Members attended the event sponsored by the WTF and organized by the Korea Taekwondo Association in commemoration of the centennial of the IOC.
June 9-12, 1994
Beijing University of Physical Education and WTF Vice President Chong Woo LEE who visited China agreed that the university would include Taekwondo in its regular curriculum beginning in September 1994.
Sep. 4, 1994
Taekwondo was adopted as an official sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC Session in Paris, France.
Dec. 10-11, 1994
KBS Cup International Taekwondo Tournament was held at Changchoong Gymnasium in Seoul, Korea with 31 male and 30 female athletes from 12 countries participating in commemoration of the inclusion of Taekwondo in Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as an official program.
Feb. 15, 1995
The WTF was affiliated to the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations [ASOIF] as a provisional member.
Nov. 15, 1995
Taekwondo symposium was held at the Star Gaze Room in Grand Boulevard Hotel in Manila, Philippines with about 100 people attending on the occasion of the 12th World Taekwondo Championships and the 5th Women's World Taekwondo Championships.
Nov. 5-8, 1996
IOC Executive Board decided at its meeting in Cancun, Mexico to expand the entries of Taekwondo athletes in Sydney 2000 Olympic Games to 100 in respective four weight classes for men and women from the originally planned 64.
July 22, 1997
SOCOG announced the change of the dates and the venue of the Taekwondo competition of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Dates of the competition were extended one day to four days from September 27 to 30, 2000. The venue was changed from Darling Harbor to the State Sports Centre in the Sydney Olympic Park. SOCOG also said in its letter the Taekwondo test event would be held on December 14-15, 1999.
Taekwondo was adopted by the CISM as an official sport of the 2nd World Military Games in Zagreb, Croatia.
Nov. 17, 1997
Executive Council of the WTF at its meeting in Hotel Miramar in Hong Kong, China on the occasion of the 13th World Taekwondo Championships and the 6th Women's World Taekwondo Championships passed the proposal for regulation of "Standing Procedure for Taekwondo Competition of the Olympic Games" that defines the details of the Taekwondo competition of the Olympic Games.
Nov. 19-20, 1998
The 17th General Assembly of the SCSA [Supreme Council of Sports in Africa] resolved to include Taekwondo in the official programs of the 7th All Africa Games in Johannesburg, South Africa.
July 4, 2000
Greek Taekwondo delegation, including Athens Olympic Games Organizing Committee [ATHOC 2004] Competition Manager for Taekwondo Michalis Fissentjidis, visited WTF President Dr. Un Yong KIM to the Kukkiwon.
July 14, 2000
FISU Executive Board meeting in Beijing selected Taegu, Korea as the host city of the 22nd Universiade in 2003 and Taekwondo was adopted as one of the programs of the 2003 Universiade.
Sep. 27-30, 2000
Taekwondo competition of the 26th Olympic Games as an official sport in respective four male and female weight classes at the State Sports Centre in the Sydney Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia. It had participation of 55 male athletes from 39 nations and 48 female athletes from 32 nations [51 nations] and 25 International Referees.
Dec. 11-13, 2000
Taekwondo became an `Olympic sport' as the IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland confirmed Taekwondo as an Olympic sport for 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Chinese Olympic Committee announced that Taekwondo is participating in the Chinese National Sports Meeting to be held in November 2001 for the first time. This national sport event of China with 1.2 billion people is held every four years.
Sep. 18-20, 2001
Taekwondo entry at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was expanded to 124 at the IOC Executive Board Meeting in Lausanne.
January 11-12, 2002
FISU Executive Committee Meeting in Tarvisio, Italy decided to include taekwondo also in 23rd Summer Universiade to be held in Izmir, Turkey on July 16-26, 2005 as an optional sport.
August 28, 2002
IOC Executive Board decided the sports programs of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to be 27, including Taekwondo, at its meeting in Lausanne.
November 29, 2002
The 114th IOC Session held in Mexico City confirmed the inclusion of Taekwondo in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
October 14-20, 2003
Taekwondo will take part in the 5th Central Asian Games to be held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan for the first time.
February 15, 2004
The Extraordinary meeting of the Executive Council of the WTF held in Bangkok, Thailand elected Dr. Sun Jae PARK, Vice President (Italy), as Acting President of the WTF as the meeting accepted the resignation of Dr. Un Yong KIM from the presidency of the WTF.
June 11, 2004
Dr. Chung Won CHOUE was elected as new President of the WTF at the Extraordinary General Assembly held in Incheon, Korea. Dr. Choue will serve Dr. Un Yong Kim’s remaining term of office that will end at the 17th General Assembly to be held on the occasion of the 17th (10th Women’s) World Championships scheduled for 2005 in Madrid, Spain.
Aug. 26-29, 2004
Taekwondo competition of the 28th Olympic Games as an official sport in respective four male and female weight classes at the Sports Pavillion in Athens, Greece. It had participation of 64 male athletes and 60 female athletes from 60 nations and 24 International Referees .
Sep. 24, 2004
FISU Executive Committee Meeting in Innsbruck, Austria, confirmed Taekwondo as an optional sport for the 24th Summer Universiade to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007, for third time in a row.
July 8, 2005
117th IOC Session in Singapore (July 7-9) decided on the programs of 2012 London Olympic Games. Out of 28 Summer Olympic sports, 26 sports, including taekwondo, were confirmed as programs of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Baseball and softball were dropped from the programs of 2012 London Olympic Games but still remain as Summer Olympic sports.
July 16, 2005
Oceania Taekwondo Union was recognized as the 5th Continental Union of the WTF, bringing the number of Continental Taekwondo Unions of the WTF from 4 (Asia/Africa/Europe/Pan America) to 5 (Asia/Africa/Europe/Pan America/Oceania).
February 5-7, 2006
IOC Executive Board decided at its meeting in Turin, Italy to expand the number of taekwondo entry in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games from 124 to 128 (two males and two females were added).
July 25, 2006
The number of member nations rose to 182 at the 17th WTF General Assembly held in Hochiminh City, Vietnam on July 25, 2006