Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Gyeorugi (pronounced [kjʌɾuɡi]), a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s as partial combination of taekkyeon, Okinawan karate, and other traditions.
The name taekwondo was coined by Choi Hong Hi (of the Oh Do Kwan). The World Taekwondo Federation claims that taekwondo development was a collaborative effort by a council consisting of members from the nine original kwans, while the International Taekwon-Do Federation credits Choi Hong Hi solely.
Traditional taekwondo typically refers to the martial art as it was established in the 1950s and 1960s in the South Korean military and in various civilian organizations, including schools and universities. In particular, the names and symbolism of the both the traditional patterns and the newer poomsae often refer to elements of Korean history, culture and religious philosophy. This symbolism is replicated in the Korean flag.