Sung Kyun Kwan Team Taekwondo WTF training in Busan
The KTA’s history has been marked by political difficulties. In 1959, H. H. Choi was the first President of the KTA and Byung Jik Ro (listed as “No” by Park, 1993) and Kae Byung Yun were the inaugural Vice-Presidents. When H. H. Choi was appointed as South Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia in 1962, Myung Shin Choi became the second President of the KTA. In the early 1960s, the KTA was renamed as the Korea Taesoodo Association, and then to the current form in 1965.
During the 1960s, the KTA assembled the twelve original masters of taekwondo to promote taekwondo throughout the world. Choi headed a demonstration tour of 18 countries in 1965; this was one of many demonstration missions that eventually covered every continent. Choi again became President in 1965, but was forced to resign after a year, reportedly due to his unpopular authoritarian leadership style. He went on to establish the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) the following year. B. J. Ro of the Song Moo Kwan, who had been one of the KTA’s inaugural Vice-Presidents, became the fourth President.
In 1967, Yong Chae Kim of the Kang Duk Kwan became the fifth President of the KTA. That same year, the KTA created new black belt forms, including Koryo, Keumgang, Taebaek, Pyongwon, Shipjin, Jittae, Cheongkwon, Hansoo, and Ilyo. On 29 January 1971, Un Yong Kim became the sixth President of the KTA, and continued in the position in 1973. The KTA’s leadership would remain stable for the next 20 years or so. In 1989, Chong Soo Hong from the Moo Duk Kwan was appointed Vice-President of the KTA.
The early 2000s were a time of trouble for the KTA leadership. One source states that Un Yong Kim resigned from the KTA presidency in 2001, while other sources state that in 1997, Pil Gon Rhee was already in place as President of the KTA. In any case, Kim presided over the organisation for around 20 years. In March 2002, Cheon Seo Koo was elected President of the KTA, and apparently held that position until at least 2004, though news sources have reported that he was arrested in late 2003.
In early 2008, Jung Gil Kim was President of the KTA. On 11 June 2008, Joon Pyo Hong was elected as the 24th President of the KTA, and he continued in the position in 2009.