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Kwan Ri Kwan

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Kwan Ri Kwan ("the administrative managing kwan") is the name given to an artificial "administrative" kwan (taekwondo school) that served to facilitate the merging of the Original Kwans into a single unified style of taekwondo (i.e., Kukkiwon/WTF-style taekwondo).

Starting with the original Five Kwans in post-World War II Korea, by 1965 about 40 kwan had emerged throughout Korea. The ongoing proliferation of new kwans made the unification of taekwondo difficult. The Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) was chartered with consolidating these schools. By 1974 the KTA had consolidated the 40 kwan into what we now call the Nine Kwans. At that time, there were about 3,000 dojangs under those nine kwans, with more than 100,000 dan holders.

The KTA continued to attempt to eliminate the old concept of the kwan in order to further unify taekwondo. Although there were objections to the elimination of the kwan system, the KTA earnestly began working towards that goal starting in 1974. To that end, on May 20, 1976, the Korea Taekwondo Association eliminated the names of the kwans within their internal unification processes, and replaced the names with numbers. The numbers assigned to the kwans are:

Note however that by this time Moo Duk Kwan had already split into several distinct groups following different paths (some following their original leader Hwang Kee in his development of Subakdo, others staying with Tang Soo Do, and still others following the Kukkiwon path). Essentially there was more than one Moo Duk Kwan. A 10th "administrative" kwan (Kwan Ri Kwan) was therefore formulated to encompass martial artists who called themselves Moo Duk Kwan but who were not part of Kwan #4.

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