- This article pertains to a taekwondo association in the United States, not the Kukkiwon-affiliated training park, the Taekwondo Won.
The United States Taekwondo Won (USTW) was formed in 1999 to promote and preserve Traditional Taekwondo in the United States. While organizations such as the International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) have affiliate associations in the U.S. to promote those federations, the purpose of the USTW is to serve the same types of functions for the older, more traditional styles of taekwondo that pre-date the ITF and WTF.
The USTW is a non-profit corporation formed by six Korean Grand Masters:
From their website:
- In the 1970’s and 1980’s the push towards Taekwondo for sport competition and the Olympic Games came to the forefront of the Korean martial Arts community. These efforts were very successful and Taekwondo became known as an exciting Olympic fighting sport. The Masters who had emerged from the original Kwans, and who brought traditional Taekwondo to the United States, watched this change in Korean martial arts with both pride for the accomplishment and with concern for what was being lost. It is this concern that finally gave birth to the United States Taekwondo Won.
In other words, during the 1970s and 1980s, as the Korea Taekwondo Association and the Kukkiwon sought to unify Korean martial arts into a single style, many of the practitioners who practiced older styles of taekwondo emigrated to other countries around the world, many to the U.S. Until 1999, many of these individual schools in the U.S. were unassociated with any federations other than their own chains of schools. The purpose of the USTW is to support these individual schools of traditional taekwondo with a nation-wide association dedicated to the preservation of 1950s-1960s-styles of taekwondo.