Choi Hong Hi (9 November 1918 – 15 June 2002), also known as General Choi, was a South Korean army general and martial artist who is a controversial figure in the history of the Korean martial art of taekwondo. Choi is regarded by many as
the 'Founder of Taekwondo'—most often by International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) organizations.Choi combined elements of Taekkyeon and Shotokan Karate to develop a martial art that he called "Taekwon-Do" (태권도; 跆拳道), which means "foot, hand, the way"
or "the way of hand and foot" and it was so named on 11 April 1955. Choi founded the Oh Do Kwan, and held an honorary 4th dan ranking in the Chung Do Kwan. Due to accusations of dishonesty, Choi was stripped of his rank and position in the Chung Do Kwan. During
the 1960s, Choi and Nam Tae Hi led the original masters of taekwondo in promoting their martial art around the world, though these would be only the first of many such endeavors. ITF taekwondo organizations credit Choi with starting the spread of taekwondo
internationally by stationing Korean taekwondo instructors around the world, and have consistently claimed that ITF-style taekwondo is the only authentic style of taekwondo, most notably in early sections of its textbooks. He was also the author of the first
English taekwondo syllabus book, Taekwon-Do, published by Daeha Publication Company in 1965. In 1972, Choi went into exile in Canada after the South Korean government objected to his introduction of the sport into North Korea, and the South Korean government
formed the WTF in 1973.He moved again in 1979 to North Korea where he was welcomed by the government and supported in his project of spreading Taekwondo to the world.He was remembered as the founder and champion of taekwondo.Choi died of cancer on 15 June
2002 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Choi is listed in the Taekwondo Hall of Fame with various titles: "Father of Taekwon-Do," "Founder and First President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation," and "Founder of Oh Do Kwan." Choi is survived by his wife, Choi
Joon Hee; his son,Choi Jung Hwa; two daughters, Sunny and Meeyun; and several grandchildren.