World Taekwondo Federation vs International Taekwon-Do Federation


1955 Unification of Different Kwans, To Form “Taekwon-Do”
This unity was ordered by South Korea’s President Syngman Rhee. The word “Taekwon-Do” did not exist before this period. It is widely accepted that General Choi was the first person to have suggested the name “Taekwon-Do”.

1966 The Formation of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF)
General Choi Hong Hi establishes the ITF after a trip to North Korea in the same year causes upset in South Korea.

1973 The World Taekwondo (WT) Was Formed
The nations involved in this formation were Korea, the USA, Uganda, Mexico, Austria, and the Republic of China. It was originally headed by Kim Un-Yong (later a member of the International Olympic Committee).

Name Taekwon-Do Taekwondo
Established 22nd March 1966 by General Choi Hong Hi 28th May 1973 by Member nations
Headquarters Originally Canada but later moved to Austria. After the death of General Choi in 2002,  ITF is now divided into three organisations South Korea
Style Chang-Hon WTF
Membership Well spread in many countries Well spread in many countries
Known as The original or traditional form of taekwon-do The Olympic style taekwondo or sports taekwondo
The Role Each regional ITF maintains membership registrations and issues belt ranks. The Kukkiwon maintains membership registrations and issues belt ranks. The WTF is a sport, tournament, and refereeing entity only.
Uniform White, may be zipped in the centre. White, V-neck uniform with various colours on the v-neck.
Black belts have a black stripe on the bottom of the jacket. There appears to be some variation in the uniform with some having checked fabric.
4th dans and above have stripes down the sleeves and pants. WTF members may wear shoes.
Generally shoes are not part of the uniform although foot protection is used in sparring.
Patterns Tuls Poomsae
Theory Encompasses a body of knowledge that is required to be mastered before a student can progress to the next level.
Patterns Have 24 patterns (called tuls) which now use a sine wave motion. Only recognizes Taeguk poomsae and does not use a sine wave motion.
Self defence Features in ITF curriculum Practiced but not emphasised
Breaking of boards Features in ITF curriculum Practices but not emphasised
Ranks 10 levels of student (gup) ranks and 10 levels of student (gup) ranks and
9 levels of black belt (dan) ranks. 10 levels of black belt (dan) ranks.
Assigning of titles 1st Dan – 3rd Dan: "Assistant Instructor" 1st Dan – 2nd Dan: "Assistant Instructor"
4th Dan – 6th Dan: "Instructor" 3rd Dan – 4th Dan: "Instructor"
7th Dan – 8th Dan: "Master" 5th Dan – 7th Dan: "Master"
9th Dan: "Grand Master" 8th Dan – 10th Dan: "Grand Master"
Entry Restricted to members of affiliated schools/clubs Open to all participants. School affiliation not an issue
Sparring Contact Only semi-contact is permitted with attacks at the back of the head, the back and below the belt prohibited. Knock-outs are not prohibited Full contact is permitted with punches to the face prohibited.
Sparring Duration non-stop two rounds of two minutes each, with a one-minute rest period between each round non-stop three rounds of two minutes each, with a one-minute rest period between rounds
Ability to participate in the Olympics Not able to participate irrespective of rank. All ranks of registered 1st Dan and above.