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Two of the most popular systems of taekwondo are named solely after their respective organizations, the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), which is closely associated with the Kukkiwon.

The ITF was founded in 1966 by Choi Hong Hi. After Choi's death in 2002, a number of succession disputes splintered the ITF into three different groups, all claiming to be the original. These three bodies are all private organizations. Two are located in Austria and one in Korea. The unofficial training headquarters of the ITF is located at the Taekwondo Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, and was founded in the mid-1990s.

The Korea Taekwondo Association Central Dojang was opened in South Korea in 1972. A few months later, the name was changed to the Kukkiwon. The following year, the World Taekwondo Federation was formed. The International Olympic Committee recognized the WTF and taekwondo sparring in 1980.

There are many other private organizations, such as the World Traditional Taekwondo Union promoting the Songahm style of taekwondo and Rhee Taekwon-Do teaching the military style of taekwondo. Events and competitions held by private organizations are mostly closed to other taekwondo students. However, the WTF-sanctioned events allow any person, regardless of school affiliation or martial arts style, to compete in WTF events as long as he or she is a member of the WTF Member National Association in his or her nation, which is open to anyone to join. The major technical differences among these many organizations revolve around the patterns, called hyeong 형, pumsae 품새, or teul 틀, sets of prescribed formal sequences of movements that demonstrate mastery of posture, positioning, and technique, sparring rules for competition, and philosophy.

In addition to these private organizations, the original schools (kwans) that formed the organization that would eventually become the Kukkiwon continue to exist as independent fraternal membership organizations that support the WTF and the Kukkiwon. The official curriculum of the kwans is that of the Kukkiwon. The kwans also function as a channel for the issuing of Kukkiwon dan and pum certification (black belt ranks) for their members.



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