Although its roots can be somewhat traced back to ancient Korea, it is a historic fact that Taekwondo as an organized art is relatively modern. In fact, the only documented history begins in the mid 1900’s. The actual beginnings of Taekwondo are obscured by time, yet many historians believe it originated from a Korean martial arts form known as t’aekyon practiced over 1,300 years ago.
During its early years, the ATA used the Chahng-hun style of forms (also used by the International Taekwondo Federation). But although this style was widely accepted in the Taekwondo community, Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee felt that its forms did not accurately reflect Taekwondo, particularly the strength and beauty of Taekwondo kicking techniques. As a result, he believed the forms contributed little to the Taekwondo curriculum.
From 1983 to 1990, Eternal Grand Master introduced the eighteen Songahm forms. These forms are part of a fully-integrated curriculum, in which everything a student learns reinforces everything else. The forms contain all or nearly all of the techniques that students are expected to know at each rank, the one-step sparring segments complement the forms, and all of these patterns lead logically to the movements required for each succeeding rank. Read more at ATAOnline.com.