"Many Taekwondo pioneers have claimed credit for its formation, and several claim the title of "founder" or "father" of Taekwondo. These claims are often repeated by loyal followers of each of these pioneers, and their respective organizations, but there is too much controversy and opinion over the exact contributions, and significance of each person's role in order to state, unequivocally, that one is more important than any others. Rather than presenting a biased slant, it is best to state the facts, and let the reader decide for themselves."
Took this excerpt from a random site, it stated what I wanted to say. But I'd also like to add that in many books credit is often given to all the kwans and no one specific GM is ever credited.
The quote above makes a lot of sense. However to come to this conclusion I realize that there are many forms or styles of TKD. The problem simply is that many do whatever they do, but have at some point along the way, simply applied the name TKD to their system.
So 1st we must define TKD, then we can very easily see who is the founder, or principle founder for each form, style or system on TKD. It gets complicated when the other forms do not acknowledge the contributions of founders of another vein.
As to your point, many books take that approach as they do not want to highlight the connection to the original or ealry kwan founders, as that makes the link to karate, which the Koreans hate because of the suffering under Japanese rules for a half a century. So in effect they throw these founders under the bus for nationalist interests.
The books that mention them, imo could do a better job of showing what kwan founder did & then what he can be credited with.
Truth be told, it appears from looking at history, only 2 kwan founders played a role in TKD's development, Gen Choi Hong Hi (ODK) & GM Ro Byung Jik (SMK).
So while going a bit off topic, I'll state some facts, hoping that readers will feel that I have been balanced, despite my screen name, I look for facts, the truth of what happened & feel there is a lot of credit to go around. Hopefully readers will agree, if not, please call me on it.
1- there was no TKD before WWII ended
2- in fact there was no traceable, verifiable serious link to any KMA of the past to the kwans that opened after WWII
3- these kwans basically taught karate, with some minor Chinese influence by 7 men who studies abroad, mostly in Japan
4- early attempts to unify were not successful
5- 2 of the original kwan founders either were killed, went to the north or were kidnapped to the north during the Korean War, as such, they had little to do with TKD's development as the kwasn opened 1944-47, with the War taking place 1950-53
6- additionally Lee Won Kuk founder of the CDK fled to Japan to escape govt persecution as an alleged Japanese sympthazier by 1950
7- the name TKD came about by April 11, 1955, however it appears that only Gen Choi & those that followed him used the name, applying it to the system that they were developing in the Korean military as a mix of the fighting arts available to them at the time
8- in 1957 Gen Choi, GM Son Duk Sung & I think GM Ro Byung Jik were involved in the formation of the TKD Association of Korea, with Gen Choi being VP, GM Son Secty Gen & GM Ro a top position as well, the president was a non-TKD man who was a politican
9- this group collasped & Gen Choi then formed the KTA in 1959, with him as 1st president
10- May 16, 1961 a military coup changed the SK govt to a brutal military dictatorship, later that year the Korean Tae Su Do Assoc was formed as they rejected the name TKD, Gen Choi losing politcal power as a result of the military coup eventually gets sent to Malaysia as an Ambassador
11- Gen Choi returns to SK & in 1965 gets elected as 3rd president of this KTA & changes the name to TKD by 1 vote, the previous 2 presidents were another General & a politican, they refuse to accept his system & push him out & to the ITF he set up in 1966
12- GM Ro Byung Jik succeeds him as the 4th president of the KTA, followed by another politican & then KCIA operative & gifted politcal leader Dr. Kim Un Yong
13- at this time the development of TKD takes 2 main roads, ITF & WTF
14- Gen Choi, Col Nam Tae Hi, Gen Woo Jong Lim, Sgt Han Cha Kyo, Sgt-Major Kim Bok Man & many others help Gen Choi develop original TKD, original used as they were the 1st to use the name & apply it to their system
15- Tae Su Do, a compromise name, as the non military TKD men, did not want to use TKD, however in 1965 they lost the vote by I think a 1 vote margin, so they used the name TKD starting in 1965, 10 years after the ODK did
16- the Tae Su Do leaders were the 2nd generation Korean martial artists led by GMs Lee Chong Woo, Uhm Un Gyu & Lee Nam Suk, among others, their leader was the govt man Dr. Kim, who spoke 5-6 languages & eventually made TKD an Olympic sport
17- in August of 1978 the kwans were numbered & retired, all roled into the KKW, the mecca of TKD, so for some, it is clear to see that they did not use the TKD name for some 23 years
See a lot of credit to go around.
I am missing 1 kwan founder, but do you know why I didn't include him? or why I didn't include the 7th person who studied abroad?