The Ode To General Choi

Master Downey performing The Ode to General Choi at the 2007 ITF TaeKwon-Do World championship in Quebec City. The song is also included on the DVD of the championship which can be purchased on the official ITF web site. 

Master Downey wrote the song as a gift to General Choi when General Choi came to Newfoundland in March 2001 to conduct an inaugural International Instructors Course. Prior to his death on June 15 2002 General Choi had requested that Master Downey perform the song at various ITF Taekwon-Do events including International Instructor courses in Toronto and British Columbia in 2001 and the first and only Masters seminar in Vienna Austria in January 2002. Master Downey  also performed the song at General Choi's memorial service in Toronto and at the Junior world championship in Honduras. 

Lyrics and music written and performed by Master Scott Downey, VII Dan (C-7-14)
President of ITF Newfoundland, Canada

General Choi, General Choi
created TaeKwon-Do for all to enjoy.
He studied Karate, he studied TaeKyon
from a calligrapher known as Master Ill Dong

He was sent to the US in June 1949
for military training, had to leave his wife behind.
He returned to Korea, to fight in the war,
and the "fist division" insignia he wore.

Thank you General Choi, Thank you General Choi,
for creating TaeKwon-Do for all to enjoy.
Regardless of religion, nationality, or race,
you've given TaeKwon-Do to the entire human race.

He trained all his soldiers in the art of Tang Soo,
but the techniques were different, so that name would not do.
So he created a committee, to name his new Martial Art,
of which prominent citizens would be a part.

And on April 11th, 1955,
the name "TaeKwon-Do" was given its life.
The name was submitted, by General Choi
'cause the name resembled "TaeKyon" that he learned as a boy.


"Tae" means to kick, "Kwon" means to punch,
"Do" is the art that we all love so much.
Based on scientific movement and Asian philosophy,
General Choi leaves the world his "Legacy".

And through the International TaeKwon-Do Federation,
"True" TaeKwon-Do was spread to every nation.
And although he had many enemies along the way,
the "little giant" General perseveres to this day.

Chorus (twice)

2000 Scott Downey, All rights reserved
The Ode to General Choi is reproduced with permission of Scott Downey