"Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that uses uniquely powerful kicking techniques and this separates it from other martial arts.
Taekwondo was developed between the 1940s and 1950s by Korean martial artists, the most well-known being General Choi Hong Hi, as a combination of Shotokan karate with the indigenous traditions of taekkyeon, gwonbeop, and subak. The oldest governing body for Taekwondo is the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) which was formed in 1959 by a collaborate effort by representatives from the nine original kwans, or martial arts schools, in Korea. The main international organizational bodies for Taekwondo today are the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), founded by General Choi Hong Hi in 1966, and the World TaeKwonDo Federation (WTF), founded in 1973 by the KTA. Gyeorugi, a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 1992. The body known for Taekwondo in the Olympics is the WTF."
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taekwondo. Click the link to learn more about the Origins and History of Tae Kwon Do.