Taekwondo history is important to those who are interested in it. For those who are not interested in it, they do not care about it at all. I know students who have trained in taekwondo for decades and are superb martial artists, and are better persons for the effort, but who do not know anything about taekwondo history. However, if you are a taekwondo student, especially a black belt, you should know what taekwondo is and how it came into being.
Modern taekwondo history may be documented with reasonable accuracy, although it is often disputed by the different organizations, since it only officially began in 1955, having its origins in the 1940's just after World War II. However, taekwondo itself is loosely based upon ancient Korean martial arts that have existed in one form or another for thousands of years. The history of these roots of taekwondo is sketchy since little documentation has survived from Korea's early years that discuss the martial arts. Most taekwondo organizations agree on the known facts about ancient taekwondo history, but they often disagree on the interpretation of these facts.
This history topic attempts to document as accurately as possible the history of taekwondo from its ancient roots up to its present form, including its oft ignored, but equally important, roots in Japanese karate.
Countries disagree with the interpretations of their histories by other countries. Historians within countries differ as to what are the true histories of their respective countries. I am not an historian of any country, I am merely a martial artist trying to help other martial artists understand the history of Taekwondo, so no matter which version of history I present, it will offend someone.
Many martial art styles, taekwondo included, cannot agree amongst themselves who is correct in descriptions about their style or its history. This history of taekwondo tries to be all-inclusive; using information from many sources and from all sides, but it still will not please everyone.