The next few years saw the exponential growth of Taekwondo, with Choi, through the ITF, tirelessly traveling the world to teach and expand his art, especially to the youth of the world. While he was working internationally, others were establishing a stronghold in Korea, which led to his loss of influence within Korea.
A goodwill trip (one of many he made to numerous other countries) to North Korea (he was born in 1918 in Hwa Dae, Myong Chun District in what only became North Korea in 1953) by a Taekwondo demonstration team in 1980 caused General Choi to fall in disgrace in the eyes of South Koreans. (Although there was controversy over the trip, Choi did nothing illegal or treasonous). Due to the controversy over the trip, Choi, who was 54 years of age at the time, resigned as president of the KTA and, with the unanimous consent of member countries, moved the ITF to Toronto, Canada. (It was his choice to move the Canada and not to the United States. There was nothing to prevent him from moving to the United States.) Since the ITF was a private organization, not a governmental entity, Choi was allowed to take the ITF with him to Canada.
In Canada, Choi felt that he would be wise to teach Taekwondo in North Korea and trained the instructors who would do the job. Through North Korea, he felt that Taekwondo could spread to other socialist and third world countries. He made up his mind to produce Taekwondo instructors in North Korea who were not contaminated by eastern commercialism. In this way, he felt the true Taekwondo, philosophy, and techniques could be developed. In addition, he thought that this movement would stimulate and motivate instructors in the free world.