Choi Hong Hi, Korean army officer and martial artist (born Nov. 9, 1918, Myong Chun district, Kor. [now in North Korea]—died June 15, 2002, Pyongyang, N.Kor.), was credited with having developed Taekwon-Do in the 1940s by combining elements of other Asian martial arts forms and with having helped it to spread to more than 120 countries and 40 million practitioners. He also was a founder (1946) of the South Korean army and rose in it to the rank of major general, but he went into exile in Canada in 1971 in protest against the politicizing of Taekwon-Do. He is regarded as The Father of Taekwon-Do.