The Kukkiwon was established in 1972 as the world governing body for the martial art of Taekwondo. The World Taekwondo Federation was founded a year later to govern the sport of Taekwondo, and was given an office at the Kukkiwon for its headquarters. This has led to the misconception that the Kukkiwon and WTF are one organization, however they are indeed separate. The Kukkiwon oversees the instruction, certification, curriculum, etc. of schools around the world, while the WTF handles all competition, rules, etc. So when someone asks you what type of Taekwondo you teach, "WTF-style" doesn't exist. You teach Kukkiwon Taekwondo. That tells me that you teach the art as is recognized by the world headquarters of that art. But let's go deeper than that.
Taekwondo originally was just Korean karate. Following the end of Japanese occupation, many Koreans returned back to Korea to teach the martial arts they had learned. The original nine schools were set up between 1944-1956, and consisted of (in order):
- Chung Do Kwan - founded by Lee Won Kuk
- Song Moo Kwan - founded by Kaesong
- Moo Duk Kwan - founded by Hwang Kee
- Ji Do Kwan - founded by Chun Sang Sup
- Chang Moo Kwan - founded by Yoon Byung-in
- Han Moo Kwan - founded by Lee Kyo Yoon
- Oh Do Kwan - founded by Choi Hong Hi
- Kang Duk Kwan - founded by Park Chul Hee
- Jung Do Kwan - founded by Lee Yong Woo
But why does any of this matter? As long as you're providing quality instruction, the semantics of the art don't mean anything, right? Not exactly. Lineage plays a large part in someone's credibility, and even though certification from the Kukkiwon is more than enough to confirm someone's legitimacy, in my opinion also having a connection to one of the original nine kwans gives you and your students the comfort in having an unbreakable line back to the origins of Taekwondo. From there, you can even trace it back to your kwan's Karate lineage and who knows how far? But do us all a favor, and stop telling people your Taekwondo system is indigenous to Korea. Nearly every martial art practiced in Korea, with the exception of Taekkyeon, has its origins in Japanese Budo. Just accept it, and we can all have a great day sharing in the spirit of martial arts.