"Another example of a 'made up' martial art is Taekwondo. In the 1950s following the Japanese occupation, nine kwans (schools) of Korean Karate were in existence. They all used either Tang Soo Do (Tode-Do 唐手道), Kong Soo Do (Karatedo 空手道) or Kwon Bup (Kempo 拳法) to describe their respective styles.
The Korean government, wanting to regulate martial arts, ordered the kwans to unify and come up with a new name for what they taught to remove the connection to Japanese and Okinawan martial arts, and so the name "Taekwondo" was coined and they formed the Korea Taekwondo Association. They created the Palgwe and KTA yudanja forms to separate themselves from their predecessors, and later replaced the Palgwe series with the Taegeuk forms simply because they still looked 'too Japanese.'"
Let's explore that a little more....
- Chung Do Kwan - 1944
- Song Moo Kwan - 1944
- Moo Duk Kwan - 1946
- YMCA Kwon Bop Bu - 1946 (Later became Chang Moo Kwan)
- Yun Moo Kwan - 1946 (Later became Jidokwan)
- Kang Duk Kwan - 1953
- Han Moo Kwan - 1954
- Oh Do Kwan - 1956
- Jung Do Kwan - 1956
This caused a major rift in Moo Duk Kwan, and the school split into two factions. Several students joined the Taekwondo movement and created Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo. Hwang Kee, its founder, decided to coin the name Soo Bahk Do for his art.
Effectively, this was the end for the Tang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do and Kwon Bup as all schools using these terms had since dropped them in favor of Taekwondo. However, it doesn't change what the art actually is... And that's Korean Karate.
Most people, both practitioners and not, would describe Karate as a striking art. They see karateka practicing a wide array of solo patterns (referred to as kata, hyung, poomsae or tul depending on your style and organization) that feature punches, strikes and kicks. Even the creation of new forms, which are nothing more than pre-arranged sequences of techniques, does not change what type of martial art it is. Goju Ryu, Shorin Ryu, Kojo Ryu, Wado Ryu and Isshin Ryu all have different kata, but they are all still Karate. Suggesting that the creation of the Palgwe and Taegeuk forms somehow makes the art not Karate anymore is absurd.
But what about the sparring? Olympic kyorugi looks nothing like the kumite practiced in any Karate style, whether it's the point-style fighting like WKF or even full contact like Kyokushinkai. Is this enough to make it something unique from Karate? No. If a karateka incorporates kickboxing-style sparring in their dojo, are they no longer doing Karate? Sparring is sparring. It's simply an agreed upon set of rules for two people to practice their techniques and try to win based on the objective of the match. It does not change what art you are studying.
The only legitimate argument for saying Taekwondo is not Karate is that the majority of practitioners do not practice joint locks, throws and takedowns. Some schools try to compensate for this by offering a watered down Hapkido class once a week, but the majority of Taekwondo training is on striking. Contrast this with Okinawan karate, which is full of standing grappling techniques due to its origins as a warrior art. This video below from Jesse Enkamp shows exactly what I'm talking about: