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Original masters of taekwondo is a group of twelve South Korean martial art masters assembled by the Korea Taekwon-Do Association (KTA) in the early 1960s to promote the newly established art of taekwondo.
Original masters of taekwondo is a group of twelve South Korean martial art masters assembled by the Korea Taekwon-Do Association (KTA) in the early 1960s to promote the newly established art of taekwondo. In alphabetical order following Korean naming conventions, they are: Choi Chang Keun, Choi Kwang Jo, Han Cha Kyo, Kim Jong Chan, Kim Kwang Il, Kong Young Il, Park Jong Soo, Park Jung Tae, Park Sun Jae, Rhee Chong Chul, Rhee Chong Hyup, and Rhee Ki Ha.
The group came under the leadership of Choi Hong Hi (1918–2002), inaugural President of the KTA and later founder of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), and Nam Tae Hi (1929–2013), known as the Father of Vietnamese Taekwondo. Many of these men held senior positions in the ITF under Choi, but several left over time. Most of the men settled in North America, while others settled in Europe or Australia.
The phrase "original masters of taekwondo" is used to describe this group of men, but does not indicate that they were the first (or original) masters in the KTA. The leaders of the nine kwans that unified to form the KTA was a different group of men who, while perhaps senior to some of those listed as "original masters of taekwondo", were practising arts with other names, such as tae soo do, kong soo do, and others. Some of those leaders resisted using the name taekwondo. The men in the present group were among the first to adopt and promote the name taekwondo.
Choi Chang Keun
C. K. Choi was born around 1940 in Korea. He began his martial arts training in the South Korean army in 1956, studying taekwondo and karate. Choi taught taekwondo in Malaysia from 1964, and moved to Vancouver, Canada, in 1970. In 1973, he held the rank of 7th dan. Choi was promoted to 8th dan in 1981 by H. H. Choi, and attained the rank of 9th dan in 2002. He is still based in Vancouver.
|9th Dan||c. 1940–||Vancouver, Canada||Tae Kwon Do Pioneers|
Choi Kwang Jo
K. J. Choi was born on 2 March 1942, in Daegu, Korea. His martial art training began when he was still a child, learning kwon bup. Choi served in the South Korean military and came into contact with H. H. Choi there. Around 1966–1967, he taught taekwondo in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Choi moved to the United States of America in 1970 to seek medical treatment for injuries sustained from martial arts training. In 1987, he founded his own martial art system and organisation, Choi Kwang-Do. He is presently based in Atlanta. Choi holds the rank of 9th dan in his own martial art, Choi Kwang-Do.
|9th Dan||1942–||Atlanta, USA||Choi Kwang-Do|
Han Cha Kyo
C. K. Han was born on 20 July 1934 in Seoul, Korea. He trained under three martial art masters: Tae Hi Nam, Duk Sung Son, and Woon Kyu Um. Han was the first of the original masters of taekwondo to demonstrate overseas, participating in the March 1959 tour of Taiwan and Vietnam. Following a career in the South Korean military, he emigrated to the United States of America in 1971, settling in Chicago. Han founded his own organisation, the Universal Tae Kwon Do Federation, around 1980. He continued teaching taekwondo until his death in 1996.
|9th Dan||1934–1996||Chicago, USA||Universal Tae Kwon Do Federation|
Kim Jong Chan
J. C. Kim was born in 1937. He taught taekwondo in Malaysia in the mid-1960s. In 1979, ranked 7th dan, he taught and demonstrated in Argentina along with C. K. Choi, J. T. Park, and K. H. Rhee. A letter by Kim published in the July 1985 issue of Black Belt magazine lists his title at the time as President of the 'World Tukido Council.' He is based in Vancouver, Canada.
|7th Dan or Higher||1937–||Vancouver, Canada||Jong Kim Martial Arts|
Kim Kwang II
K. I. Kim contributed to the introduction of taekwondo into West Germany. He was head instructor of the ITF in West Germany, but was relieved of this duty in October 1971. In 1975, Kim was ranked 6th dan. He promoted Rolf Becking, head of the ITF Germany Technical Committee, to the rank of 2nd dan in 1976 in Stuttgart, West Germany. Between 1974 and 1977 Kim had a restaurant in Stuttgart and had completed training as a Brewmeister prior to 1974.
|9th Dan||1939–2001||Germany||Kwang Mu Sul Taekwon-Do|
Kong Young II
Y. I. Kong was born in 1943 in Korea. He began training in the martial arts as a child in 1952, starting with Shotokan karate. From 1963 to 1967, Kong served in the South Korean army, attaining the rank of Sergeant. He participated in several demonstration tours across the world. Following a career in the South Korean military, Kong emigrated to the United States of America just before or in 1968. He and his younger brother, Young Bo Kong, founded the Young Brothers Taekwondo Associates in 1968. Kong was promoted to the rank of 9th dan in 1997 by H. H. Choi in Poland. He is presently based in Las Vegas.
|9th Dan||1943–||Las Vegas, USA||Young Brothers Tae Kwon-Do Institute|
Park Jong Soo
J. S. Park was born in 1941 in Chung-Nam, Korea. He trained in taekwondo under H. H. Choi. In 1965, he was invited to be the coach of the German Taekwon-Do Association, and moved from South Korea to West Germany. The following year, he moved to the Netherlands and founded the Netherlands Taekwon-Do Association. In 1968, Park settled in Toronto, Canada. Park holds the rank of 9th dan, and is still based in Toronto.
|9th Dan||1941–||Toronto, Canada||Jong Soo Park Institute of Taekwon-Do|
Park Jung Tae
J. T. Park was born in 1943 or 1944 in Korea. He began training in the martial arts as a child, starting with boxing before moving on to judo and then taekwondo. From 1965 to 1967, Park directed military taekwondo training in Vietnam. He emigrated to Canada where he met his future wife, Linda, in Toronto in 1970. In 1984, Park was ranked 8th dan in the ITF. He founded his own organisation, the Global Taekwon-Do Federation (GTF), on 14 June 1990—the year after his departure from the ITF due to North–South Korean political issues. Park was based in Mississauga until his death in 2002.
|9th Dan||c. 1943–2002||Mississauga, Canada||Global Taekwon-Do Federation|
Park Sun Jae
S. J. Park is a pioneer of taekwondo in Italy. In 1964, he visited Croatia to present seminars on his art. He introduced taekwondo to Italy around 1968. In 1968, he was ranked 5th dan, and in 1975, he was ranked 7th dan. He was elected Vice-President (Italy) in the European Tae Kwon Do Union (within the World Taekwondo Federation) at the union's inaugural meeting in 1976. In 2002, he was a member of the arbitration board for the WTF's World Cup Taekwondo championship in Tokyo. On 15 February 2004, the Executive Council of the WTF elected him as Acting President of the WTF following Un Yong Kim's resignation from the presidency of the organisation. He is currently Vice President (Italy) of the WTF. Park was President of the Federazione Italiana Taekwondo (Italian Taekwondo Federation) around 1998, and still held the position as of 2008 and 2009.
|7th Dan or higher||?–||Italy||FITA|
Rhee Chong Chul
C. C. Rhee was born around 1935 in Korea. As a youth, he trained in martial arts, basketball, boxing, gymnastics, and weights. Later, he was an instructor in the Korean Marines for three years, teaching unarmed combat to the Marine Commandoes, Marine Brigade Headquarters, and the Marine 2nd Infantry Division. Rhee helped introduce the art of taekwondo to Southeast Asia—most notably in Malaysia and Singapore, but also in Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Brunei. He founded his own organisation, Rhee Taekwon-Do, in Adelaide, Australia, around 1965. Rhee came to be known as the Father of Australian Taekwondo. He is presently based in Sydney.
|8th Dan||c. 1935–||Sydney, Australia||Rhee Taekwon-Do|
Rhee Chong Hyup
C. H. Rhee was born around 1940 in Korea. In the mid-1960s, he contributed to the introduction of taekwondo to Malaysia and Singapore. He arrived in Australia in 1970 and settled in Melbourne, Australia. Rhee is in charge of Rhee Taekwon-Do operations in Melbourne.
|7th Dan||c. 1940–||Melbourne, Australia||Rhee Taekwon-Do|
Rhee Ki Ha
K. H. Rhee was born on 20 March 1938 in Seoul, Korea. His martial arts training began when he was around 7 or 8 years of age, learning judo from his father. He later learned karate from one of his schoolteachers. When Rhee served in the South Korean military forces, he came into contact with H. H. Choi and learned taekwondo in the 35th Infantry Division. From February 1964, he taught taekwondo to Royal Air Force personnel in Singapore. He emigrated to London on 2 July 1967. He attained the rank of 8th dan in 1981, and was promoted to 9th dan by H. H. Choi on 1 July 1997 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Rhee came to be known as the Father of British Taekwondo, as well as the Father of Irish Taekwondo. He is now based in Glasgow.
|9th Dan||1938–||Glasgow, UK||United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association|
Question. What year was Taekwondo an official Olympic Demonstration Sport in Seoul, Korea?
Taekwondo made its first appearance at the Summer Olympic Games as a demonstration sport at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The opening ceremony featured a mass demonstration of taekwondo with hundreds of adults and children performing moves in unison. Taekwondo was again a demonstration sport at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. There were no demonstration sports at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, USA.
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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Original Masters of Taekwondo", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.