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Chung Do Kwan - Tae Kwon Do

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Tae Kwon Do - Chung Do Kwan

    Tae Kwon Do is the modern derivation of older Korean martial arts. It means " the study of kicks and punches". As such, no weapons are used. Being partially based on the tiger, it is strong, fast and powerful - a "hard" martial art.  A hard form of the Martial Arts that uses direct, straight-line techniques.   

    In 1894, Japan took over Korea and exposed the Koreans to Japanese Martial Arts while banning their native Martial Arts including taekyon (a descendant of subak). In 1945, after the Second World War, the Japanese occupation of Korea ended. The ban on native Martial Arts was lifted and the exiled Koreans returned home bringing back with them the Martial Arts that they had studied in other countries. The quick, straight-line movements that characterize the various Japanese Martial Arts influenced Korean Martial Arts.

    There were many Martial Art schools in Korea, but the largest and most of the Kwan's was the Chung Do Kwan Institute, who's membership swelled to over 5,000. The other Kwans at that time were: Moo Duk Kwan, Yun Moo Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, Oh Do Kwan, Ji Do Kwan, Chi Do Kwan and Song Moo Kwan.

Grand Master Duk Sung Son

   Grand Master Duk Sung Master Son, a champion adolescent boxer, began Martial Arts training in the early 1940's and eventually had schools all over South Korea. As Grandmaster of the Chung Do Kwan, he instructed the South Korean and American Armed Forces stationed there. He is literally the "Father of Tae Kwon Do". Tae Kwon Do was introduced in the United States by Master Son and other practitioners whose modifications created many sub styles removed from Master Son's traditional teaching.

    On June 25, 1950 war broke out, and Grand Master Won Kuk Lee appointed Master Duk Sung Son as the Headmaster over the Chung Do Kwan. Grand Master Won Kuk Lee's instructor in Japan was Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate. This is the origin of Traditional Tae Kwon Do.

    At this time, Master Son was teaching Tae Kwon Do to novice policemen and with his growing reputation, he became the original chief instructor of Tae Kwon Do for the Republic of Korea's Army and Military Academy. In 1955 an effort was made by the various Kwan's to have some sort of National Unity in the Korean Martial Arts. Grand Master Master Son was directly responsible for searching out and popularizing the original name of Tae Kwon Do.

    In the early 1960's Master Son moved to the U.S. to begin teaching Tae Kwon Do, and forming the World Tae Kwon Do Association with its Headquaters' in New York City. Traditional Tae Kwon Do continues to be taught by his students in hundreds of schools in this country and others. Major cities, small towns and notable universities such as Brown, Columbia University, Harvard, Cornell, Fordham University, New York University, Princeton, Yale, and West Point Military Academy have hosted his classes. The schools are usually non-commercial and conform to his quietly strong philosophy. As President of the Association, he performed all Black Belt tests during regional visits. Master Son personally taught all classes at Headquarters', and in Poughkeepsie. 

    Some of the Korean Masters that have trained under Grand Master Duk Sung Son are: Master J.B Chung of Madison WI, Master K.H. Kim of Omaha Nebraska, Master Choi of Evansville KT, Master Nak Yong Chung of Indiana, Master Yong Taek Chung of K.C. Missouri, Master Lee and Master Jhoon Goo Rhee of Texas.

    The Directors of the WTKDA in 1980: Master Yong Taek Chung of K.C. Missouri, Master K.C. Park of Yorktown IBM, New York, Master Tai Doo Kang of Minnesota, Master J. Bock Chung of Wisconsin, Master Nak Yong Chung of Indiana, Master K.H. Kim of Omaha Nebraska, Master Kyung Woo Yu of St Louis, Missouri, Master Dong Hoon Kim of Arizona & Mexico, and Master Young Sik Choi of Kentucky.       

    Grand Master Duk Sung Son retired in 2009.  (June 17th, 1922 - March 29th, 2011) RIP


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