Pioneers of Taekwon-Do

Late Great Grandmaster Nam Tae Hi

Born in Seoul, South Korea in March 1929, Great Grandmaster Nam Tae Hi met General Choi on Cheju Island in 1953 and later joined the 29th Infantry Division of the South Korean military forces. Great Grandmaster Nam Tae Hi, then a captain in rank, was a senior member of the demonstration team which gave the seminal performance in 1954 before South Korean President Seung Man Rhee which led to the presidential decree that the martial art (then not yet known as Taekwon-Do) be a mandatory part of training for the military. Great Grandmaster Nam Tae Hi then co-founded with General Choi Hong HI the Oh Do Kwan, the training gym for the military where he had the role of Chief Instructor.

At the Chung Do Kwan (training gym for civilians), GGM Nam Tae Hi taught Jhoon Rhee, recognized in the United States as the "Father of Taekwon-Do," when Jhoon Rhee was a first degree black belt.
Great Grandmaster Nam Tae Hi served as one of the earliest ambassadors of Taewkon-do when in March 1959, he traveled to Vietnam and Taiwan as member of the first Korean demonstration team to travel outside of Korea. In December 1962, GGM Nam Tae Hi was assigned as Chief Instructor for the Vietnamese Army. In Vietnam, GGM Nam Tae Hi is known as the "Father of Taekwon-Do."

He developed the patterns known as Hwa-Rang, Choong-Moo, and UI-Ji. GGM Nam Tae Hi served as vice-president of the International Taekwon-Do Federation and president of the Asian Taekwon-Do Federation.

Great Grandmaster Nam Tae Hi moved to Chicago in 1972, opened a dojang in 1973, and taught Taekwon-Do for twenty years. He now calls Los Angeles home where he lives with his wife.


Grand Master Kong, Young Il 

A first-generation student of General Choi, Hong Hi, the Father of Taekwon-Do, Grand Master Kong, Young Il's Taekwon-Do roots are in the Oh Do Kwan in Won Joo, Korea. Today, fifty-four years later, Grand Master Kong, Young Il teaches the martial art of Taekwon-Do with the same approaches and rigor he learned from the Father of Taekwon-Do and perfected through continuous practice of the art. Grand Master Kong, Young Il is steadfastly focused on promoting Taekwon-Do and General Choi's legacy.

GM Kong Young Il lives in Las Vegas with his wife. His sons Andy and Douglas live in Los Angeles.

Here are some highlights from the illustrious career of this Taekwon-Do pioneer:

1952 - At age nine, with a child's curiosity, became a student of Shotakan karate;

 1962 - 1967 - Attended the Kyung Hee University Physical Education College became All Star Captain of the university's Taekwon-Do team;

 1963 - 1967 - Served in the Republic of Korea Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant; Served as a Master Instructor of the Republic of Korea Army with duties to enhance the instruction of other Taekwon-Do instructors; With General Choi, Grand Master Nam, Tae Hi, and others, co- developed several Taekwon-Do patterns; Became the first Master Instructor to introduce the 8th U.S. Army in Korea to Taekwon-Do; Named Captain of the competitive Taekwon-Do All Star Team of the Republic of Korea Army; Became member of the original International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF);

 1973 - 1980 - As member of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Demonstration Team, and in the company of General Choi, visited more than 127 countries as part of ambassadorship for Taekwon-Do; Immigrated to the United States upon invitation from an American Soldier who was his student of Taekwon-Do; Founded and operated numerous dojangs across the United States and Puerto Rico; Served as Master Instructor for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Pennsylvania;

 1994 - Became the 39th Inductee to the All-American Black Belt Hall of Fame.

 1997 - Promoted to 9th Degree Black Belt by General Choi, Hong Hi in Poland.

 2003 - Co-founded the International Ch'Ang-Hon Taekwon-Do Federation.

 2006 - Assumed the role of President of the World Taekwon-Do Alliance.

Grand Master Cho San Min

1968-70 Head Instructor ITF Training Center.

1971 Formed the Taekwon-Do Collage Association.

1972 Instructor to Governor's official.

1970-88 Head Instructor and President of Brazil Taekwon-Do Federation.
First Instructor to introduce Taekwon-Do to Brazil.

1988 Moved to Los Angeles, CA, USA to over see Taekwon-Do in USA.

Grand Master Kong Young Bo

Born in 1953, Grandmaster Young Bo Kong, a 9th degree Black Belt, began his Tae Kwon-Do training in Korea at age five. As a young man in the United States, he trained competitively under the instruction of his older brother, Grandmaster Young Il Kong, and Grandmaster Park Bu Kwang. Both were legendary fighters while living in Korea.

Using the superior techniques they taught, Grandmaster Young Bo Kong won the Pan American Championship's Grand Champion in 1973. He then became the first ITF middleweight champion in Montreal, Canada in 1974. At that first ITF World Championship competition, he came in second place in the pattern division and won another gold medal in breaking to become the first overall ITF Grand Champion. Grandmaster Young Bo Kong also won the North American Championship's Grand Champion in 1976.

Grandmaster Young Bo Kong's unique style was built upon unmatched speed and the skillful strategy learned from his mentors. He was the fastest kicker alive and is unrivaled in his ability to read his opponents intentions and set them up for effective attacks.

Grandmaster Young Bo Kong is currently president of Young Brothers Institute on the East Coast and continues to train students. As an instructor, he has produced many champions including All American Champions, Olympic Team members, National Champions, State Champions and many more. He actively teaches and trains at his Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania dojang and has opened nine other satellite schools in the area. Grandmaster Young Bo Kong has been introducing the martial arts to children and adults for the past 34 years and has produced over 3000 black belts.

Grandmaster Young Bo Kong said he will continue to train the rest of his life because it has become a part of him. He said, "It has given me the confidence to do many things and the opportunity to meet many people from different backgrounds who have inspired me greatly." 


Grand Master Woo Yup Yang

1964-69 Head Instructor for Chung Do Kwan in Seoul, Korea.

1969-73 Head Instructor for Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Brunai.

1973-86 Head Instructor to Australia.

1986 Moved to Los Angeles, CA, USA.