The USTGS is pleased to provide the following highlights and photographs from our 4th Annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony & Banquet. These awards offer an annual tribute honor Taekwondo's finest, in order to preserve our great heritage through a recorded recognition of the contribution that men and women have offered the Taekwondo community at large over the course of its modern history. We are pleased to offer this pictorial and hightlight presentation for your enjoyment. We are sure that attendees will also value the preservation of these memories as they occurred at the historic event.

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2009 USTGS Hall of Fame Awards Recipients

The 2009 4th Annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony & Banquet was held at the Radisson Hotel Schaumburg near Chicago, Illinois on May 2, 2009.

4thHallOfFame 2009 Recipients

2009 Hall of Fame Recipients with their Presenters

4thHallOfFame 2009 Recipients & Presenters

Highlights from Our 4th Annual Event

Pioneer Award

GM GM Ki Whang Kim is the 2009 recipient of the Pioneer Award. Grandmaster Ki Whang Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1920. During his teen years, Grandmaster moved to Japan, where he studied Judo and eventually attained the rank of black belt. In 1964, Grandmaster emigrated to the United States, where he opened his first Karate schools. While Grandmaster Kim was a very accomplished tournament organizer, he believed that tournament competition was only a small part of being a martial artist. In addition to a black belt in Judo and Tae Kwon Do, Grandmaster held 8th Dan in Tang Soo Do, and a black belt in Aikido. He taught for over thirty years, and was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1979. In 1971, Grandmaster was promoted to 9th Dan by the Korea Tae Kwon Do Association. In 1993, while hospitalized with terminal liver cancer, Grandmaster was received his 10th Dan from the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association, as a symbol of his lifelong dedication to martial arts and to Tae Kwon Do in particular. He passed away on September 16, 1993.

GM Ki Whang Kim DaughterReceiving the award is Grandmaster Kim's daughter. The special recognition of her Father's achievements will be remembered always.

Honorary Ambassador Award

GM Dr. Dai Soon LeeDr. Dai Soon Lee is the 2009 recipient of the Honorary Ambassador of Taekwondo award. Dr. Lee has had a long career in the political arena. He has been instrumental in the development of the Taekwondo Park in Korea. He has served as president of two university. He was a vice president of the World Taekwondo Federation. Dr. Dai Soon Lee, as president of the Asian Taekwondo Union received the honorary 9th Dan at Kukkiwon on June 19, 2008. Currently, Dr. Lee serves as vice president of both the Korea-Japan Cooperation Council and Friendship Association. Dr. Lee is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Korean University Presidents Association, as well as the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation.

Lifetime Achievement Award

GM Young Rai ChoGrandmaster Young Rai Cho is the 2009 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Grandmaster Cho was born in Seoul Korea in 1937 and learned Taekwondo as a teenager. He founded a Taekwondo school in 1957, which produced many instructors and champions. He served as General Secretary for the Taekwondo Jidokwan Association from 1969-1971. In the 1970s, GM Cho coached action movie stars as the martial arts director for two martial arts films. He relocated to the United States in 1973 where he opened a Taekwondo school in Chicago. From 1995-1999, he served as Chairman of the Board of the World Taekwondo Jidokwan Association. Currently, Grandmaster Cho is an advisor for the US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society.

Lifetime Achievement Award

GM Sam Jang KimGrandmaster Sam Jang Kim is the 2009 winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was born in 1941 in Korea. Between 1965-1969, GM Kim presided over several Taekwondo organizations in Korea. In the early 1970s, he was responsible for teaching Taekwondo to all elementary school students in a Korean city. In 1972, Grandmaster Kim completed a first class leaders education in the Korea Taekwondo Association. He also became certified as an International Master Instructor with the World Taekwondo Federation. In 1977, he founded Master Kim's Taekwondo School in Schenectady, New York. He was very active promoting Taekwondo in the state of New York. He joined the Board of Governors for the US Taekwondo Union in 1999, the same year that he became Head of the US Team at the World Taekwondo Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He was elected Vice President of the US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society in 2004 and now serves as an advisor.

Lifetime Achievement Award

GM Jae Kyu LeeGrandmaster Jae Kyu Lee is the winner of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. He was born in South Korea and was introduced to Taekwondo at the age of 10. In 1975, he emigrated to the United States and opened his first Taekwondo studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1976. In 1991, Grandmaster Lee was awarded his 9th degree Dan. In 1997, he received an achievement award from the Korean Korean Government. In 2001, he was presented with a special award from the state of Wisconsin, for his outstanding contributions to youth. He was featured on CNN and NBC for his work with airlines after the 9/11 tragedy. Grandmaster Lee has trained world class athletes such as the US Olympic Speed Skating Team, the Indiana University Basketball Team, and presently the Marquette University Basketball Team. He has helped in many charity functions over the years.

Outstanding Leadership Award

GM Hwa ChongGrandmaster Hwa Chong is the 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award. He was born in 1939, and learned Taekwondo as a young man. He graduated from Seoul's Korea University with a BA in Economics in 1966 and received his MA in Economics from Michigan State University in 1970. In 1975, he became President of the Michigan Taekwondo Association and Vice President of the Amateur Athletic Union's National Taekwondo Committee. He was voted US Coach of the Year in 1981. From 1986-1993, Grandmaster Chong served as a US Taekwondo Team Commissioner for the US Olympic Festival. He was a US Taekwondo Team Leader in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In 1994, he was a US Representative at the International Olympic Committee's Bicentennial meeting in Paris, when Taekwondo became an official Olympic sport. He was named 1996 Person of the Year by the Taekwondo Hall of Fame. From 1993-1996, he belonged to the World Taekwondo Federation's Executive Committee and the US Olympic Committee's Board of Directors. He also served as USTU president during that time. In 2007, GM Chong was named honorary president of the US Taekwondo Committee.

Ambassador Award

GM GM Woo Jin Jung is the 2009 winner of the Ambassador Award. He learned Taekwondo during the midst of the Korean Conflict. He started his first Taekwondo school in 1963. He served as Taekwondo instructor in both the Korean Army Ordinance School in 1965 and the Vietnam War in 1967. GM Jung received his Bachelor of Engineering in 1970 and emigrated to the US in 1971 with only $35 in his black belt. Two years later, he founded Jung's Taekwondo Academy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1980, he started Tri Mount Publications, Inc. and published the Taekwondo Times magazine. In 1991, he formed the North Korea, South Korea and USA Taekwondo Demonstration Teams for the North Korea World Games. In 1995, he helped build a Taekwondo Institute in Colorado called The Eagle's Nest Research and Peace Center. From 1998-2002, Grandmaster Jung was a member of the Advisory on Peaceful Unification In 2007, he helped lead the historic Taekwondo Goodwill Tour.

Literary Achievement Award

GM GM Y. K. Kim is the 2009 winner of the Literary Achievement Award. Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, after he finished his military duty in his native country, he immigrated to America 1976. Grandmaster Kim arrived to the United States with only his black belt and his dream to have the most successful martial arts school in the US. He is committed to his lifelong mission of improving lives through sharing with others the incredible benefits one can gain through martial arts training. Grandmaster Y.K. Kim is one of the world’s most dynamic speaker, a respected author, a successful entrepreneur, with an emphasis on the philosophy of personal and professional improvement through the Martial Arts World. He was the producer, writer and star of the action movie Miami Connection. He is also the publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Martial Arts World magazine. GM Kim is the winner of the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for outstanding public service.

Coach of the Year Award

GM GM Myong S. Namkung-Mayes is the 2009 recipient of the Coach of the Year Award. Born in 1952 in Korea, Grandmaster Namkung-Mayes learned Taekwondo as a child. From 1966-1968, she was a Korean National team member. In 1969, she won her first three gold medals in the first Korean Women's Championship and won the Elite Championship gold medal in 1971. She came to the United States in 1978 and in 1985 became the US Women's National Team Coach. In 1988, she was US Women's Head Coach for the Seoul Summer Olympics. Over the last decade, she has coached USA Taekwondo teams in championship competitions around the world. Grandmaster Namkung-Mayes is the first female 9th Dan Black Belt in the world!

Competitor of the Year Award

GM GM Dae Sung Lee is the 2009 recipient of the Competitor of the Year Award. He was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1958 and began his study of Taekwondo at age 11. He moved to Hawaii in 1971 with his family, and he received a BA of Political Science and Physical Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1987. Grandmaster Lee is a nine time US National Champion, a ten time US National Team Member, and has won medals at the World Taekwondo Championships, the World Games, and many other competitions. He holds the Guinness Book of World Records title. for winning the most consecutive national championships in Taekwondo. He served as assistant Taekwondo coach for Team USA in the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympic Games. He was also Head Coach of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center's Resident Athlete Program for Taekwondo from 1988-1993. GM Lee was a founding member of US Taekwondo Federation in 2007 and serves as Deputy Secretary General.