USTGS 1st Annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony and Banquet
Grandmasters Converge to Honor Taekwondo's Greatest
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The United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society (USTGS) held the first ever Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony on April 22, 2006 in New Jersey. This historic event comes after many years of effort on behalf of the USTGS to recognize and forever honor the accomplishments of the finest US Taekwondo practitioners. Hall of Fame awards categories include: Pioneer Award, Outstanding leadership Award, Coach of the Year, Male Competitor of the Year, Female Competitor of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Ambassador Award and Literary Achievement Award. World Taekwondo champions are honored, beginning with 1973.
Recipients with their Presenters
And the winners are ...
Grandmaster Chung Eun Kim won for the category Literary Achievement in Taekwondo. Grandmaster Kim's achievements in Taekwondo are far reaching. In 1980, Grandmaster Kim started publication of Tae Kwon Do Times magazine, now one of the leading martial arts magazines. He continues to teach to this day, because in his words:
"A true master does not quit or fool himself into believing he knows all there is to know about his art. He must learn and share all he can of his art with others. He must help bring the past traditions to the new ways, and the new thoughts and attitudes to the "Old Ways" so the true spirit of Tae Kwon Do never withers and dies." Shown left is GM Woo Jin Jung receiving on behalf of GM Chung Eun Kim.
The Ambassador of Taekwondo Award was awarded to Grandmaster Chuck Norris, whose presence in the martial arts community has been felt for decades. Grandmaster Norris began his martial arts training with Taekwondo while stationed in Korea with the US Air Force. In his book, The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems, he states:
"By the time I left Korea, I had a black belt in tae kwon do, a Korean martial art, and for the first time in my life I had confidence in my ability to pursue something to the end: I had finally succeeded on my own in a truly difficult undertaking, and I had thereby gained some self-esteem." Shown at right is GM Roy Kurban accepting for GM Chuck Norris.
Grandmaster Myong Kyu Kang, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, now holds the Moo Duk Kwan 10th DAN. He resides near Sacramento, where he has been teaching Tae Kwon Do for many years. Dr. Kang is also a retired professor at California State University at Sacramento. He has filled many Taekwondo leadership roles and has received many awards over the years, including the 1969 Appreciation Award from the Korean government.
Grandmaster Yoo Jin Kim received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his long term dedication to Taekwondo Ji Do Kwan. He holds a 10th Dan. He has trained many masters in the Atlanta, GA region since 1968, and has impressed audiences everywhere with his skillful demonstrations.
Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim has also been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim arrived to Michigan in 1969 and formed the American Tang Soo Do federation. He soon became known as known as the Master of the Kwan Soo (Spear Hand). Grandmaster Kim later formed the American Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Association, later moving the headquarters to Florida. He has touched many over his lifetime of achievements
Master Lynnette Love was named Female Competitor of the Year. Master Love won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics and a bronze at the 1992 Olympics. She also won gold at the 1985 and 1987 World Championships, at the 1986 Pan American Championships, and at the 1990 World Cup. She continues to teach at her own school as a 6th Dan Master and also conducts seminars throughout the DC area.
Master Mike Warren has been recognized as Male Competitor of the Year. Master Warren was the first American to compete for a gold medal in a World Taekwondo Championship for Kukkiwon, Seoul Korea in 1973. He has over 40 years experience in Taekwondo, and his amazing abilities as a Taekwondo fighter are known about worldwide.
Grandmaster Dong Keun Park was awarded Coach of the Year Award. The father of Taekwondo in Thailand, 6 time Korean National Champion and head coach for the 1992 USA Olympic Taekwondo Team, Grandmaster Park has had a lasting impact on the martial arts community. He continues to teach as a 9th Dan at his school in New Jersey, as he has since 1970.
Grandmaster Ken Min won the Oustanding Leadership Award. Professor at several universities, most recently UC Berkley, Dr. Min is also 4 time recipient of Coach of the Year at the NTCA. His achievements and contributions to the art of Taekwondo are too lengthy to mention here, but his efforts have made a lasting imprint on the world Taekwondo community.
The Pioneer Award was presented to Grandmaster S. Henry Cho. Grandmaster Cho opened the very first Taekwondo school in the United States and has personally been teaching Taekwondo in New York City since 1961. His far reaching achievements have helped promote the art of Taekwondo from the very beginning, and he continues to this day with his impressive efforts to propagate Taekwondo to the community with books, seminars and teaching.
Congratulations recipients! And a special thank you to the US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society. Under the outstanding leadership of USTGS president Grandmaster Won Chik Park, the officers, advisors and members have offered so much to our Taekwondo community with this historic Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, which will now be held at different locations each year. Furthermore, plans are underway to create the USTGS Museum and Hall of Fame, to preserve this individual and collective legacy, celebrating the great and long-lasting Korean-American friendship. We anxiously wait for this building to come to fruition. By acting now, the monumental achievements of Taekwondo's greatest will be preserved so that their spirit will continue to shine into the lives of future Taekwondo practitioners.
"Human life has limits, but Taekwondo is forever."
~ Grandmaster Won Chik Park
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