United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society
2nd Annual

Hall of Fame

Awards Ceremony & Banquet
Saturday, April 7, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada

2007 USTGS Hall of Fame Awards Recipients

The USTGS is pleased to provide the following highlights, video and photographs from a very memorable 2nd Annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony & Banquet. These awards are given each year to 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. Without further ado, please enjoy the following pages as a tribute to this year's recipients, as well as those who have assisted in recognizing them with this great honor.

Click on the photo for a high resolution version in a new window. And the winners are, from left to right:

1. Founding Pioneer Award to 1st Generation GM Byung Jik Ro, represented by GM Yong Kil Kim
2. Lifetime Achievement Award to GM Tae Hong Choi
3. Coach of the Year Award to GM Joon Pyo Choi
4. Female Competitor of the Year Award to Master Dana Hee
5. Literary Achievement Award to GM Dr. He Young Kim
6. Ambassador of Taekwondo Award to Mr. Josiah Henson
7. Male Competitor of the Year Award to Master Jimmy Kim

2007 Hall of Fame Recipients with their Presenters

Click on the photo for a high resolution version in a new window. Individuals pictured from left to right:

1. Former USTGS Vice President GM Y. H. Park
2. 2007 Hall of Fame Pioneer Award Representative GM Yong Kil Kim
3. USTGS Secretary General GM Kyu Boong Yim
4. 2007 Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient GM Tae Hong Choi
5. Former USTGS Vice President Dr. Chong Woon Kim
6. 2007 Hall of Fame Coach of the Year Award Recipient GM Joon Pyo Choi
7. USTGS President GM Won Chik Park
8. 2007 Hall of Fame Female Competitor of the Year Award Recipient Master Dana Hee
9. 2006 Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient GM Yoo Jin Kim
10. 2007 Hall of Fame Literary Achievement Award Recipient GM Dr. He Young Kim
11. 2007 Hall of Fame Ambassador of Taekwondo Award Recipient Mr. Josiah Henson
12. 2006 Hall of Fame Outstanding Leadership Award GM Dr. Ken Min
13. 2007 Hall of Fame Male Competitor of the Year Award Recipient Master Jimmy Kim
14. 2006 Hall of Fame Pioneer Award Recipient GM S. Henry Cho

Highlights from Our 2nd Annual Event

Founding Pioneer Award to 1st Generation GM Byung Jik Ro


True to the ideal of honoring Taekwondo's first and finest in the modern age, the Founding Pioneer Award was presented to first generation Taekwondo Song Moo Kwan founder Supreme Grandmaster Byung Jik Ro (above left), and accepted on his behalf by Grandmaster Yong Kil Kim (above right). Supreme Grandmaster Byung Jik Ro opened the Kaesung Dojang in the Kwan Duk Jung archery school in 1944. He has also served as Tae Kwon Do instructor for Seoul University, Dan Gook University, Seoul Oriental Acupuncture College and several other institutions. As a continuation of his training and teaching, Supreme Grandmaster Ro continued to develop exclusive techniques of his own, combining them with what he had learned into what became Tae Kwon Do Song Moo Kwan. In 1966-67 he contributed to the community as president of the Korea Taekwondo Association. The honorable Supreme Grandmaster Byung Jik Ro made every attempt to receieve the award himself this year, yet he was unable to make the journey from his home in Minnesota to Las Vegas for the event after all. Fortunately, his senior student, Grandmaster Yong Kil Kim, came from Los Angeles to accept the award on behalf of his Master.


1988 Olympic Gold Medalists Reunite

Male Competitor of the Year was awarded to 1988 United States Olympic Gold Medalist Master Jimmy Kim, who competed successfully in the heavyweight division. His lengthy resume of Taekwondo achievements includes; Senior California State Champion from 1983 to 1988, Senior US National Champion in 1985, 1987 and 1988, 1985 World Games Gold, 1987 Pan American Games Gold, 1987 World Championship Silver, 1987 World Cup Gold. Master Kim is also a Doctor of Chiropractic and a graduate of UC Berkeley. He began his training with Grandmaster Chan-Yong Kim at the tender age of 2 and 1/2 years and continues to contribute to the Taekwondo community today by teaching and training competitors at his Taekwondo Center in Laguna Niguel, California.

Female Competitor of the Year winner Master Dana Hee is proof positive of the transformational effects Taekwondo can have on life. Master Hee overcame many personal challenges early in her life by making the decision to strive to achieve her full potential - a decision that took her to the Olympics and a Gold Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. Master Hee now inspires others through various speaking engagements, motivating others to reach for success in their endeavors. She has also enjoyed a successful modeling and acting career. With her strong martial arts background, it is no surprise that she has become one of the movie industry's top stuntwomen. Congratulations competitors!


Coach of the Year Award goes to the Coach of Champions

Coach of the Year recipient for 2007 is Grandmaster Joon Pyo Choi, who has an extensive résumé that spans not only Taekwondo, but many interests. An accomplished musician and accupuncture specialist, Grandmaster Choi began teaching martial arts in 1963 and began a career as a competitor in 1967, earning numerous awards and accolades along the way. In 1971, he landed in America with one suitcase holding two Tae Kwon Do uniforms, $25 in cash, and his beloved Korean musical instrument, the Ga Ya Geum, Da Geum. Over the years in America, his precise and impressive Taekwondo skills have enabled Grandmaster Choi to receive countless "Best Demonstration" awards from such prestigious events as the Canadian Open, the All American Open at Madison Square Garden, as well as from the world renowned Smithsonian Institute. His skill as a trainer of champions has been no less impressive. Grandmaster Joon Pyo Choi has produced several national and international champions in the United States over the course of his career. He has remained involved in the Taekwondo community in leadership roles as well. Thank you Grandmaster Choi for your contributions.


A True Ambassador to Taekwondo

Ambassador of Taekwondo winner and retired US Navy pilot Captain Josiah Henson has a long, honorable association with sports and fitness. Mr. Henson had a very successful collegiate career at the Naval Academy where he captained the wrestling team in his senior year. He trained for the 1952 Olympic Games while a military member of the Naval Academy Faculty, 1950-1952. He won the Olympic Trials at 136.5 lbs. and eventually won an Olympic bronze medal in 1952 at Helsinki, Finland. He has been an official participant in every Summer Olympic Games since 1952 (except boycotted 1980 Moscow Games). In fact, he has served in offical capacities at the Pan America games, the US Olympic Committee and other athletic organizations as well. In 1969 he began BRUTE, a company that makes wrestling equipment and clothing and which today is probably the most recognized name in wrestling clothing. Mr. Henson remains very active in many sports-related capacities to this day. He is currently Vice-President of the World Taekwondo Federation and has also served as President of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).


Literary Achievement Award to Han Mu Do Founder

Literary Achievement Award recipient Dr. He-Young Kimm has accumulated vast resevoirs of knowledge over the last forty years through various grandmasters and personal experiences, from which Dr. Kimm has created a new system of Korean martial art called Han Mu Do. Over the course of his studies Dr. Kimm's interest in the historical and philosophical aspects of Korean Martial Arts grew, as did his disappointment in the relative lack of quality books on these subjects. Thus, he began to write his own. A critically acclaimed book of parables, containing beautiful photographs Dr. Kimm shot himself, contains the biographies and the teachings of famous Buddhist figures in ancient Korea. After publishing the books Kuk Sool and Philosophy of Masters, Dr. Kimm went on to write and publish two books on Hapkido, based on the teachings of Grandmaster Ji, Han Jae, founder of Modern Hapkido. Later works include Tae Kwon Do Self-Defense, an instructional manual for Tae Kwon Do instructors, and Han Mu Do: Korean Martial Arts, a guide to the martial art that he created. In addition, Most recently, Dr. Kimm has been compiling information and conducting interviews for his next book, The History of Korean Martial Arts. The book will document the history of martial arts of ancient Korea.


A Lifetime of Achievements

Grandmaster Tae Hong Choi, who has devoted his entire life to Taekwondo, is this year's recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Born in Korea in 1935, he soon learned Taekwondo in grade school. Grandmaster Choi worked as a Korean Marine Corp Training Officer while studying for a Master's degree in Health and Physical Education. In the 1950s and 60s he gained recognition as a Taekwondo competitor. He served in the mid 1960s, while stationed in South Vietnam, training hand to hand combat to both the US Special Forces and the S. Vietnamese Army. After coming to America in the 1970s, he prepared secret service agents, presidential bodyguards and CIA operatives in the ways of Taekwondo. He is recognized with the founding of the first Taekwondo school in the state of Orgeon: Choi's Taekwondo Academy, in Portland, OR in 1971. Grandmaster Choi has enjoyed a long association in official capacities with many Taekwondo organizations, such as the 1980 Head of Team at the 1st Pan American Taekwondo Championship. In 1982, Grandmaster Choi was elected Vice President of the U.S. AAU Taekwondo Association. He has served as tournament director for many events, including the Northwest Oregon Taekwondo Championship and the 17th U.S. National Taekwondo Championship. More recently in the 1990s, he served as an advisor United States Taekwondo Union. Grandmaster Choi continues to promote and teach Taekwondo at his school in Oregon and at institutes of higher learning in the state to this very day.

Thank you to all recipients, presenters and everyone who helped make this 2nd annual event a memorable experience, as well as a lasting tribute to the art and science of Taekwondo.



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