The USTGS is pleased to provide the following highlights and photographs from a very succesful, well-attended 3rd 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. Since many of you were not able to make it this year, we are pleased to offer the presentation as it was made at the event. We are sure that attendees will also value the preservation of these memories as they occurred at the historic event.

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2008 USTGS Hall of Fame Awards Recipients

As we gather here in the beautiful Dallas Westin Hotel and Conference Center, we pay tribute to many great Taekwondo accomplishments and contributions. Tonight we bring you our 2008 inductees to the United States Grandmasters Society Hall of Fame in this exciting, third annual ceremony and celebration:

3rdHallOfFame 2008 Recipients

Individuals pictured from left to right:

1. Grandmaster Yung Ho Jun - Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
2. Grandmaster Tae Hi Nam - Lifetime Achievement Award 2007
3. Grandmaster Jack Hwang - Pioneer Award 2008
4. Grandmaster Hyun Ok Shin - Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
5. Grandmaster Dae Sup An - Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
6. Grandmaster Seung Ryul Yang - Ambassador of Taekwondo Award 2008
7. Grandmaster Kyong Won Ahn - Outstanding Leadership Award 2008
8. Grandmaster Sang Chul Lee - Coach of the Year Award 2008
9. Master Jay Warwick - Male Competitor of the Year Award 2008

2008 Hall of Fame Recipients with their Presenters

3rdHallOfFame 2008 Recipients Presenters

Individuals pictured from left to right:

  1. GM Nam Kwon Hyung - USTGS Research Committee Chairman
  2. GM Myung Kyu Kang - USTGS Advisor & Rank Promotion Committee
      Chairman & 2006 Recipient
  3. GM Yung Ho Jun - Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
  4. GM Tae Hi Nam - Lifetime Achievement Award 2007
  5. GM Jae Kyu Lee - USTGS Auditor
  6. GM Jack Hwang - Pioneer Award 2008
  7. GM Hyun Ok Shin - Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
  8. GM Seung Ryul Yang - Ambassador of Taekwondo Award 2008
  9. GM Ken Min - USTGS Advisor & 2006 Recipient
10. GM Won Chik Park - USTGS Honorary President
11. GM Kyu Boong Yim - USTGS President
12. GM Sang Chul Lee - Coach of the Year Award 2008
13. GM Kyong Won Ahn - Outstanding Leadership Award 2008
14. GM Young Rae Cho - USTGS Advisor
15. GM Dae Sup An - Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
16. Master Jay Warwick - Competitor of the Year Award 2008
17. GM Chong Woong Kim - Hall of Fame Awarding Committee Chairman
18. GM Sun H. Lee - USTGS Secretary General
19. GM Jin Song Chung - USTGS Event Committee Chairman

Highlights from Our 3rd Annual Event

Lifetime Achievement Award (2007) Grandmaster Tae Hi Nam

GM Nam Tae HiBorn in Seoul, South Korea in March 1929, Great Grandmaster Tae Hi Nam served the 29th Infantry Division of the South Korean military forces. As a captain and a senior member of the demonstration team that performed in 1954 before South Korean President Seung Man Rhee, resulting in the presidential decree that this martial art become a mandatory part of military training, Grandmaster Tae Hi Nam then co-founded with General Choi Hong HI the Oh Do Kwan, the military training program for which he served as Chief Instructor. In a civilan training program called Chung Do Kwan, Grandmaster Nam taught Jhoon Rhee, recognized in the United States as the "Father of Taekwon-Do," when Jhoon Rhee was a first degree black belt.

As one of the earliest ambassadors of Taewkondo, Grandmaster Nam traveled in 1959 to Vietnam and Taiwan as part of the first Korean demonstration team to travel outside of Korea. Because he was then assigned as Chief Instructor for the Vietnamese Army in December 1962, Grandmaster Nam became known in Vietnam as the "Father of Taekwondo." Developer of the patterns known as Hwa-Rang, Choong-Moo, and UI-Ji, Grandmaster Nam served as vice-president of the International Taekwon-Do Federation and president of the Asian Taekwon-Do Federation.

Grandmaster Nam came to the United States in 1972, and he opened a dojang in Chicago in 1973, where he taught Taekwondo for twenty years. He and his wife now live in Los Angeles.

For his many great accomplishments as a true taekwondo pioneer, we salute our 2007 Pioneer Award winner, Grandmaster Tae Hi Nam.

Pioneer Award Grandmaster Jack Hwang

GM Jack HwangGrandmaster Jack Hwang was born in South Korea with the family name of Hwang Sae Jin. He began his martial arts training in Korea at a very young age, and he has achieved proficiency in Kendo, Judo, Karate, Hapkido, as well as a 9th Dan in Taekwondo. Today Jack Hwang is president of the International Martial Arts Federation and a prominent figure in martial arts in the United States and throughout the world. Certified as an International Master Instructor by the World Taekwondo Federation since 1972, he has selected, formed, and directed the United States Taekwondo teams and their coaches for the First World Taekwondo Championship in South Korea, hosted a World Taekwondo Championship in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and has hosted the All American Open Taekwondo and Karate Championships in Oklahoma for 36 years. As an award-winning coach and referee, Jack Hwang has coached American teams in international competition and officiated major international taekwondo events in the US and Mexico. He has staged many demonstrations in national venues and has provided high-profile leadership to fundraising campaigns for charitable causes such as Muscular Dystrophy Association and March of Dimes.

Grandmaster Hwang came to the United States in 1957 to pursue formal education. He received a bachelor’s degree from Wisconsin State College and completed graduate studies at Sam Houston University in Texas and the Southwest Police Institute at the University of Oklahoma. Before he came to the United States, however, Grandmaster Hwang’s gained extensive education in martial arts as an instructor and military officer in the South Korean Army. His experience in fighting and self defense was honed during the heat of the Korean war, where he served as a guerrilla fighter who worked behind enemy lines to gather intelligence and help rescue American soldiers who were lost or separated from their regiments. Grandmaster Hwang has shared the fighting and self-defense techniques he gained from these years of difficult training and military experience with a broad range of civilians, various police departments, universities, and even a local military base.

For all this and more, we honor and congratulate our 2008 Pioneer of Taekwondo.

Outstanding Leadership Award Kyong Won Ahn

GM Kyong Won AhnBorn in Seoul, Korea, Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn began his martial arts training when he was twelve years old. He served an internship with his instructor, Master Chang Bok Lee, as the Master Instructor for the Korean and American armies from 1955 through 1967. Considered one of the best competitors in Korea in the early 1960s, Grandmaster Ahn was winner of many taekwondo championships and honors throughout Korea.

Grandmaster Ahn came to the United States in 1967 at the request of the University of Cincinnati, and he began teaching Tang Soo Do Taekwondo there in August of 1967, where he still serves as an advisor. He has also taught at Miami University of Ohio and Xavier University.

In 1971, Grandmaster Ahn founded the United Taekwondo Association (UTA) to help bring uniformity and standardization to United States martial arts instruction. He has served as a member of the founding Board of Directors of the National AAU Taekwondo Committee, which later became the United States Taekwondo Union (USTU), as President of the USTU, leading the United States Olympic Taekwondo teams in 1988 in Seoul, Korea and in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain, as Chairman of the Ohio AAU Taekwondo Committee, Acting Chairman of the National AAU Taekwondo Promotion Committee, and head of the United States team at the 3rd World Taekwondo Championships in 1977.

Today, 9th Dan Grandmaster Instructor Kyongwon Ahn is known and respected both nationally and internationally as a tireless organizer and a dedicated master teacher. Licensed and accredited by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) as a Class 2 International Referee and Master Instructor, Grandmaster Ahn has trained more than 1000 black belts, including some to the level of Master, and more than 50,000 students, many of whom have received national international recognition as competitors, instructors and referees. At the recent 30th Anniversary celebration of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in Seoul, Korea, Grandmaster Ahn was presented with the National Sport Merit Award from the Republic of Korea in recognition of his work in helping to make Taekwondo a universal sport.

For all this and more, we honor and congratulate Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn with our 2008 Outstanding Leadership Award.

Lifetime Achievement Award Grandmaster Hyun Ok Shin

GM Kyong Won AhnBorn on May 16, 1931 in Seoul Korea, Grandmaster Hyun Ok Shin graduated from Kyung Hee University in 1958 with a degree in Economics. He began his taekwondo training at the age of 17 with Chung Do Kwan founder Grandmaster Won Kook Lee.

Grandmaster Shin came to the United States in 1962 to attend Baruch College Business School in New York City, and he began teaching taekwondo classes there at the 38th Street YMCA and the Brooklyn School of Self Defense. Five years later, he opened Shin’s Laurelton Taekwondo Center in Queens, New York, and New York Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan. In 1974 Grandmaster Shin opened Shin’s Floral Park Tae Kwon Do Center in Floral Park, Long Island, and United Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan. Today, United Chung Do Kwan still thrives as a highly successful, family-oriented martial arts program that serves all ages, interests and levels of ability with affiliated programs throughout the New York metropolitan area, the continental United States and the Caribbean Islands.

Between 1970 and 2004 Grandmaster Shin organized New York tournaments including the Annual Continental Open Tournaments in New York City and the Inter-school Association Tournaments in Long Island, New York. Today, as Grandmaster and President of United Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan, Grandmaster Shin continues to share his 45 years of experience with his students, helping them to discover, cultivate and master the power of the mind-body connection as the basis for achieving improved health, fitness and emotional well-being as he oversees instruction for member schools and programs, officiates at promotions tests, and organizes tournaments and training clinics.

For all this and more, we recognize and congratulate Grandmaster Shin for his Lifetime Achievements in Taekwondo.

Lifetime Achievement Award Grandmaster Dae Sup An

GM Kyong Won AhnBorn in Seoul, Korea, Grandmaster Dae Sup An began his Ji Do Kwan taekwondo training in 1955. A four-time Korean National Champion, Grandmaster An was named Korea’s Excellent Player from 1963 to 1966, he was also awarded a technique prize from the Korea Home Minister in 1964 along with winning the Championship of the Light Weight Tournament of the Tae Kwon Do National Police Martial Art meeting in 1966. From 1063-1972, Grandmaster An served as Chief Body Guard of the Korean Police Chief Instructor. During his more than five-decade career of many championships and honors, Grandmaster An achieved his 9th Dan in 2007.

After founding a successful taekwondo school in Korea, Grandmaster An came to the United States to establish another successful dojang in the Chicago area. Today, school, An’s Tae Kwon Do Academy, is located in McAllen, Texas.

Grandmaster An has appeared twice on the cover of Taekwondo Magazine, three times in Black Belt Magazine, and has been honored by the Korean and World Taekwondo Hall of Fame.

For all these accomplishments and more, we recognize Grandmaster Dae Sup An with our 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lifetime Achievement Award Grandmaster Yung Ho Jun

GM Yung Ho JunBorn in Seoul, Korea in 1936, Grandmaster Yung Ho Jun is founder and president of Chang Moo Kwan Pusan District in Korea.

Grandmaster Jun has served as Chief Master Instructor of the R.O.K. Special Forces, Director of the Korea Tae Soo Do Association, the former the Korea Tae Kwon Do Association, President of the US National Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan, Founder and President of A.T.U., and President of the World Martial Arts Federation. He was awarded the rank of 9th Dan by Kukkiwon in 1990.

Today, Grandmaster Jun has taught tens of thousands of black belts, masters and grandmasters all over the world in addition to movie stars, instructors of Special Forces, law enforcement and CIA. He established the 8000-square foot Yung Ho Jun Martial Arts School in Tampa Bay, Florida, in 1964, and in 1989 Taekwondo Times named it School of the Year. Because of Grandmaster Jun’s influence, there are now more than 3500 black belts serving the Tampa Bay community in all walks of life, with four branch schools in Tampa Bay and numerous other branches throughout the US and around the world.

For these accomplishments and much more, we recognize Grandmaster Yung Ho Jun with our 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ambassador of Taekwondo Award Grandmaster Seung Ryul Yang

GM Seung Ryul YangBorn in 1940, Grandmaster Seung Ryul Yang has been a member of Taekwondo Jidokwan since 1952. He was a member of the Team of the 2nd World Subakdo Championship in 1969, and then, after serving as instructor from 1964 to 1968, he established Chung-Ho Taekwondo Dojang in Seoul in 1970.

From 1979 to 1986, Grandmaster Yang served in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as Instructor of Dammam Police Station, Chief Instructor of the Naval Academy, and Professor of King Faisal University. He has served as President of Korean Amateur Sports Association, Orange County Taekwondo Association, and Los Angeles Taekwondo Association, and as professor of Martial Arts Science at the American National University. A 9th Dan Black Belt, Grandmaster Seung Yang has served the United States Marine Corps as its Chief of Marital Arts since 1985.

Today Grandmaster Yang serves as Dean of the California Union University Martial Arts Department, United Nations Martial Arts Ambassador, and Special Investigator for the State of California. He also currently serves on the advisory Council of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, as a member of the Press Team of National Government Police, and as USA Chairman of Korean Entertainment and Sports Newspaper.

Grandmaster Seung Ryul Yang has been recognized throughout his career with many prestigious awards and certificates of appreciation from organizations and entities worldwide, including the United Nations Martial Arts Ambassador Association, the World Taekwondo Federation, US President Bill Clinton, US President George W. Bush, Commander of the 8th United States Army, Commander General United States Marine Corps, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Chief of FBI in Los Angeles, US Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation, and US Department of Justice Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.

For all these accomplishments and more, we honor Grandmaster Seung Ryul Yang with our 2008 Ambassador of Taekwondo Award.

Coach of the Year Award Grandmaster Sang Chul Lee

GM Sang Chul LeeAfter a history of grand success in Tae Kwon Do in Korea, including a full scholarship to college; competing on the Korean Marine Corps Tae Kwon Do Team and, after winning 13 gold medals in both intercollegiate and national competitions in Korea, being inducted to the Korean Hall of Fame in 1970, Grandmaster Sang Chul Lee came to the United States in July of 1975. After saving for six months, working full time as a janitor and part time as a Tae Kwon Do instructor on New York’s Staten Island, Grandmaster Lee opened his own school in Binghampton, New York in 1975.

In 1979 Grandmaster Lee was invited by Dr. Dong Ja Yang, then President of the AAU Tae Kwon Do Union to be the first US National Team Coach. During the outstanding coaching career that followed, Grandmaster Lee served as head coach of the US Taekwondo Team in five world championships, from 1979-1987; head coach of the US Taekwondo Team at the 1987 Pan Am Games; and head coach of the US Olympic Taekwondo Team in Seoul, Korea. He also served as Commissioner of Taekwondo at the US Olympic Festival from 1993 to 1995, and as Head of US Taekwondo Team at the 1995 Pan American Games.

Grandmaster Lee’s work in development of Taekwondo programs and special competition and training techniques is well recognized. In 1986 he created for the first time a Taekwondo Resident Athlete Training Program at the US Olympic Training Center, a program for human adjustment in international travel for competitions with Dr. Jackie Paul of the US Olympic Sports Science Department, and he was innovator and producer of the first Olympic Taekwondo training videos. Grandmaster Lee’s "Elite Athlete Championships" provided Olympic Tae Kwon Do hopefuls with an opportunity to assess their skills against other athletes from around the country. The success of this idea from 1988 to 1991 led to the USTU hosting a US Tae Kwon Do Championship similar to the US Open Golf and Tennis Championships to giving US Taekwondo competitors the chance to compete with athletes from around the world more often than the Olympic Games.

Sang Lee's commitment to Tae Kwon Do has been strong over the years, with dedicated service to the World Taekwondo Federation, The United States Taekwondo Union, and The United States Olympic Committee.

For these contributions and accomplishments and more, we honor Grandmaster Sang Lee as our 2008 Coach of the Year.

Male Competitor of the Year Master Jay Warwick

M Jay WarwickBorn in Northern California, Jay Warwick began his martial arts training at age seven and has continued ever since, including extensive training at Han Kook Chae Dae and Kyung Hee University.

As a competitor, Mr. Warwick was a silver medalist in the 1985 World Games, a two-time gold medalist in the Pan American Games, a three-time bronze medalist in World Championships and a bronze medalist in the 1988 Olympics. In 1983 Jay Warwick was named USTU Athlete of the Year. He served as US National Team Captain from 1982 to 1988 and was an eight-time National Champion and National Team Member between 1977 and 1988. As a coach, Mr. Warwick served as National Team Coach for the Pan American Games, World Cup and World Championships from 1989 to 1997. He was named USTU Coach of the Year in 1993 and USOC Taekwondo Coach of the Year in 1996.

Mr. Warwick earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Montana State University and a master’s degree at the University of Northern Colorado. After gaining professional experience in the business of taekwondo from 1991 to 1998 as owner and manager of Jay Warwick’s US Taekwondo Centers, Mr. Warwick was appointed Executive Director of the United States Taekwondo Union, where he managed and directed staff to accomplish goals and objectives as set forth by the USTU Board of Governors from 1998 to 2002. In 2003 Mr. Warwick left the USTU to serve as Director of Sports Partnerships for the United States Olympic Committee, where he oversees USOC relationships with eleven national governing bodies in all aspects of business including sport development, marketing and broadcasting, events, governance, and international relations.

For all these accomplishments and more, we honor Jay Warwick as our 2008 Male Competitor of the Year.