A letter from General Choi dated 36 years ago. [updated Jan 6, 2018]

On March 31, 2014, Dr. George Vitale Vlll, the ITF Spokesman, flew into Kuala Lumpur from Phuket Island, Thailand where he attended the ITF EDB meeting chaired by the ITF President, Dr. Chang Ung. His purpose of the visit was to interview the first disciple of Gen Choi GM Low Koon Lin.

642 view here Photo taken at Grand Master Low Koon Lin’s residence in Petaling Jaya together with Dr. George Vitale and Mr. Chong Soon Kean, a former 3 times ITF World Champion ( Pattern event..now promoted Sr.Master 8th Degree by GM Phap Lu (CHITF)

Gen Choi's letter View here A letter by Gen Choi 36 years ago when he visited my State hometown in Kuantan,in 1978 just months before we participated in the 2nd World ITF Championships in Oklahoma city in the USA.

snapshot with Masters George and Monir View Here

Snapshots with Dr. George Vitale and Grandmaster Mounir Ghrawi. Photo taken in Toronto during the GTF Park Jung Tae International Challenge Cup Championships.

GM Kim Group Photo View Here Photos taken in GM Kim Bok Man’s gymn in New Jersey together with Dr. George Vitale, Master Chris Gantner, Sec-Gen of GTF, and Master Delcid.

United States Taekwondo Grandmasters Society – Peace Award 2013


Published on May 20, 2013

Dr George Vitale receiving his Award in NJ April 2013 US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society, Dr He Young Kimm, Grandmaster Mounir Ghrawi, Grandmaster Richard Chun, Grandmaster Woo Jung Jin, Taekwondo ITF WTF

GeorgeVitale

Master George Vitale, retired US police officer, is everywhere — Ireland one month and North Korea the next. He studies martial arts as a hobby, and advises many instructors about Tae Kwon Do’s history. I met him in Brighton, England, where he told me a bit about himself.

Taekwondo History by Dr. He-Young Kimm.

Taekwondo History is the latest book compiled and written by Dr. He-Young Kimm. He is also is the author of nine books on Korean Martial Arts, History and Philosophy.

A result of over fifty years of research and hundreds of interviews. this book includes detailed histories of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), and Independent Taekwondo organizations from 1945 through 2013.

This is the result of over fifty years of research and hundreds of interviews. This book includes detailed histories of the International Taekwondo Federation, World Taekwondo Federation, and Independent Taekwondo organizations from 1945 through 2013.

Click here for more about the history of taekwondo

Master He-young Kimm (10th dan) – 39th Hapkido & KMA clinics USKMAF 2013

The Art of War : Sun Tsu – Full Documentary. (Educational).


The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu (also referred to as “Sunzi” and “Sun Wu”), a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period (some scholars believe that the Art of War was not completed until the subsequent Warring States period. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it is said to be the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time, and is still read for its military insights.

The Art of War is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy in the world. It has been the most famous and influential of China’s Seven Military Classics: “for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name.It has had an influence on Eastern military thinking, business
tactics, and beyond.

Why I wrote a book about the untold history of Tae Kwon Do ~ Alex Gillis

A renowned grandmaster called this month to say that he liked A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do, ( refer to the book review on this blog: https://1martialart.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/%e2%80%9ca-killing-art-%e2%80%93-the-untold-history-of-taekwon-do%e2%80%9d-by-alex-gillis/) but he wished that I’d interviewed him, and, more than that, he wished that he’d written his own tell-all book. He could write a book beyond anything I’d written, he said.

“Why don’t you do it?” I asked.

“No, no, no,” he said.

“Why not?” I asked. His “no” was disappointing but not surprising; many other martial arts leaders had said “no” to writing books.

He listed six reasons why he and older Koreans involved in the martial art can’t or won’t write the truths about Tae Kwon Do’s history:

1) Not everyone can write well. You need skills in interviewing, research, writing and editing.

2) You need a publisher to put up the money. The vast majority of books about Tae Kwon Do are self-published, which means the writer pays for publication of the book.

3) There isn’t much support from leaders in martial arts communities around the world.

4) Not many people know how to obtain and corroborate the facts. One man’s story (Kim Un-young’s, for example, or Choi Hong-Hi’s) isn’t enough. You need many stories for the entire history.

5) Some elderly men are overly “modest” and “humble,” and, so, won’t write about others.

6) Tae Kwon Do is still political.

As I spoke to him, I realized how lucky I was to be able to write A Killing Art:

– I’m a professional writer – an investigative journalist — who loves Tae Kwon Do and have been training in it for 25 years. Tracking down difficult-to-find information, such as U.S. Congressional hearings, comes easy.

– I found a publisher, ECW Press, in Canada and the U.S.

– Enough Tae Kwon Do leaders went on the record to tell their stories. This can’t be understated. Men such as Grandmaster Nam Tae-Hi are recounting more and more parts of the real stories. Grandmaster C. K. Choi published a book in 2008. You’ll probably see more books from pioneers in the future.

– I was in the right place at the right time to get the story started. For a number of reasons, my hometown (Toronto, Canada) was one of Tae Kwon Do’s hot spots.

– I’m a courteous and respectful man. Also, in my culture and profession, “humble” doesn’t mean “hide,” and “modest” isn’t “secret.” I believe that people who practise Tae Kwon Do deserve to know its real history, including its true Olympic history.

– I wrote this book to show that difficult stories about Tae Kwon Do could be transparent, balanced and fair. Tae Kwon Do is still political – it is still caught in a Cold War between North and South Korea, and its dozen factions in both the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) are still battling between themselves (in spite of merger talks). My book provides a couple of explanations for the secrets, politics and mayhem.

While writing the book, I kept telling myself that it had to be readable. It couldn’t be yet another boring history book full of names and dates. I wanted to capture the drama of the martial art, because Tae Kwon Do is dramatic, and the techniques – for combat or competition – are sensational, as are the men who created the art. Each one of the Korean pioneers – Uhm Woon-Kyu, Lee Chong-Woo, Nam Tae-Hi, Lee Won-Kuk, and many, many others — deserve a book. A Killing Art shows why.

Alex Gillis

Biographical Background of Queen SUN DUK [ a.k.a. Sondok, Seondeok ] – of the Silla Dynasty 668 A.D. (Sun Duk Hyung – explanation and pattern diagram – Updated July 30, 2011)

Her father was the king of the Silla kingdom, which had emerged in the south about 250 and 350 AD and by the end of the 7th century managed to unify the whole peninsula. Having no sons, he chose as his heir his daughter Sun Duk, which was no great surprise for a number of reasons.

One was that women in this period had a certain degree of influence already as advisers, queen dowagers, and regents. Throughout the kingdom, women were heads of families since matrilineal lines of descent existed alongside patrilineal lines.

The Confucian model, which placed women in a subordinate position within the family, was not to have a major impact in Korea until the fifteenth century. During the Silla kingdom, women’s status remained relatively high.

There were other reasons, too, that led the king to favor Sun Duk. Early in her life she had displayed an unusually quick mind. One anecdote tells of the time the king received a box of peony seeds from China accompanied by a painting of what the flowers looked like. Looking at the picture, seven-year-old Sun Duk remarked that while the flower was pretty it was too bad that it did not smell. “If it did, there would be butterflies and bees around the flower in the painting.”

Her observation about the peonies lack of smell proved correct, one illustration among many of her intelligence, and thus ability to rule. In 634, Sun Duk became the sole ruler of Silla, and ruled until 647. She was the first of three female’s rulers of the kingdom, and was immediately succeeded by her cousin Chindok, who ruled until 654.

Sun Duk’s reign was a violent one; rebellions and fighting in the neighboring kingdom of Paekche filled her days. Yet, in her fourteen years as queen of Korea, her wit was to her advantage. She kept the kingdom together and extended its ties to China, sending scholars to learn from that august kingdom. She was drawn to Buddhism and presided over the completion of Buddhist temples. She built the “Tower of the Moon and Stars,” considered the first observatory in the Far East. The tower still stands in the old Silla capital city of Kyongju, South Korea.

Sun Duk’s respect as a ruler may have been reinforced by the ancient tradition of female shamanism, which was prominent in Korea, and among some peoples still is. Up until Sun Duk’s time, the word shaman was assumed to apply to women. Shamans had great power as recognized intermediaries between gods and humans. Some presided over national ceremonies, but most were a kind of family priestess, whose role usually was inherited.

Through spirit possession, shamans performed healings and exorcisms, revealed causes of family strife and advised on their resolution, picked auspicious days for weddings or burials, conducted rituals to guarantee continual prosperity, and healed those who were broken in body or soul. As foretellers of the future, shamans had enormous power.

Histories tell us that Sun Duk was revered for her ability to anticipate advents. Might it have been this more than any other attribute that led to her popularity as a ruler? If so, it is a prime example of a way time honored female tasks have helped women assume leadership roles.

The Royal Tomb of Queen Seondeok (선덕여왕릉), located in Bomun-dong, is a round-shaped tomb with earthen layers, 73 meters in circumference. Aside from the fact that it was constructed using natural stones in double layers, the tomb has no other unique features. As the oldest daughter of King Jinpyeong, Queen Seondeok became the first queen of the Silla Dynasty. During the 16th year of her reign, Bunhwangsa Temple (분황사) and Cheomseongdae Observatory (첨성대) were built. She also ordered the construction of the famous nine-story pagoda of Hwangyongsa Temple, an achievement of Buddhist architecture. While many of her efforts laid the foundation for the unification of Three Kingdoms of Korea, Queen Seondeok’s reign was plagued by rebellion and strife and she died in 647 during a rebellion, 23 years before unification was realized.

Reference:
Yung-Chung Kim, “Women of Korea – A History from Ancient Times to 1945”    Seoul: EWHA Women’s University Press, 1997.
There is a site called “Teaching About Korea” with curriculum handouts. Some deal with “Queens of the Silla Era.”

Note: This is the abridge version of the biography. For a more in-depth and detail account, it is available on request.

 Compiled and prepared by: Master Ngiaw Wee Sun

SUN DUK HYONG

This pattern is named after Queen Sun Duk of the Silla Dynasty 668 A.D. She was known for bringing martial art from China to Korea. The diagram represents “Lady”. The 68 movements of this pattern refer to the year 668 A.D. This pattern was designed and created by Grand Master Park Jung Tae for 4th Degree Black Belt.

Grand Master Park developed Pyong Hwa and Sun Duk, realizing that everything in life is a confluence of relationships. Everything is a balance between feminine and masculine energies, the yin and the yang, and anytime when there is more of one than the other, we are out of balance. Pyong Hwa denotes peace and to bring about peace and order in the world, Grand Master Park invoked the presence of Queen Sun Duk , the yin qualities of sweetness, beauty and intelligence. As the 27th ruler of the Silla Dynasty Queen Sun Duk also showed herself to be a lover of art, architecture, and peace.

Queen Sun Duk was a vibrant woman with an intuitive intellect, a queen who ruled her people well, and who could, according to legend, predict the future. Her life was, in my humble opinion, a life well lived.

Right now we need to awaken the feminine divinity within us because the dominance of the masculine forces has  contributed to belligerence, arrogance, and aggression, the very problems we see in the world right now.

Sun Duk pattern ( 68 movements )