Choi Kwang-jo

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Choi Kwang-jo
Master Choi Arg 2014 (1).jpg
Grand Master Choi Kwang-jo in 2014
Born (1942-03-02) March 2, 1942 (age 80)
Daegu-bu, North Gyeongsang, Korea
Native name
Revised RomanizationChoe Gwang-jo
McCune–ReischauerCh'oe Kwang-jo
ResidenceAtlanta, Georgia, USA
StyleChoi Kwang Do, Taekwondo
Teacher(s)Lee Dong-ju
Rank9th dan (CKD)

Choi Kwang-jo (born March 2, 1942) is a former South Korean national champion in taekwondo, and is one of the twelve original masters of taekwondo of the Korea Taekwon-Do Association.[2][3] Following a career in the South Korean military, he emigrated to the United States of America in 1970. Choi is the founder and head of the Choi Kwang Do international martial art organization, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Early life[edit]

Choi was born on March 2, 1942, in Daegu, Korea, which was under Japanese control at the time. He started training in the martial arts at the age of 12 because his father was concerned—he wanted his small, physically weak son to be able to protect himself in the war-torn streets. Choi's first master was Dong Ju Lee.[4] During his military service, Choi became a chief Instructor in the 20th Infantry Division[5] and came into contact with General H. H. Choi when the military began to use taekwondo for unarmed combat.

United States[edit]

Due to injuries sustained from his martial arts training he sought medical attention in the United States of America, moving in 1970,[6][7] and began to study different physical therapy techniques. As a result, he began to study anatomy, physiology, and human-movement sciences.

In 1987, Choi incorporated everything he had learned into his own martial art system called Choi Kwang Do, which translates as “the art (or method) of Kwang Choi.” Choi maintains that Choi Kwang Do is free from the mysticisms of traditional martial arts, yet he advertises that his art practises yoga-based stretching.[8] Choi heads the Choi Kwang Do organization from Atlanta and was inducted into the Tae Kwon Do Times magazine's Hall of Fame in 2006.[9] One notable critic of Choi is Roger Koo. Since resigning from the post of Vice President under Choi's organization in 1991, Koo has remained a staunch opponent. Koo dedicates a large portion of his website to disparaging Choi and his organization.[10]

Choi is listed as a pioneer in Asia (1950s and 1960s) and Canada (1970s) in Chang Keun Choi's list of taekwondo pioneers.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Weekend Magazine". The Kyunghyang. 1996-03-22.
  2. ^ Choi, H. H. (1972): Taekwon-Do: The Korean art of self-defence. Mississauga: International Taekwon-Do Federation.
  3. ^ A tribute to the original masters Archived 2010-05-25 at the Wayback Machine (c. 2007). Retrieved on 13 June 2007; link has expired, as at 1 July 2011.
  4. ^ Clifton, P. (1991): Choi Kwang-Do's Grandmaster Choi answers to Combat Archived 2010-02-20 at the Wayback Machine Combat Magazine (January 1991). Retrieved on 22 January 2010.
  5. ^ Lasky, Steve (April 17, 1986). "The art of self-confidence – Master KwangChoi is spreading the gospel of his fresh approach to the - martial arts". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution.
  6. ^ Choi Kwang Do Martial Art International: Grand Master Choi Kwang-jo Retrieved on 22 February 2009.
  7. ^ Choi Kwang Do Brown's Bay: About Grandmaster Choi Kwang-jo Retrieved on 22 January 2010.
  8. ^ Choi Kwang Do Kirwan Retrieved on 7 May 2008.
  9. ^ "Grandmaster Choi Kwang-jo confirms visit to New Zealand (Press Release)". Scoop. December 27, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
  10. ^ Koo Self Defense Archived 2008-12-15 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 3 February 2009.
  11. ^ Choi, C. K. (2007): Tae Kwon Do Pioneers Archived 2008-03-12 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 15 March 2008.

External links[edit]