List of taekwondo grandmasters
List of Taekwondo Grandmasters includes notable persons who have been recognized as grandmasters of the Korean martial art of taekwondo. There is no single, universally-recognised set of criteria to define a taekwondo grandmaster; different organizations and different styles have their own rules. Those listed below are grouped by system: Kukkiwon (widely known as the World Taekwondo), International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), and other systems (which includes some persons receiving ranks from taekwondo organisations that predate the other two systems, e.g., the original Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA)) and United Taekwondo Association UWTA. Also WANIN DO By Grandmaster Kyong Lee of Toronto, Canada.
Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo)
This list includes persons who: (1) are ranked at least 9th dan by Kukkiwon (the highest rank normally awarded to living persons within that system); (2) are notable as individuals; and (3) are notable for their contribution to taekwondo.
|Lee, Eun Woo||9th dan||1948||South Africa||President of Kwanjangdo(KJD) in South Africa and the United Kingdom, Technical Director of the Mozambique Taekwondo Federation and Technical Advisor for Swaziland. Kukkiwon Technical Advisor.|||
|Lee, Moo Yong||9 Dan||1938-2016||United States of America||2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from President Obama's Council on Physical Fitness||http://www.mooyonglee.com/about.html|
|Ahn, Kyongwon||9th dan||1937–||United States of America||Founded United Taekwondo Association; former President of the United States Taekwondo Union||See main article|
|Goh, Chae T.||9th "dan"||1950s-||Korea||secretary for 8/9 dan testing  Co-Grandmaster of the year 1994. Winner, first king of the world competition (YouTube)|
|Cha, Yong-Kil||9th dan||1946–||Germany||President of the Jidokwan Europe Federation|||
|Chang, Seong Dong||9th dan||1953–||South Korea||President of Sangrok World Taekwondo Academy, founder of Taekwondo in India|||
|Choi, Eung Gil||9th dan||unknown-||United States of America||Korean Special Forces Takewondo champion (1975-1977)
Served as Peaceful Unification Advisor for the South Korean Government to improve its relationship with North Korea (1999-2005)
Received the Korean Presidential award for outstanding performance as a peaceful unification advisor.
Founded the "Kick Cancer Out of this World" benefit event which has raised over $120,000 for cancer charities.
Awarded the Korean National Medial of Honor (10/14/2017) by the Government of South Korea.
|Choi, Tae-hong||9th dan||1935–2009||United States of America||Founded first taekwondo school in Oregon, USA; former Vice-President of the United States Taekwondo Union||See main article|
|Chung, Sun Hwan||9th dan||1940–||United States of America||Founder of Moo Sool Do and President of World Academy of Martial Arts Association. Korean National Champion (1963-1965). Kukkiwon Advisory Council (2008). Hall of Fame - U.S. Taekwondo Grandmasters Society. Former President, U.S.T.U. Michigan Tae Kwon Do Association.|||
|Dong, Seung Gyoo||9th dan||1946–||United States of America||President of Advanced World Martial Arts System; author of several books|||
|Kailian, Gregory S.||9th dan||1946 -||United States of America||
||Sport Taekwondo Referee Primer|
|Kil, Sang Sup||9th dan||Unknown||United States of America||Korean National Champion between the years of 1965 and 1968, Founding President of the United States Han Mu Kwan Federation, President of the Michigan Tae Kwon Do Association|||
|Kim, Il-Kwon||9th dan||1942–2015||United States of America||Founder and President of the I. K. Kim Ja Be Ryu Tae Kwon Do Organization located in Cincinnati Ohio & President of the World Martial Arts Federation|||
|Kim, Ki Whang||9th dan||1920–1993||United States of America||Promoted to 9th dan by the KTA; Chairman of the US Olympic Taekwondo team 1988. Inducted into Taekwondo Hall of Fame 2009||See main article|
|Lee, Bum-I||9th dan||1938–||Germany||President of the German-Korean culture Federal e.V. (DKK e.V.). Chairman of Taekwondo Instructor Association in Europe. Chairman of the European Taekwondo delegation in Korea. Highest Dan-grade of Europe (1985) and "father of Taekwondo" in Germany. Lives in Hanover.|||
|Lee, Chong Soo||9th dan||1938–2017||Canada||Father of Canadian Taekwondo|||
|Lee, Tae Eun||9th dan||Unknown||Canada||Executive Council member of the World Taekwondo Federation; Major player in having WTF Taekwondo recognized as an official Olympic sport; Goodwill Ambassador for the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Korea and Canada, from 3 October 2012 – 31 December 2013. Founded his own Taekwondo school in Ottawa.|| https://www.taelee.ca/|
|Sell, Edward B||10th dan||1942-2014||United States of America||Highest ranked non-oriental Taekwondo black belt in the world. The only registered 10th dan in the Kukkiwon. Only non-Korean honored at the Taekwondo Park in Seol, Korea. Founder of the United States Chung Do Kwan Association||http://www.uscdka.com|
|Lee, Hyeon Kon||9th dan||c. 1947–||United States of America||Chairman of Board of Education of Kukkiwon; former Vice Chairman of Education of the WTF; author of taekwondo textbook|||
|Lee, Kwan Sung||9th dan||c. 194?–2003||United States of America||President of Kentucky Taekwondo Association.|||
|Mayes, Myong Sok Namkung||9th dan||c. 1954–||United States of America||Highest-ranked woman in taekwondo, 1988 US Olympic Coach (Women's)|||
|Oliver, David.||9th dan||United Kingdom||T.A.G.B Chairman UK||http://www.lacancha.com/daveoliver.html|
|Nardizzi, Donato||9th dan||c. 1960-||United Kingdom||Former President of ITF England, Chairman of the ITF Children's Education Committee and creator of the Kids Development Program, 2012 Olympic Torchbearer.|
|Nguyen, Dang Phung||9th dan||Unknown||Australia||President of Chang Moo Kwan Australasia, Order of Australia Medal (OAM) 2009||See main article|
|Paik, Sang Kee||9th dan||1929–2009||United States of America||Early student of B. I. Yoon and first Black Belt of Grand Master Ki Whang Kim; created Sa-Sang Kwan system. Inducted into Taekwondo Hall of Fame 2013||See main article|
|Park, Dong Keun||9th dan||c. 1941–||United States of America||Father of Thai taekwondo; Head Coach of US Olympic taekwondo team in 1988 and 1992||See main article|
|Pak, Jang Hee||9th dan||United States of America||Produced 5 Black belt students who have represented the United States National Tae Kwon Do Team, two of whom won gold medals in the Olympic Games.|
|Park, Yeon Hwan||9th dan||1952–||United States of America||Korean National Champion 1971–1975; US Olympic Coach; Pan-American Team Coach; author of several reference books||See main article|
|Park, Young Ghil||9th dan||1941–||Italy||One of Founders of Italian Taekwondo (three Park Brothers - Sun Jae Park, Young Ghil Park, Chung Un Park); current Honorary President of FITA - Italian Taekwondo Federation; current Technical Director of WTF Poomsae Committee|||
|Shin, Jang-Hwan||9th dan||1951–||Austria||Father of Austrian taekwondo|||
|Lee, Hyeon Kon||9th dan||c. 1947–||United States of America||Chairman of Board of Education of Kukkiwon; former Vice Chairman of Education of the WTF; author of taekwondo textbook. Uses Western and Eastern Medicine concurrently with great success. Became an M.D. in 2000. Published medical scientist in over 10 journals and one book. Life dedicated to helping the sick return to health.|||
|Ko, Tai Jeong||9th dan||Unknown||Denmark||Former national coach of Denmark|
|Park, Suk Byung||9th dan||Unknown -||South Korea||Founder of Jungdo Federation, Korea Judo National Champion (1969-1974), Olympic Head Coach – Netherlands, Yongin University Assistant Professor, Black Belt Man of the Year 1983, 1993, 1999, World Championships – 2nd Place|
|Nam, Kil, Kim||9th Dan||Unknown||United States of America||Founder of the San Diego taekwondo Association||founder of the California Tae Kwon Do championship|
|Robinson, Clint||9th dan||Unknown||United States of America||Co-founder of the United World Taekwondo Association.
Since 1975 Grandmaster Robinson has trained thousands of students to the highest levels of expertise in the Korean-based martial art.
|See main article|
|Cho, Woon Sup||9th Dan||1952||Norway||President of Traditional Taekwond Union (TTU)|
|Cho, Byung Kon||9th Dan||1947-||United States of America||Student of Grand Master Pong Ki Kim and Grand Master Kop Soo Kwon
||Cho's Black Belt Academy
TaeKwonDo Times Magazine Issue March 1991
|Lee, Hee Sun||8th Dan||1960-||United States of America||
||US TaeKwonDo College|
International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and International Chang-Hon Taekwondo Federation (ITCF)
This list includes persons who: (1) are ranked 9th dan by the ITF (and thus officially recognised as 'Grand Masters' within that system); (2) are notable as individuals; and (3) are notable for their contribution to taekwondo.
|Grand Master Richard Kang||9th dan||uNKNOWN||USA
Grand Master Richard Kang - 9th Dan Black Belt Taekwondo, Black Belt BJJ, and Certified Muay Thai Instructor. Grand master at Kangs MMA in Maryland. staff: Senior Master Martin Kang - 6th Dan Black Belt Taekwondo Master Pat Shepherd - 5th Dan Black Belt Taekwondo and Blue Belt BJJ Master Ian Ishida - 5th Dan Black Belt Taekwondo, Blue Belt BJJ, and Yellow Belt Kumdo Master David Barnette - 4th Dan Black Belt Taekwondo, Blue Belt BJJ, and White Belt Kumdo Mister Victor Almeida - 2nd Dan Black Belt Taekwondo, White Belt BJJ, and White Belt Kumdo Mister Martavious Rodgers - Brown Belt Taekwondo, White Belt BJJ, and White Belt Kumdo 9th Dan Black Belt Taekwondo, Black Belt BJJ, and Certified Muay Thai Instructor
|Bos, Willem Jacob||9th dan||1952–||Italy||President of the All European Taekwon-Do Federation 2004–2006; Technical Director for the Italian Taekwon-Do Federation 1992–|||
|Choi, Chang Keun||9th dan||c. 1940–||Canada||Leading campaign to reunite the ITF; one of the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Choi, Hong Hi||9th dan||1918–2002||Canada||Played major role in establishing Taekwon-Do; inaugural President of the KTA; founded the ITF; co-led the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Choi, Jung Hwa||9th dan||1951–||Canada||President of one of the three ITF organisations; son of H. H. Choi; involvement in Korean political controversy. Choi Jung Hwa was born on Cheju Island, Korea on 22 May 1951 and has studied Taekwon-Do since the age of 7, not only under his father, but also under many high ranking and pioneering Taekwon-Do Masters during their visits and stays with General Choi. He served many years on the ITF Executive Board and, later on, Choi Jung Hwa would assist General Choi on many of his International Seminars throughout the world, and later would be appointed by the ITF to conduct these International courses on General Choi’s behalf. Grandmaster Choi held the post as Secretary General of the ITF for several years until elected as General Choi’s successor to the Presidency by the ITF members in 2001 at the ITF Congress. Choi Jung Hwa was promoted to 9th Degree Black Belt in 2004 and to the rank of Grandmaster, is the only son of the Founder of Taekwon-Do General Choi Hong Hi.|||
|Hwang, Kwang Sung||9th dan K-9-1 on 12/08/1997||Born 1942 Taegu, Korea -||United States of America Manchester,Ct.||GM Hwang was one of the first three instructors that General Choi, Hong Hi promoted to the rank of 9th Dan. The list consisted of FGM Rhee, Ki Ha UK-9-1, GM Hwang Kwang Sung K-9-1, and GM Charles "Chuck" Seriff A-9-1 who was also the first non-Asian to receive this Honor.||GM Hwang began studying at the age of 11 and received his 1st Degree in Tang Soo Do in 1957, hid 2nd Degree in 1961, his 3rd Degree from the I.T.F. K-3-40 09/18/1968 staying loyal to General Choi Hong Hi through the years. He was at General Choi's side where he transcribed General Choi's last words. GM Hwang retired a Captain in the ROK Army where he had instructed The Korean Tiger Division, The Korean Army, The U.S. Marines, U.S. Army, Marine, and the Vietnamese Army receiving many Commendations. GM Hwang simultaneously served as special assistant to General Choi, official spokesman of the ITF, chairman of the ITF promotion and merger committees, and Secretary General of the ITF. GM Hwang also served as the Head of the KoreAmerica Taekwon-Do Union as requested by General Choi Hong Hi. GM Hwang is now Head of the International Taekwon-Do Federation Unified. His mission is to carry on his previous duties as requested by General Choi to work to unify all who practice Taekwon-DO.
Ref. http://www.unified-itf.com/index.php/about-us/history-of-gm-hwang , http://katu-itf.tripod.com/gmhwang.htm ,http://www.taekwondoschoolofexcellence.com/TaekwondoSchoolofExcellence/The_Grand_Master.html, Personal Conversations with GM Hwang, Kwang Sung and General Choi Hong Hi ; Peter M. Thompson
|Howard, Robert||9th dan||c. 1938–||Ireland||President of the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association; helped establish taekwondo in Ireland; first European man promoted to 9th dan|||
|Cariati, Joe.||9th dan||unknown||Canada||
Barrett Francis 9th dan Student of Grand Master Anthony Phelan. 3rd Irishman to be promoted to 9th dan, ITF congress September, 2017, in Pyongyang. Chief instructor to south east of Ireland.
|Kong, Young Il||9th dan||1943–||United States of America||One of the few promoted to 9th dan by H. H. Choi; one of the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Massar, Frank||9th dan||1958–||United Kingdom||Founded Massar Taekwondo Association||See main article|
|Nam, Tae Hi||9th dan||1929–2013||United States of America||Father of Vietnamese taekwondo; pivotal performance in martial arts demonstration 1954; co-led the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Nardizzi, Donato||9th dan||1960-||United Kingdom||President of ITF England, Chairman of the ITF Children Development Committee, co-author of the study book and instructor manual of the Taekwondo Kids Development Program, 2012 Olympic Torchbearer.|
|Dang, Huy Duc||9th dan||1944–||United States of America||Director of Martial Arts Training Center, South Vietnam National Police Force Headquarters; one of the few promoted to 9th dan by H. H. Choi|||
|Nguyen, Van Binh||9th dan||1936–||United States of America||Chairman of ITF Masters Promotion Committee; President of ITF-USA; pioneer of taekwondo in Vietnam|||
|Park, Jong Soo||9th dan||1941–||Canada||One of the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Rhee, Ki Ha||9th dan||1938–||United Kingdom||Father of British and Irish taekwondo; one of the few promoted to 9th dan by H. H. Choi; one of the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Sereff, Charles||9th dan||1933–||United States of America||One of the few promoted to 9th dan by H. H. Choi; founded the United States Taekwon-Do Federation|||
|Tran, Trieu Quan||9th dan||1952–2010||Canada||President of one of the three ITF organisations from 2003 to 2010||See main article|
|Trajtenberg, Pablo||9th dan||c. 1955–||Argentina||President of one of the three ITF organisations after T. Q. Tran's death in 2010|||
|Kirschbaum, Len G.||9th dan||1955-||United States of America||President of IOTF and Founder of the International Academy of TKD. Delegate for H.H. Choi for special certification seminars for ITF.|
Other taekwondo systems
This list includes persons who: (1) have been widely recognized masters of taekwondo for at least 30 years; (2) are notable as individuals; and (3) are notable for their contribution to taekwondo.
|Cho, Hee Il||9th dan||1940–||United States of America||Founded Action International Martial Arts Association; wrote several taekwondo books||See main article|
|Lee, Haeng Ung||10th dan||July 20, 1936 – October 5, 2000||United States of America||Founded American Taekwondo Association; first Grandmaster of the ATA; author of The Way of Traditional Taekwondo|||
|Cho, Sihak Henry||9th dan||1934–2012||United States of America||Pioneer of taekwondo in the United States of America; wrote several books; contributed karate article in World Book Encyclopedia (1976)||See main article|
|Kim, Pyung-soo||10th dan||1939 -||United States of America||One of only two students that tested and promoted to 5th Dan at the first Korean Tae Soo Do Association exam in 1962. First correspondent from South Korea to Black Belt Magazine(1964–68). Founder of The International Chayon-Ryu Martial Arts Association. Author of three Taekwondo Books (Ohara Publications): Palgue 1-2-3 of Taekwondo Hyung, Palgue 4-5-6 of Taekwondo Hyung, Palgue 7-8 of Taekwondo Hyung, and one Taekwondo book published in Russia.||See main article|
|Choi, Kwang Jo||9th dan||1942–||United States of America||Founded Choi Kwang-Do; one of the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Han, Cha Kyo||9th dan||1934–1996||United States of America||One of the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Hwang, Kwang Sung||9th dan||c. 1942–||United States of America||One of the few promoted to 9th dan by H. H. Choi|||
|Kyong Lee||9th dan||Canada||Founded Wanin Do|
|Park, Jung Tae||9th dan||c. 1943–2002||Canada||One of the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Rhee, Chong Chul||8th dan||c. 1935–||Australia||Considered as the Father of Australian taekwondo; founded Rhee Taekwon-Do; one of the KTA's 12 original masters||See main article|
|Rhee, Jhoon Goo||10th dan||1932–||United States of America||Father of American taekwondo|
|Kirschbaum, Len G.||9th dan||1955-||United States of America||Founder of Original Taekwon-Do Federation (IOTF) on June 17, 2002. Served as special ITF seminar instructor and loyal student of Taekwon-Do founder, General Choi Hong Hi.|
|Cheah, Wee Hin (Steven)||8th Dan||Australia||Considered one of the Father's of Australian Taekwon-Do, Founded Cheah Taekwon-Do, Learned TaeKwon-Do in Malaysia under Gen. Choi and C.K Choi.|
-  Grandmaster Eun Woo Lee
- Grandmaster Cha Yong-Kil Retrieved on 17 December 2012.
- "SANGROK World Taekwondo Academy". sangrokgym.com.
- "Masters & Instructors". USTMA. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
- "TKDTimes_March2007" (PDF).
- "140G-17". chungsunhwan.com.
- Grandmaster Sun Hwan Chung - Hall of Fame Induction
- "The Greats of Tae Kwon Do - USA - Grand Master Sun Hwan Chung". lacancha.com.
- Grandmaster Seung Gyoo Dong Tae Kwon Do: Grandmaster S. Dong (c. 2012). Retrieved on 11 December 2012.
- Grandmaster Sang Sup Kil Tae Kwon Do (c. 2013). Retrieved on 20 November 2013.
- Grandmaster Grand Master Il-Kwon Kim Retrieved on 10 Feb 2013.
- Großmeister LEE, BUM-I (9. Dan) (2009). Retrieved on 28 March 2016.
- Grandmaster LEE, BUM-I (9th Dan) (2009). Retrieved on 28 March 2016.
- Chong Lee Taekwondo: Grand Master Chong Lee (2010). Retrieved on 24 December 2010.
- Tae E. Lee Taekwondo (2011). Retrieved on 31 July 2015.
- Grandmaster H. K. Lee Tae Kwon Do: Grandmaster H. K. Lee (c. 2004). Retrieved on 1 June 2009.
- Richmond Sunlight: House Resolution no. 503 (Virginia General Assembly, 10 May 2006). Retrieved on 24 February 2010.
- DiCicco, M. (2009): Following Tae Kwon Do to its origins: Members of area studio return from expo in Korea with medals, memories, fighting skills Connection Newspapers (26 August 2009). Retrieved on 20 March 2010.
- Grandmaster K. S. Lee Tae Kwon Do: Grandmaster K. S. Lee (c. 2011). Retrieved on 24 May 2012.
- Amadio, K. (c. 2008): Tae Kwon Do belt system Retrieved on 22 April 2009.
- US Taekwondo Center: Grand Master Myong Sok Namkung Mayes (c. 2008). Retrieved on 22 April 2009.
- USA Taekwondo: Life Members & Application (2009). Retrieved on 20 March 2010.
- Hawkins, P. (2004): An interview with Grandmaster Lee Yoo Sun Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Totally Tae Kwon Do, 5:9–15.
- Lee, K.-M. (2000): Taekwondo on the world stage Koreana: A quarterly on Korean art and culture, 14(4):20–23. Retrieved on 18 January 2010.
- Fumarola, M. (c. 1998): Taekwondo Magazine: Il Taekwondo in Italia (in Italian). Retrieved on 18 January 2010.
- Kang, S.-W. (2009): Choue re-elected as WTF head The Korea Times (14 October 2009). Retrieved on 20 May 2010.
- Grandmaster Shin. Retrieved on 25 August 2013.
- Choi, H. H. (1993): Taekwon-Do: The Korean art of self-defence, 3rd ed. (Vol. 1, p. 122). Mississauga: International Taekwon-Do Federation.
- Biography GM 9th degree Black Belt ITF: .
- Organization chart of the Italian Taekwondo Federation F.I.TAE.: .
- ITF Taekwon-Do: Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa Retrieved on 17 November 2016
- Blue Cottage Taekwon-Do: Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa Retrieved on 23 February 2010.
- Chait, L. (2008): President Choi Jung Hwa (9 January 2008). Retrieved on 24 February 2010.
- BBC News: N Korea 'hired taekwondo killers' (9 September 2008). Retrieved on 24 February 2010.
-  Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
-  Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Gavan Reilly. "72-year-old Dubliner promoted to Taekwon-do grandmaster". TheJournal.ie.
- "Irishman in Taekwon-do hall of fame". The Irish Times. 20 September 2011.
- Duc Dang Martial Arts: Grandmaster Dang Huy Duc Retrieved on 2 August 2011.
- Blue Cottage Taekwon-Do: IX Black Belt Directory Retrieved on 23 February 2010.
- Anslow, S. (2010): Totally TKD Q & A Totally Tae Kwon Do, 11:13–14.
- Taekwon-Do Center: Grandmaster Van Binh Nguyen, IXth Degree Retrieved on 5 March 2010.
- Van Binh Self Defense Academy: History Retrieved on 5 March 2010.
- International Taekwon-Do Federation USA: Board of Directors Retrieved on 5 March 2010.
- World Black Belt: Charles Sereff (c. 2005). Retrieved on 22 April 2009.
- United States Taekwon-Do Federation: Organization Retrieved on 23 February 2010.
- Nowling, D. G. (2008): Hwang, Kwang-Sung (2 June 2008). Retrieved on 24 February 2010.
- Loboda, T., & Jedut, J. (2004): Interview with ITF Vice-President Senior Master Pablo Trajtenberg (24 October 2004). Retrieved on 24 February 2010.
- Kingdom Schools of Taekwon-Do: Adrian O'Mahoney (c. 2009). Retrieved on 23 February 2010.
- International Taekwon-Do Federation: Board of Directors (c. 2009). Retrieved on 23 February 2010.
- International Taekwon-Do Federation: Grand Master Tran update (31 January 2010). Retrieved on 19 February 2010.
- United International Taekwon-Do Federation: Grandmaster Hwang, Kwang Sung (c. 2005). Retrieved on 24 February 2010.