Month: February 2021

World Records topple to former WKF Chairman

Jim Wigginton Topples World Records in Quest to Defeat Thyroid Cancer

Jim and Nancy Wigginton in 2010. Nancy passed away from cancer in 2013. Wigginton, 71, has an adventurous spirit which includes skydiving in places like Antartica to Dubai, the Pyramids in Egypt to Nepal near Mt. Everest. Every adventure he always carried a bird pendent containing the ashes of his wife.

[Detroit, July 21 2020] Jim Wigginton, 71, has been adventurous since he was young, and his passion grew as an adult. He started skydiving in the 1990s, and his wife Nancy Wigginton would watch him from below.

Now, Jim is breaking multiple world records by climbing the highest mountains, leaping out of airplanes and diving to the lowest part of the ocean in an effort to raise awareness of thyroid cancer, which took his wife from him almost seven years ago.

Adventures and world records for thyroid cancer

Jim decided that he would begin raising awareness for thyroid cancer in his own unique way. He has now achieved six world records and several awards for competitions that he has participated in. And they’re not just average competitions — Jim is skydiving, climbing a million stairs and diving underwater to the lowest point of Earth in a submarine.

“It’s not about me,” Jim said. “It’s not about really the records. They have to be big things to be able to get the attention that allows me to help the university raise the money for her cancer foundation and help people — people I’ll never meet.”

So, Jim kept achieving big things. He got the nickname ‘Seven-Mile Man’ after reaching two records. In October 2019, he received a Guinness World Records certificate for the highest tandem parachute jump at 37,417 feet alongside of Arkadiusz Majewski in Poland. He also achieved the Challenger Deep dive, which is a 12-hour trip to the deepest part of the ocean in the Mariana Trench.

Jim also achieved the Challenger Deep dive, which is a 12-hour trip seven miles deep to the deepest part of the ocean in the Mariana Trench

After completing these two records, Jim became the first person to achieve seven miles above ground level, and seven miles below. He is also the oldest person to achieve this award.

Jim also holds the fastest tandem skydive jumps in all seven continents, after his seventh attempt. He is in the middle of two projects as well — climbing the 53 highest peaks in Colorado and climbing the highest buildings in every state.

Jim recently set his sixth world record by climbing one million stairs for cancer.

“This is hard work,” Jim said. “It’s not good for you to do 12,000 stairs every day. But comparatively, that’s the easy part. The hard part is taking that thing that you do and then somehow converting that to getting help for cancer.”

See this stunning 2-min video about Jim’s sky-diving exploits to defeat thyroid cancer.

Read the full article in the The Detroit Free Press of July 21st, 2020

WKF recognizes, salutes Kangdukwon in Vietnam

Nguyen Kim Chau, untiring advocate of Kangdukwon Taekwondo in Vietnam since 1966, recognized as 9th Dan Grand Master

Grand Master Nguyen Kim Châu seen addressing the North America General Confederation of Kang Duk Won Moo Do in 2015
Grand Master Nguyen Kim Châu seen addressing the North America General Confederation of Kang Duk Won Moo Do in 2015
WKF President Hwa Chong

[Ho Chi Minh City, 26 January] In a phone discussion described as cordial and informal, Nguyen Kim Chau was greeted and congratulated by World Kangdukwon Federation President and Great Grand Master Hwa Chong, who warmly welcomed Grand Master Chau and associated Kang Duk Won Moo Do dojongs and students to the World Kangdukwon Federation.

The World Kangdukwon Federation also announced that it has formally recognized long-time Vietnamese instructor Nguyen Kim Chau as a Kangdukwon Grand Master of 9th Dan standing, an exceptionally rare level of martial arts achievement. His worldwide World Master Kang Duk Won Moo Do is also now recognized and registered with the World Kangdukwon Federation.

WKF Vice-President for International Affairs Patrick Harrigan facilitated communications between WKF President Hwa Chong (right) and Grand Master Nguyen Kim Chau’s in Vietnam. Photo 2015

“Grand Master Chau has persevered for over fifty years in carrying the torch of Kangdukwon training and philosophy, even in the most turbulent and unfavorable circumstances,” according to Patrick Harrigan, WKF’s Vice-President for International Affairs. “There is no parallel anywhere among Kangdukwon masters.”

Landmark in US-Vietnam relations

Grand Master Chau’s statement marking the occasion reads:

Nguyen Kim Chau has been widely honored for his great contribution to Taekwondo in Vietnam.

“This is a happy reunion of two great branches of  the Kangdukwon tree, starting from two high school dojang friends who went abroad. My Master Ahn Gun Soon introduced Kangdukwon in Vietnam in 1966 and the other Master Hwa Chong went to USA in 1967 where he introduced Kangdukwon, first locally in Michigan, then nationwide and finally worldwide.”

“This grand reunion of Kangdukwon teachers and schools is a proud moment. It also highlights the reconciliation between Vietnam, Korea and America since fifty years ago. I have been waiting and working for many decades for this day to arrive,”

Untiring Advocate of Kangdukwon in Vietnam since 1966

Kangdukwon Taekwondo was introduced to Vietnam in 1966 by Grand Master Ahn Gun Soon who had trained with Great Grandmaster Hwa Chong when both were students at Kwangju Jaeil High School. From 1966 to 1969, ROK Army Captain Ahn Gun Soon and Captain Kim Tae Sup taught Taekwondo to Vietnamese troops, including the future head of Kangdukwon in Vietnam.

Nguyen Kim Chau in 1966
Nguyen Kim Chau in 1966

Grand Master VinhLinh Nguyen Kim Chau, 8th Dan Kukkiwon (no. 05042148) and world head of Kang Duk Won Moo Do, began his training in 1966 when he was serving as a young recruit in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).

His instructor was none other than Kang Duk Won Grand Master Ahn Gun Soon, who at that time was a captain in the Republic of Korea Army assigned to teach Taekwondo to ARVN troops in Vietnam. He left a deep and lasting impression upon young Chau, who has dedicated his life to teaching Kang Duk Won Taekwondo.

After the war, Grand Master Ahn Gun Soon used to return to Vietnam to preside over promotion exams until his death in 2018.

Grand Master Ahn Gun Soon (left) with Grand Master Nguyen Kim Chau in 1996

By 1970, Chau was a Taekwondo instructor for the South Vietnam military’s Van Kiep National Training Center, and until 1975 he was director and head instructor of its Taekwondo Department.

After the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, however, he was incarcerated for 32 months in one of the Communist government’s concentration camps for ARVN officers. Humbled but unbroken, he spent the next four years training by himself, until 1982 when he was appointed Taekwondo Head Coach for the 11th district of Ho Chi Minh City.

From 1989-1994 he headed the Taekwondo Club of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City and was also appointed to the Vietnam Taekwondo Promotion Test Commission, while also serving as assistant professor of Taekwondo in the Martial Arts Department of Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City.

World Kang Duk Won Moo Do Academy promotion test, Ho Chi Minh City, 2013. Left to right: Grandmaster Nguyen Kim Châu, Master Huỳnh Châu, Master Henry The (USA), Master Hoshin Trung, Master Philip Phong (USA), and Great Grandmaster Ahn Gun Soon (Korea).

In June, 2010, Grand Master Chau was promoted to 8th Dan at the Kukkiwon in Seoul, Korea. His following in Vietnam continues to grow. He is the founder and technical director of the World Master Kang Duk Won Moo Do Academy.

Today Nguyen Kim Chau is revered as a Grand Master by hundreds of Vietnamese Taekwondo followers, including students and high level masters. He travels the world over promoting Kang Duk Won Moo Do, with branches in Vietnam, USA, France, Japan, Australia, and Norway.

Grand Master Chau may be contacted at