Month: July 2021

Kangdukwon Moo Do in Vietnam

The Next Generation

by Master Nguyen Quang Cuong
Songlong Martial Arts Training Ltd. Co.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Kangdukwon Taekwondo, introduced to Vietnam by Korean Grandmaster (then ROK Army captain) Ahn Gun Soon in 1966-1969 during that nation’s decades-long armed struggle, has survived repeated hardships and challenges over the intervening decades. 

Thanks to Grandmaster Soon’s student and successor Grandmaster Nguyen Kim Châu, Kangdukwon Taekwondo took root in Vietnam and today boasts several schools with hundreds of students, mostly in Ho Chi Minh City but also with many branches abroad. Here one of Grandmaster Châu’s senior students describes the challenges that Kang Duk Won Moo Do today faces–and the characteristic resolve of Kangdukwon in Vietnam to overcome those challenges.


Master Nguyen Quang Cuong (far left) congratulates leading senior students.

“I am Nguyen Quang Cuong, born in Vietnam in 1983. In 1991, at age fourteen I began to learn Taekwondo as a student of Grandmaster Nguyen Kim Chau. In 1994 I advanced to 1st dan; in 1996 2nd dan; in 1999 3rd dan; in 2004 4th dan; in 2010 to 5th dan; and in 2017 to 6th dan–all certified by Korean Grand Master Ahn Gun Soon, our Grandmaster Chau’s teacher.

Our beloved master Nguyen Kim Chau once held a strong position in Vietnamese Taekwondo. However, since his retirement, our Grandmaster Chau is almost retired, and in 2018 his teacher Grandmaster Ahn Gun Soon also passed away.

ang Duk Won Moo Do training in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Classes are large and facilities are basic, but dedication and eagerness to learn and improve are common throughout all ranks.
Kang Duk Won Moo Do training in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Classes are large and facilities are basic, but dedication and eagerness to learn and improve are common throughout all ranks.

In 2017, I established Songlong Martial Arts Training Ltd. Co., a private martial arts training company in Vietnam. We operate six schools, including four schools in Binh Chanh District and two schools in Binh Tan District of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Our schools teach two hundred children and a hundred adults, with 20 lecturers, 20 assistants, and several peer coaches from 1st dan up to 5th dan.

Due to circumstances in Vietnam, Kangdukwon has not been officially recognized here. So generations like ours are not connected with other masters to help with advancement. Today, thanks to the connection with WKF, we can express our aspirations to go forward in the right direction to join the WKF and the Kangdukwon Taekwondo family of the world.

Master Nguyen Quang Cuong
The author, Master Nguyen Quang Cuong

We need the opportunity to meet the senior masters of Kang Duk Won in Korea and the USA, so our generation and future generations may enjoy officially recognized Kangdukwon Taekwondo in Vietnam. We respectfully welcome Kangdukwon Taekwondo masters to facilitate and realize the our wish to transform, to promote the World Kukkiwon diploma, to participate, to connect as official members of the World Kangdukwon Federation. And so our national Kangdukwon Taekwondo federation may be legally recognized in Vietnam. Thank you very much, masters!”

WKF-Kangdukwon Moo Do Accord

Following five years of deliberations, discussions and negotiations, the World Kangdukwon Federation has agreed to recognize Grand Master Ahn Gun Soon‘s senior Vietnamese student Nguyen Kim Chau and his most dedicated senior students as peers and equals of Kangdukwon students of WKF Chonggae and President Hwa Chong. It is worth noting that both Grand Masters Ahn Gun Soon and Hwa Chong had themselves learned Kangdukwon Taekwondo in the same dojang at Kwangju High School directly from the co-founders of Kangdukwon.

As such, we are recognizing not only our common Kangdukwon heritage, but also the adversities and challenges that our Vietnamese brethren have faced ever since the 1960s. More details are found in the WKF’s letter of certification of 16 April 2021 that reads as follows:

World Kangdukwon Federation
34004 Edmonton Avenue
Farmington, Michigan 48335 USA
16 April 2021

Nguyen Kim Chau, President
World Master Kangdukwon Moo Do Academy
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Dear Sir,

Official Letter of Certification

Thank you for your letter of application dated 2021.02.08 and sorry for any delay in processing. 

On the authority of the founders of Kang Duk Won Taekwondo, I am pleased to inform you that the World Kangdukwon Federation hereby recognizes and grants full membership to you and your association. Our ruling is as follows: 

  1. The current ranks of Nguyen Kim Chau (9th dan) and senior most students are hereby recognized.
  2. The World Master Kang Duk Won Moo Do Academy is hereby recognized together with its affiliated dojangs as a certified member organization of the WKF world body.
  3. The WKF hereby waives all fees and authorizes you to fix, collect and spend promotion fees of your students and dojangs to promote Kangdukwon Taekwondo in Vietnam and worldwide.
  4. You along with your appointed representatives are hereby invited to serve in WKF technical and administrative capacities. 
  5. World KDW Federation certificates shall be designed and printed in the USA under GM Han-won Lee. However, you are authorized to print official WKF certificates up to 7th dan bearing the likeness of my signature as Chonggae and President. All certificates for 8th dan and higher will be personally approved and signed by me.
  6. The effective date for all of the above shall be 1 February 2021.

I welcome you and your students to our world body and look forward to more great achievements.

[signed]

Hwa Chong
Chonggae and President
World Kangdukwon Federation
HC: ph

enc: List of World Master Moo Do Academy Senior Certifications

Kang Duk Won Moo Do’s Global Success

Ahn Gun Soon and Nguyễn Kim Châu, 1996

[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Taekwondo Grand Master Nguyễn Kim Châu and the global brand of Kang Duk Won Moo Do are at last receiving a warm welcome into the World Kangdukwon Federation community. It has not been easy. After decades of struggle and out of sheer dedication to the sport and its masters, students of Kang Duk Won Moo Do today are spreading the art across four continents of the world.

“Our mission is to train exemplary patriots and world citizens.”

—  Grand Master Nguyễn Kim Châu

Kangdukwon Taekwondo was introduced to Vietnam in 1966 by Great Grand Master Ahn Gun Soon who as early as 1953 had trained with Great Grandmaster Hwa Chong when both were students at Kwangju Jaeil High School. From 1966 to 1969, Korean Army Captain Ahn Gun Soon and Captain Kim Tae Sup were assigned to teach Taekwondo to Vietnamese troops, including the future head of Kangdukwon in Vietnam, Nguyễn Kim Châu.

Patrick Harrigan, the WKF spokesman responsible for communicating with Vietnam since 2016, says, “We salute Grand Master Chau and all his colleagues who have persevered in carrying the torch of authentic Kang Duk Won training and philosophy, even under the most challenging circumstances. There is no parallel among Kang Duk Won masters anywhere.”

“There is much more to Kangdukwon Moo Do than mere fighting. We learn life-changing values that deepen and grow over time, like discipline and respect for others, including our opponents in a match. Yes, we learn to respect even strangers and foreigners,” says Grand Master Nguyễn Kim Châu. 

At center: Grand Master Dinh Cong Tien, Grand Master Nguyễn Kim Châu and Grand Master Do Quang Trung

“There is much more to Kangdukwon Moo Do than mere fighting. We learn life-changing values that deepen and grow over time, like discipline and respect for others, including our opponents in a match.”

—Nguyễn Kim Châu, Grand Master

“Our Kang Duk Won Moo Do students learn to compete against each other and against outsiders. Finally, we are competing against ourselves,” says Grand Master Châu.”Our Kang Duk Won Moo Do students learn to compete against each other and against outsiders. Finally, we are competing against ourselves,” says Grand Master Châu. “Our mission as a school is to train exemplary patriots and world citizens.”

Kang Duk Won Moo Do workshop conducted at Hong Bang University, Vietnam by Master Hà Văn Toán in 2016
Center: Grand Master and Technical Director of Hoshinsul Department Do Quang Trung (at center), 8th Dan Kangdukwon, 5th Dan Hapkido and 5th dan in traditional martial arts of Vietnam

Above center: Grand Master and Technical Director of Hoshinsul Department Do Quang Trung (at center), 8th Dan Kangdukwon, 5th Dan Hapkido and 5th dan in traditional martial arts of Vietnam

Third standing from left GM Nguyen Son, 9th Dan; 4th is GM Nguyễn Kim Châu, 9th Dan; 6th from left is GM Do Quang Trung, 8th Dan

“Our mission is to train exemplary patriots and world citizens.”

— Grand Master Nguyễn Kim Châu

Huy-Tung Chieu, born in Vietnam in 1970, began his Taekwondo training in Vietnam at the age of 11 at Ho Xuan Huong Club. Introductory Kang Duk Won Moo Do to learn Hoshinsul training for Security Bodyguards. Then promoted to the 5th Dan level in 1997. Master Huy-Tung went to the USA to continue teaching Taekwondo. And from 2017 training more Hoshinsul.

Today Huy-Tung Chieu is an 8th Dan Taekwondo master based at Youth Taekwondo Center in Santa Ana, California with more than forty years of experience in practicing, training and teaching Taekwondo in Vietnam and the USA.

In 1981, at age eleven, Huy-Tung began studying Taekwondo at Ho Xuan Huong Club in Vietnam. During this time, Tung won multiple awards at championship tournaments. In 1995, after his instructor Truong Van Hai emigrated to USA, Huy-Tung Chieu studied Kangdukwon Taekwondo under Grand Master Chau who is holding 9th Dan in Kangdukwon Taekwondo.

Above: Grand Master Do Quang Trung, 8th Dan Kang Duk Won Hoshinsul and students, 2019

Master Nguyen Quang Cuong, 6th Dan

Master Hà Văn Toán, Lecturer Physical Education, University International Hồng Bàng, 2018
Grand Master Hung Chau, 8th Dan Kang Duk Won with Security Forces at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, 2015
Master Nguyen Quang Cuong, 6th Dan Master Hà Văn Toán, Lecturer Physical Education, University International Hồng Bàng, 2018 Grand Master Hung Chau, 8th Dan Kang Duk Won with Security Forces at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, 2015 Meeting of GGM Ahn Gun Soon’s classes of 1965-69 JMA (Vietnam and USA) at CA USA 2016
Master Nguyen Quang Cuong, 6th Dan Master Hà Văn Toán, Lecturer Physical Education, University International Hồng Bàng, 2018 Grand Master Hung Chau, 8th Dan Kang Duk Won with Security Forces at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, 2015 Meeting of GGM Ahn Gun Soon’s classes of 1965-69 JMA (Vietnam and USA) at Southern California, USA 2016
Strong–And Growing Stronger: Social gathering of martial artists at University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City, 2019.

Kangdukwon in Pakistan

Pakistan Kang Duk Won Federation News

PKF Demo at Frere Hall Park, Karachi with Grand Master Saleem Jehangir (left) and Master Shahid Mir, January 2021

[Karachi] Even under prevailing pandemic conditions, the Pakistan Kangdukwon Federation (PKF) continues to push forward on its journey of building Kangdukwon Taekwondo in Pakistan, adding clubs while also building greater public awareness of Kangdukwon Taekwondo through workshops and public demonstrations.

With the 2018 opening of the Mir Martial Arts Club in Islamabad before moving it to Karachi, the PKF has also added the Markaz Martial Arts Club to its club roster in 2019. In 2021 Markaz Martial Arts Club opened a second club in Karachi’s elite Defence Colony are, where both Taekwondo and training Mixed Martial Arts training are offered.

Students of these clubs have conducted joint exhibitions of traditional Taekwondo as a martial art, and sport Taekwondo as it is evolving as an Olympic sport. Taekwondo exhibitions were held at large public parks commonly used for celebrations and festivals, including Frere Hall Park, Aunty Park and the even larger Clifton Park, all located in the elite area of Clifton in Karachi. The displays attract many spectators who may also attend a sample class of Taekwondo training later on the park grounds.

Frere Hall Park demonstration participants

Mir Martial Arts Academy has opened its first club in Karachi, at Boat Basin in Clifton. The club’s current membership count has exceeded twenty.

The Markaz Martial Arts Club has opened another branch in Defence Housing Society, Karachi. In addition to TKD, this club also has Mixed Martial Arts in it.


Grand Master Saleem Jehangir, who trained directly under his master Hwa Chong in the 1960’s and 70’s as a University of Michigan student of , was the Asian subcontinent’s first-ever Taekwondo black belt and is widely known as the ‘Father of Taekwondo in Pakistan’. The Founder and President of the Pakistan Kang Duk Won Federation, he is also a Vice-President of the World Kang Duk Won Federation. GM Jehangir is a frequent chief guest and speaker at Taekwondo tournaments, dojangs, schools and at demonstrations and other Taekwondo events across Pakistan.

The Jim Young Photo Collection

Tang Su Do and Taekwondo in 1960s Michigan

U-M TKD Club founder Jim Young’s archival collection of martial arts photos

Jim Young sparring at a tournament in 1963
Tang Soo Do Club of Wyandotte, MI 1963
Detroit Tang Soo Do in1964
Jim Young demonstrates poomsae in 1961
Jim Young demonstrating side-kick at a demo in 1961
The Ann Arbor Observer ran a photo story about the University of Michigan Taekwondo Club in 1968. Here Jim Young parries a kick from Mark Olson of Milwaukee as French black belt Ed Beall looks on at center. The photo caption ran as “Karate, an oriental sport which requires long hours of practice and rigourous self-discipline, is rapidly gaining in popularity in Ann Arbor and across the nation. Shown here are members of the University of Michigan’s Tae Kwon Do(Karate) Club at a recent practice session.”
Left to right: Carl Stolberg spars with Dr. Ergun Ar as Jim Young, Patrick Harrigan, Jack Hoyt and and other U-M TKD Club members observe.
Jim Young demonstrates the form Nianchi.
Spring 1970 workshop in Muskegeon, MI featuring visiting Grandmaster Park Chull-hee (far left), Hwa Chong (far right) and a host of seniors and juniors.