R.I.P. Dr. Dennis Burke, 3 June 1930 – 15 May 2022
Kangdukwon Taekwondo has lost a stalwart friend in the late Dr. Dennis Burke.
“We have lost a wonderful cosmopolitan and friend,” says Master Chong. “Dr. Burke served all U-M Taekwondo tournaments and advised free of charge in the early years of University of Michigan Taekwondo activities. As Chairman of the United States Taekwondo Union, he always provided free service and advice in support of Kang Duk Won Taekwondo activities.”
Dennis R. Burke “Stoney”, MD was born on June 3, 1930, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was a Veteran of the Korean War, graduated from U-Michigan with his medical doctorate in 1961; was in private family practice in Ann Arbor for over sixty years.
Past Chairman of the United States Taekwondo Union (USTU) Medical Department (1993-1995) Dr. Dennis Burke passed away on Sunday, May 15th, 2022.
He was a veteran of the Korean War, graduated from U of Michigan with his medical doctorate and was in private family practice in Ann Arbor for more than fifty years.
Dennis Burke, who had been a kick boxer, first encountered taekwondo in the person of Hwa Chong in the 1960’s. Dr. Burke was also was one of the coaches of the U-Michigan Boxing Team and was a big backer of Master Hwa Chong and the U-Michigan Taekwondo Club.
Dr. Dennis Burke 10165 North Platt Road, Milan, Michigan 48160 Mrs. Louis Burke (734)-764-8325
Hwa Chong, World Kangdukwon Kwan Jang Nimand President addresses senior WKF officers
[Ann Arbor, Michigan, 14 August 2021] After nearly seventy years of training and teaching Taekwondo, Hwa Chong, the Kwan Jang Nim of Kangdukwon Taekwondo, continues to urge Taekwondo students of all ages and levels to grow and evolve both as martial artists and as human beings. Taekwondo training and principles, he says, should be understood and applied at all levels and all periods of our lives, otherwise we fail to live up to our full potential as human beings.“We must evolve as individuals and as a federation also. Who can show the way for going forwards?”, he asked a small gathering of senior students from Kangdukwon’s first decades in America.
“We must break out of our shells and evolve” —Hwa Chong
Grand Master Hwa Chong was attending a gathering of his senior students in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Among the chief topics of discussion was the future of the World Kangdukwon Federation with the full retirement of Grand Master Chong.
“I am now 82. So I am not sure how much longer I can carry on. You need to make these decisions for yourselves. I am now like the figurehead on a ship, there only for show,” he said to a gathering of senior Taekwondo students and officers from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s.
Addressing the issue of WKF leadership succession indirectly, he praised Chung Ju Yung, who rose from poverty to build Hyundai, one of Korea’s and the world’s most successful business empires. He urged Kangdukwon students and teachers to study the book Made in Korea: Chung Ju Jung and the Rise of Hyundai.
“In the future, Kangdukwon leaders should be like Chung Ju Yung,” who, he said, embodied all the qualities valued in Kangdukwon: discipline, determination, courage and a willingness to accept risks in the service of his corporate family and the Korean nation.
Taekwondo, he said, was born in the crucible of the Korean War (1950-53), when Communist forces pushed free South Koreans until they had their backs to the sea. They could have accepted the inevitable and fled, but they fought back tenaciously under extremely tough circumstances and saved the nation. That is what is called the Spiritus Invictus, the unconquerable spirit of Korea and Taekwondo, he said.
Korea’s per capita income was only US$67 in 1953. Today it is over $34,000. Because of the spirit and hard work of Chung Ju Yung and other hard-working Koreans like him, today Korea is among the world’s most developed economies.
“In the future, we should develop and master not martial skills, but business skills. We should work together to conquer markets instead of territories.”
“Don’t forget the North Star!Now I have given you a compass. So use it! Otherwise, without a compass you will get lost and come to a bad end.”
“If you follow honeybees, they will lead you straight to nectar. Follow flies and they will lead you into a pile of dung,” he reminded his students.
It is like that with martial arts also. Authentic Kangdukwon Taekwondo can lead one to the greatest heights of whatever you wish it to be. But follow the wrong dojang or teacher, and in the end one meets with bitter disappointment.
“We must not become tied to traditions. We must keep changing and evolving. That is the spirit of Taekwondo.” –Hwa Chong
“As I have always taught you, avoid attacking an opponent’s strengths. Attack his weaknesses instead.”
Hwa Chong recalled General George Patton, the American general whose ‘three keys to military victory’ were “Audacity, audacity, audacity!” He had learned his lesson from Napoleon Bonaparte, whose motto was “Audace! Toujours l’audace!”
That audacity, that willingness to undertake bold risks or surprising innovations, is what in Taekwondo we simply call spirit.
Grand Master Chong’s concluded by saying, “We must not become locked into traditions. We must keep changing and evolving. Otherwise one gets left behind.” That is true for the individual, true for one’s nation and true for Kangdukwon Taekwondo as well.”
Jim Wigginton Topples World Records in Quest to Defeat Thyroid Cancer
[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.
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.”