Vietnam

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 grandmasterchau.moodo@gmail.com.