Portugal

Kangdukwon bridges Languages and Oceans

Kim Chang-Hak spreads Kangdukwon across the Hispanic speaking world

Marcelo Ruhland on the history of Kangdukwon in South America and Portugal

Grand Master Kim Chang-Hak is seen at center flanked by Masters Fernando Branco and Marcelo Ruhland. Promotion exam at Fernando Branco's dojang in Portugal, 27 June 2016.
Grand Master Kim Chang-Hak at center flanked by Masters Fernando Branco and Marcelo Ruhland. Promotion exam at Tigre Branco Academy in Portugal, 27 June 2016.
Kim Chang Hak's 6th dan Kang Duk Won Mudo Association ID card
6th dan Kang Duk Won Mudo Association ID card of Kim Chang Hak

Grand Master Lim Moon Kyu was the Kangdukwon master who taught taekwondo to Master Kim Chang-Hak. At the age of fourteen he reached 1st dan in taekwondo. In 1966, already at 2nd dan, he began teaching taekwondo at a dojang located in Ulchiro-5-GA, in the center of Seoul, Korea.

Grand Master Chang Hak Kim introduced Latin America to Kangdukwon taekwondo.
Grand Master Chang Hak Kim introduced Latin America to Kangdukwon taekwondo.

In 1976 Master Kim Chang-Hak emigrated from Korea, settling first for two years in Paraguay, where he became vice president of the Paraguayan Taekwondo Association. In 1978, he emigrated to Chile, where he became president of the Chilean Taekwondo Association.

Finally, in 1981 Master Kim Chang-Hak arrived in Brazil where he created the Brazil Eagle Club, where Taekwondo Kang Duk Won and Hapkido Kuk Sool Kwan alike were practiced and integrated to an extent.

The author Marcelo Ruhland with Grand Master Kim Chang Hak, 2012
Master Kim Chang-Hak sparring
Master Kim Chang-Hak

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in Portugal, Master Fernando Branco had long been feeling “fed up” with the politics of taekwondo in his country. He resolved to deepen his understanding of taekwondo by associating with a genuine Korean taekwondo master, but there were none then and there are still none today.

Kim Chang Hak and Marcelo Ruhland (2008)
2008: Kim Chang Hak with Marcelo Ruhland

In 2012, at Master Kim Chang-Hak helped bring Taekwondo Kang Duk Won to Tigre Branco Academy and directly supervised master Fernando Branco. He is currently residing in Peru where he teaches Hapkido and Taekwondo, as well as continuing to provide technical support to his students.

I have many Taekwondo students who train Hapkido with me and I have my soul brother, Master Fernando Branco who has been doing a magnificent job teaching taekwondo in Portugal for nearly 35 years. We seek your support to develop and honor Kangdukwon and its grandmasters across the Hispanic speaking world.

Promotion exam conducted in Portugal at Master Fernando Branco's dojang in Portugal in 2016 under the supervision of Grand Master Kim Chang Hak and Master Marcelo Ruhland.
Promotion exam conducted in Portugal at Master Fernando Branco’s Tigre Branco Academy in Portugal in 2016 under the supervision of Grand Master Kim Chang Hak and Master Marcelo Ruhland.