I have a growing library of TKD books as I am sure that most of you do as well. I was looking for new editions and I cam across Benko's book on TKD defense against weapons on Ebay. It was cheap so I bought it. I was wondering about his other books. This is James Benko that heads up the International Taekwon-Do association and other organizations. Has anyone read his books? Would you recommend them? Thanks
I have been looking into his lineage but without much luck. He states that his original Taekwon-Do teacher was Ki Jun Lee. The only information that I can find on Ki Jun Lee is on Benko's website. I was wondering does anyone have any more pertinent information on (Grand) Master James Benko?
I have a lot of problems with his history. First he claims to learn Hapkido and Taekwondo in 1958 by Lee, Ki-jun. While there may have been such a person exisiting, there is no proof of him teaching in the US at that time. First Hapkido was not widely practiced at all in S.K. In fact the founder did not open up a formal dojang until 1958. So it is hard to fathom how one can learn from another when most likely the other never learned yet. Secondly, since he claims ITF (Ohdokwan or Chungdokwan), I do not believe they dispursed instructors around the world until early 60's though GM Weiss would know better on this. Plus I do not see Lee, Ki-jun as one of the first generation students under Ohdokwan or Chungdokwan. So again this throws up a red flag. Finally, he claims to be teaching these arts to the Vietnamese during his stint in 'Nam. However, it was Choi's people who were supposedly doing this. I do know of a legit HKD master, GM West who was in 'Nam and learned his HKD from Korean Tiger forces. So again it is suspect that Benko was teaching.
Finally his sword work only comes up with his name in the searches, so again...suspect. At this point I would be cautious in pursuing anything dealing with his teachigns.
Thanks for the reference. I cannot provide more info on this topic.
I have a while to go before GM Status. Don't want to think of myself as being that old.