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  1. #1
    DerAuslander's Avatar
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    KMA Forum Honors: Hee Il Cho

    Today, Taekwondo pioneer Hee Il Cho turns 69 years old. It is important to understand that not only has he been present for much of Taekwondo's developmental history, but also that he has been responsible for carrying that development forward in a way that few can claim.

    Hee Il Cho began his martial arts studies at the age of 10. This would have been 1950. To give you some context, that's the same year that the Korean war broke out. He began his training in Gongsudo/空手道, the Korean outgrowth of Japanese karate that would eventually become modern Taekwondo. After decades of Japanese occupation and a civil war, Korea of the time was less than third world status, and Grandmaster Cho speaks of the immediate necessity of gaining practical fighting skills in those days. Even from an early age, Grandmaster Cho believed that the only way you could learn how to fight was to actually engage in hand-to-hand combat. He began his training in the rough & tumble era of post-Occupation Korea. It was a time before the government unification of Taekwondo, in which students of rival schools often settled their disputes on the street.

    At the age of 21, he was selected as a hand to hand instructor for the South Korean Army. In 1969 he travelled to the US. Here, he became involved in the development of full contact Taekwondo. It was at this time he realized the limitations of the training he had received, and before Bruce Lee began the cross-training craze, looked to boxing to refine and expand upon the traditional karate-baed Taekwondo hand striking skills he'd learned.

    Grandmaster Cho was an early advocate of the benefits of full contact fighting, even in an era when start-stop point fighting reigned. As time continued, he also encouraged training in grappling and groundfighting.

    From the outset, Grandmaster Cho has advocated the development of the complete martial artist, not only through the development of all the skills necessary to be a well-rounded fighter, but the approach of the martial arts as a way of life that has benefits for all of those willing to undertake it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hee Il Cho
    ...if you're not going to emphasize sparring, you must teach them self-confidence and self-control, but how can you expect true confidence without an emphasis on sparring? You won't know what a true martial art is and what it can offer you. Fighting is imperative in the martial arts. Without fighting, you're not understanding total and complete martial arts, because until you get physically hit by someone, you won't know if something works.
    1989 Interview in which he criticizes point sparring tournaments in America and board & brick breaking:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6crM4xPCxM0

    Grandmaster Cho on the heavy bag at age 67:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkPGvlimGdI
    Note the BJJ banner behind him.

  2. #2
    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    An inspiration. I love reading about cool old martial art dudes.

  3. #3

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    The man is one of the finest Martial Artists in the world , Ive read alot of his books. His kicking ability is sublime
    Move along citizen ,nothing to see here !!!!!

  4. #4
    DerAuslander's Avatar
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    Grandmaster Cho & myself several years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerAuslander108 View Post


    Grandmaster Cho & myself several years ago.
    Der when did u grow hair and turn asian with bowl hair cut? Haha, joking aside. Too bad there are not more school of his thought.

  6. #6
    ZenOfAnger's Avatar
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    Very nice!

    *subscribes*
    Let your anger be like a monkey trapped inside a pinata; waiting inside, hoping that the children don't break through with the stick.

    -Master Tang (Kung Pow! Enter the Fist)

    A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones who need the advice.
    Bill Cosby

    The believer is happy, the doubter wise.
    Greek proverb

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicko1 View Post
    Martial Talk is not neutral, it's just neutered.

  7. #7

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    This highlites the problem Ive seen over and over in not just KMA but JMA as well .
    Ive seen Taekwondo instructors that were totally awsome and have unbelievable skills but they teach watered down versions of their art . Ive seen the same with JMA instructors. Its if they want to keep secrets of their arts to themselves .
    Its refreshing to see a master like Master Cho cause they are rare indeed.
    Move along citizen ,nothing to see here !!!!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerAuslander108 View Post


    Grandmaster Cho & myself several years ago.
    Very nice
    Move along citizen ,nothing to see here !!!!!

  9. #9
    DerAuslander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babo78 View Post
    Der when did u grow hair and turn asian with bowl hair cut?
    Gee, didn't see that one coming...babo...

    Quote Originally Posted by babo78 View Post
    Too bad there are not more school of his thought.
    For real. His training methodologies deserve to be more widely spread.

  10. #10
    DerAuslander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxguitar View Post
    This highlites the problem Ive seen over and over in not just KMA but JMA as well .
    Ive seen Taekwondo instructors that were totally awsome and have unbelievable skills but they teach watered down versions of their art . Ive seen the same with JMA instructors. Its if they want to keep secrets of their arts to themselves .
    Its refreshing to see a master like Master Cho cause they are rare indeed.
    I think a part of it is fear that if you train people "the real", most won't be able to handle it and you won't be able to stay in business.

    I think Grandmaster Cho has done an amazing job of proving that false. If you're ever in Pittsburgh, go train with Master Ameris. The dojang is well-equipped and has a huge, family-like atmosphere. I always enjoyed training there.

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