Grand Master Zang credits his success to having studied under many great instructors who have guided his journey as a martial artist.
General Choi Hong Hi
Founder of Taekwon-Do
General Choi Hong Hi was born on November 9th, 1918, in the Hwa Dae Myong Chun District of Korea.
At the age of twelve he started to study Taek Kyon, an ancient Korean method of fighting with the feet. Later, when he was studying in Japan, he met a Karate teacher who helped him earn his first degree Black Belt in less than two years. He then intensified his training, striving to earn his second degree. Around the same time, he started teaching.
Conscripted into the Japanese army during World War II, he was posted to Pyongyang where he was imprisoned. Wanting to maintain his good physical and mental health during his imprisonment, he practiced karate, alone at first, then by teaching it to the staff of the prison and the other prisoners.
Becoming an officer in the new Korean Army after the end of the war, he continued to teach his martial art to his soldiers as well as to American soldiers serving in Korea.
His beliefs and his vision of a different approach to teaching martial arts led General Choi to combine elements of Taek Kyon and Karate techniques to develop a modern martial art. He called it Tae Kwon Do, which means “the way of the feet and the hands”, and this name was officially adopted on April 11th, 1955.
In 1959, General Choi was named President of the Korean Taekwon-Do Association. Seven years later, on March 22nd,1966, he created the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). As the Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the ITF, he had the ability to share his art with students everywhere. Today, Taekwon-Do training is available around the world.
After a life dedicated to the development of Taekwon-Do, a modern martial art based on traditional values, philosophy, and training, General Choi, Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, died of cancer on June 15th, 2002, in the country of his birth.
Grand Master Jong Soo Park
Pioneer of Taekwon-Do
Grand Master Park was born in 1941 in Chung-Nam, Korea. He held a 9th Dan black belt in Taekwon-Do. At the age of 14, and since then, he has been the instructor of the Police Training Centre of Chun Bok in Korea and of the famed Tiger Division of the Korean Army.
In 1964, he became Korean National Champion, and in 1965 he made a trip on request of the Korean Government, as a member of the Goodwill Mission for Taekwon-Do, demonstrating this art before the highest civil and military authorities of the countries they visited. In that same year, he was invited to Germany as the coach of the German Taekwon-Do Association.
In 1966, he left Germany to go to Holland where he founded the Netherlands Taekwon-Do Association. In the beginning of 1968, he left for Canada and now has his own schools in the Greater Toronto Area.
In November 1973, Grand Master Park made another world trip to promote Taekwon-Do in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Grand Master Park is known as one of the greatest of Taekwon-Do’s pioneers.
After a long illness, we lost Grand Master Park in November 2021. As described by Grand Master Chuck Gorino, “He was soft-spoken yet possessed a ‘fire’ inside that when ignited, was an unmatched force. His physical prowess and power coupled with his technical skills and knowledge made him the best of the best. To know Grand Master Park was to know Tae Kwon-Do. His loyalty and dedication to the founder, General Choi Hong Hi, was unwavering.”
Grand Master Robert Maloney
Grand Master Robert “Bob” Maloney is the Founder and Head of the Catholic University of America Martial Arts Club, which is affiliated with The Simba Organization, founded by Grand Master Furman Marshall.
Grand Master Maloney has been a martial artist for nearly 45 years. He is the first and only 10th Dan martial artist to graduate from Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctorate.
His instructors have included American hero and space shuttle astronaut Dr. Donald McNair, Karate sports legend Mike Warren, Albert Cheeks and martial artist icon Grand Master Furman Marshall.
He was rated #1 to #3, regionally and nationally, in the Senior Fighting and / or Forms Division by PKL for nearly 20 years.
Grand Master Maloney has won many awards within the Simba Organization, some of which are:
- Icon Award
- Sampson Award
- Ultimate Martial Arts Love Award
- Elite Diamond Warrior of Honor Award
- Warrior of Honor Award
- Pioneer Award
What is Grand Master Maloney most proud of? ” …bringing life to Senior fighting, assisting Dr. Ron McNair to become an astronaut; …and promoting to the rank of Black Belt men and women, who would become future doctors, lawyers, PhDs and scientists.”
Grand Master Bruce W. Cummings
Grand Master Bruce Cummings has over 40 years of martial arts and boxing experience. He was awarded his First Degree black belt in Taekwon-Do by General Choi Hong Hi, the founder and father of traditional Taekwon-Do, President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF). He achieved his 8th Dan in Taekwon-Do in 2015 and is also a master instructor of Karate (American Karate Black Belt Association in Ju Jitsu) which he achieved in 1988. He was inducted into the Karate National Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Cleveland in 1989. Master Cummings was an AAU Junior Olympic coach, USTU National Junior Olympic Coach, and refereed for the US Karate Association and the US Taekwon-Do Association.
Grand Master Cummings helped pioneer boxing and kickboxing events on the same card, which was unheard of in the 1980s and early 1990s. Among others, Grand Master Cummings trained Master Zang in kickboxing in the 1980s.