Grandmaster Eung Choon Ahn
Grandmaster Eung Choon Ahn is one of the original pioneers and founding fathers of modern Tae Kwon Do. Born in Pyoungbook, North Korea in 1941, Grandmaster Ahn escaped with his family to Seoul, South Korea 10 years later. In 1953, marking the cease fire of the Korean War, Grandmaster Ahn began training in tae kwon do at the age of 12. In 1955, he earned his 1st degree black belt.
He has received countless awards and distinctions for his accomplishments throughout his fifty years of training. In 1960 Grandmaster Ahn became the first person to demonstrate tae kwon do on television. He entered the R.O.K. Army in 1962 and was responsible for initiating tae kwon do training to the branch known as the military police. He served in the Vietnam War from 1966-1969. The following year, Grandmaster Ahn began instructing tae kwon do to the Korean Intelligence Agency and Special Forces. He was the R.O.K. Army Lightweight Division Champion and the winner of the International Open Karate Championships held in Tokyo, Japan. He traveled throughout the Orient demonstrating martial arts as a member of the Asian Tae Kwon Do Demonstration Team. He received the esteemed Presidential Award from General Choi Hong Hi. As coach of the Korean Green Beret Team, his squad won the national championship known as the Presidential Flag Competition.
Grandmaster Ahn was allowed to emigrate to the United States of America in 1974 based on his credentials as a tae kwon do expert. He had been hand picked by General Choi Hong Hi, the founder of modern tae kwon do, to spread the art in America. He opened the first ever marital arts school in Macon, Georgia in 1974 and has been operating continually for 30 years. His accomplishments continued as he coached the Men’s, Women’s and Junior’s Southeastern Champions in 1977. The same year he was selected as the Executive-Vice President of the American Tae Kwon Do Association, the largest martial arts group in the United States. For his work teaching local law enforcement, he was awarded Honorary Deputy Sheriff of Bibb County. He was appointed President of the North American Contingent of the World United Martial Arts Federation. Acknowledged for his dedication by fellow masters of differing martial arts, he was inducted into the Karate Hall of Fame in Ohio in 1988.
Remaining true to General Choi’s personal charge to him, Grandmaster Ahn left the A.T.A. and established the Hae San Martial Arts Association in 1985, making Middle Georgia the national headquarters. In 1993, after 40 years of training and teaching, Grandmaster Ahn achieved the pinnacle of martial arts, the 9th degree black belt, the highest rank attainable. He has reached what millions strive for but only few achieve and gained the admiration and respect of many thousands of students who have been privileged enough to be trained by someone of his character, expertise, drive and knowledge. Perhaps his greatest achievement will not be his own personal success, but the legacy he will leave behind by those he has taught.