The United States Taekwondo Won (USTW) was formed to preserve and maintain a legacy in the United States which promotes and practices the true traditional Taekwondo martial arts history, philosophy, values and ideals. The roots of the martial art that we now call Taekwondo comes from ancient Korea, but has been firmly settled in the United States since the 1950’s. You can learn more about Taekwondo history by clicking on the Taekwondo History tab. Through the efforts of such groups as the World Taekwondo Federation and the Kukkiwon, Taekwondo has spread throughout the world as an exciting and popular Olympic sport. Today, Taekwondo includes more than six million practitioners in the United States of America.
The great global success and popularity of Taekwondo as a sport, and its inclusion in the Olympic Games, is a noteworthy accomplishment. This primary emphasis on “sport” and “competition” has raised serious concerns, however, over the practice and purpose of Taekwondo training, in general. Are we to turn our backs on the rich history and traditional purpose of martial arts training and, instead simply follow whomever is the best fighter or the most successful coach? Is this the value and purpose of Taekwondo that we wish to pass on as our legacy to the coming generations of Taekwondo martial arts practitioners in the United States of America and the world? Is this the Taekwondo martial arts legacy that we believe will be a real benefit for the American and global civilizations as, together, we must face the new and important challenges waiting for us in the future ahead?
In 1999, these concerns for the future legacy of our traditional Taekwondo martial arts being practiced in the United States, and in the world, finally became action at a meeting of six (6) Korean Grand Masters. The birth place of the USTW–whose purpose would be to preserve, develop and promote the true traditional Taekwondo martial arts history, values and philosophy in the United States–was at their meeting place in Huntsville, Alabama.
At that inaugural meeting were the six (6) USTW founders: Grand Master Sok Ho Kang from West Virginia; Grand Master Il Ho Kim from Alabama; Grand Master Chan Hak Park from Virginia; Grand Master Myung Kun Oh from Florida; Grand Master Moo Yong Lee of Connecticut; and, Grand Master Kyongwon Ahn from Ohio. These Grand Masters, and those that have followed through the ensuing years, have formed the United States Taekwondo Won into the only national, not-for-profit and charitable organization that is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of true traditional martial arts history, philosophy, values and ideals. Please note that we say we wish to preserve traditional martial arts history, philosophy, values and ideals and not some particular style of martial art. No one in the USTW seeks to proclaim that any individual style of Taekwondo martial arts is superior or more genuine than any other individual style. We want to join together with all those like minded martial arts practitioners who wish to spread traditional martial arts history, philosophy, ideals and values for the betterment of the lives of the students, who are training in our programs, and for the improvement of our society in the United States of America and in the world.
Founders of the USTW
(from left to right) Grand Master Myung Kun Oh, FL; Grand Master Moo Yong Lee, CT; Grand Master Sok Ho Kang, WV; Grand Master Kyongwon, Ahn,OH; Grand Master Il Ho Kim, AL; Grand Master Chan Hak Park, VA.