Suh Chong Kang

KANG, Suh-chong started his martial arts training in 1938 in Yudo, Su Bahk Do, and later became a student of Tang Soo Do/Kong Soo Do under Lee Won Kuk (Chung Do Kwan founder) and is a graduate of the first class of Chung Do Kwan Black Belts. In 1953 he founded his own branch of Tae Kwon Do and named it Kuk Mu Kwan. From 1957 to 1969 Kang served as the head instructor of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA), formerly known as Korean Military Intelligence Agency, and from 1960 to 1968 he was the commanding instructor for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army.

Kang came to the United States in 1969, already an 8th Dan Black Belt, with his family and founded his own Tae Kwon Do academy in Brooklyn, New York. Physically he was known for his power, breaking techniques, and superior knowledge of the Chang Hon Forms. He became the first President of the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) from 1969 to 1978. However his name is not mentioned in the history of the ATA. Even though Haeng Ung Lee (ATA Co-Founder) was a student of Kang. This is due to the political take over of the ATA by H.U. Lee in 1978. Previously there had been a highly influential Chung Do Kwan Grandmaster, Myung Kil Kim, who moved from Korea to South Bend, Indiana, USA, and was as an advisor to the ATA.

In 1977, Grandmaster Myung Kil Kim died of throat cancer and the political structure of the ATA changed. H.U. Lee, then an 8th Degree and ATA vice-president, took over as President. The ATA continued to use the Chang Hon system of forms created by General Hong Hi Choi, following Choi's 1965 book on Taekwondo as a Bible reference guide. In 1983 the ATA discontinued using the Chang Hon forms as its base curriculum and H.U. Lee created the Song Ahm Forms for the new system. This made him the founder of the "New" American Tae Kwon Do Association and Song Ahm Taekwondo, which is very different from the original Chung Do Kwan/Oh Do Kwan version. After leaving the ATA, Kang, Suh Chong served as Vice President of the International Tae Kwon Do Federation (ITF) from 1977 to 1983, and President of the American Taekwondo Federationn from 1978 to 1995.

Before his death, Lee Won Kuk promoted Grand Master Kang Suh Chong to 10th Dan Black Belt. Making him the first of the original Chung Do Kwan Black Belts to receive this honor.

Today at age 79 Kang still teaches and is the Chairman of the All American Tae Kwon Do Federation (AATF) and the World Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan Federation. His Tae Kwon Do system continues to grow through the teachings of his 3 sons, all of whom are masters themselves and have their own schools and organizations as well. The Kang Tae Kwon Do System has schools in the New York Metropolitan Area and Puerto Rico. Also, they have established Tae Kwon Do clubs at MIT and Johns Hopkins University.

In April 2009, Grand Master Kang was inducted into the Tae Kwon Do Hall of Fame.

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