The Ultimate fighting Art

 Brief Story of our founder 

The Great Grandmaster Suh Chong Kang was born on September 29th 1929 in Shineuju, North Korea.  His father Young Jhoon Kang was one of the richest man in Korea.  He was called the “Lumber King” because he owned most of forests in North Korea’s Shuneuju region and owned the only lumber mill that supplied all of Korea and Japan, his name is actually in the Japanese history books as the “Lumber King”. The Company name was “Sahm Man Im Up Ju Shik Huwe Sah” He also owned a large steel mill in Seoul, South Korea. GGM Kang lived in Seoul's, tuk behl shi jong ro gu myung yoon dong, the most exclusive section in Seoul Korea. 

 At the age of nine he was introduced to Subakdo by his then teacher Chun and later was introduced to Yudo, by the Japanese school system, where he achieved 2nd dan during the Japanese rule.  At the time Korean nationals were not allowed to learn any fighting arts, and were executed if they knew or had linkage to any fighting art.  But the Japanese allowed the students to study Judo, Yudo in Korean, thinking that it was just a sport.  When GGM was nine years old his father was assassinated by an older first cousin and his men, who wanted to steal his property and businesses. 

 In 1944 under secrecy, the late GGM Lee opened his first school, calling it Chung Do Kwan.  GGM Suh Chong Kang already experienced in Yudo wanted to study something new.  Under the guidance of GGM Lee, his techniques flourished, his hand techniques got stronger and his kicks deadly.  GGM Kang achieved 2nd dan and soon after GGM Lee said that he had to leave the Country because he was accused of plotting to kill the Korean president, Seungman Lee.  In 1949, GGM Lee sailed on a merchant ship to Japan and the next time he would meet his teacher again was in 1973, in Arlinton Virginia, some 26 years later.  

 GGM Lee left the helm to a junior black belt by the name of Songduk Song, who was seven years older than GGM Kang, thinking that GGM Kang was too young to take over as the head of Chung Do Kwan, even though he was the highest ranked he was 19 years old.  GGM tried to fulfill his teacher’s wishes but Mr.Song was inexperiences and was not the most senior black belt, so a lot of black belts left discontented, including GGM Kang. Later, Mr. Song was overthrown by a junior black belt name Umeun Kyu, now the president of Kukkiwon, the head training facility for World Takwondo Federation. Soon after GGM left Chung Do Kwan to finish his University education at Dong Kuk University, a month later the Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950. 

 GGM Kang being educated, which was only allowed for the most privileged and well-connected Koreans, and having fighting skills, he became in charge of student militia of around 100 men. Throughout the three year war he lost all of his men.  GGM became a hero of sort after the War, and on August 10th, 1953, two weeks after the end of the Korean War, he founded Kuk Mu Kwan.  One thing Korean martial arts practitioners have to remember, is that independent martial arts of Korea were called kwans, and every kwan competed against each other kwan.  There was a lot of pride and creativity and some of the most unique and talented martial artists rose to stardom, and Great Grand Master Suh Chong Kang was one of them.

 GGM Suh Chong Kang was the most senior student of Chung Do Kwan,  founded Kuk Mu Kwan in Inchon, South Korea.  At this time after the Korean War, Korean military needed to train and prepare the troops better.  So then a Korean General by the name of Honghi Choi wanted the military to incorporate martial arts training so he called on GGM Kang and named him a civilian contractor where he served 11-years in military intelligence division called H.I.D., the predecessor to today’s KCIA. GGM resided in Inchon where he had three sons, Chungsun, Hosun and Taesun. In 1969 GGM immigrated to the U.S. by the invitation of Duhson Song and later opened the first tae kwon do kuk mu kwan school in Brooklyn in 1970, in Sheepshead bay section of Brooklyn.

 GGM having a great hand in development in I.T.F., consulted General Choi in making of chunji forms in 1968 along with his junor Jhoon Rhee. As in the past, senior black belts taught color belts.  Some of the famous students of the past are Dukson Song(over a year GGM junior), Jhoon Rhee, eunkyu Um, Hangun Lee(ATA founder), Nam Tae hi, He Ill Cho(taught him in munsan branch of kuk mu kwan), Pugill Kwon(Navy UDT, but did not have self-defense program so GGM taught at H.I.D. training facility) and gave a green belt examination to World Taekwondo Federation founder, Kim un Young(at Richard Chun’s dojang in 1969)

Some of his friends were Kyokushinkai founder, Mas Oyama.  They would meet in New York City many times, where his daughter studied fashion. GGM Kang was also a personal friend of Hwang Kee, the founder of Moo Duk Kwan.  GGM said that he never saw him demonstrate any skills but was a great person. 

 In 1970, Immuk Kim and his former student and a clerical worker at H.I.D. office, Hangun Lee wanted GGM to become the President of ATA.  He was the President for 11-years and resigned because he was not paid and his expenses piled up after eleven years.  From 1970 through early 80’s were golden years for ATA.  All of the Korean Masters in the U.S. were members, but when GGM Kang left, so did all the Korean Masters.  If you look at ATA history, they erased all records of Korean masters influence in ATA.

When GGM was at H.I.D. he befriended General Choi and they been drinking buddies ever since(they were both great drinkers of johnny walker).  In 1973 GGM met General Choi(got exiled by President Park Jung Hee), who lived in Toronto wanted GGM Kang to become the Vice President of I.T.F., which he maintained for 7-years.  GGM Kang resigned I.T.F. because he wanted him to travel to North Korea together, their homeland, but could not because his brother in-law was in South Korean Government.

Soon after leaving both ATA and ITF, GGM decided to go on his own and started ATF and developed his own basics , forms, self-defense and fighting style to reflect the departure from two prominent associations.  Some of the ATF members and Dan recipients were Lee Jong Dae of Queens NY, Kim Suk Joon of NYC, Bae Won Keun of N.J., Chang Tae Rang of N.J., and Ye Bong Choi of N.J. 

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