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The Person Behind Choi Kwang Do Martial Arts

The Person Behind Choi Kwang Do Martial Arts

Many people ask me "What Is Choi Kwang Do? What martial art is it based on?" The easy answer is that it is its own unique style that is not derived from any other martial art. It is unique because it was developed by a very knowledgable and talented Grandmaster who wanted a modern martial art suitable for everyday people to help them to be fitter, healthier, and to live longer.

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This is a very interesting back-story and once you read it, you will know what Choi Kwang Do is all about, so grab a cuppa and settle in.

Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi developed CKD Martial arts between 1978 and 1987, and over the years it has proved to be an extremely effective martial arts system that allows students to train in safety.

Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi was born on March 2, 1942, in Daegu City, Korea, which was under Japanese control at the time. He started training in martial arts at the age of 12 because his father was concerned that Kwang Jo was small and physically weak, and he wanted his son to be able to protect himself in the war-torn streets. The first official martial arts that he trained in was Kwon Bup, a form of Korean karate.

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During his national military service, Kwang Jo became a chief instructor in the 20th infantry division and was introduced to General Choi (the founder of Taekwon-Do) when the military began to use that sys¬tem for unarmed combat. After complet¬ing his military service, Kwang Jo traveled to Seoul to see General Choi, who taught him the art. Shortly thereafter, Kwang Jo was named a chief instructor for the In¬ternational Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and taught martial arts instructors from all over Korea and overseas. At the same time, Kwang Jo served as an instructor for the national police department and taught many military instructors and members of the armed forces.

In 1967, the ITF sanc¬tioned him as one of six instructors to demonstrate and promote Taekwon-Do throughout Southeast Asia.

Due to the lockout movements of his traditional martial arts training, however, Kwang Jo injured his body, which forced him to move to North America for medical treatment in 1970. After visits with many doctors, Kwang Jo decided to try rehabilitating his own body without surgery. He also studied physical therapy techniques and slowly began to recuperate and heal his condition. It was during this process that Kwang Jo started realizing that the harsher, lockout movements used in conventional martial arts had caused his injuries. As a result, he began to study anatomy, physiology and human-movement sciences.

From 1978 to 1987, as Kwang Jo completely restored his body, he incorporated everything he had learned into a new martial arts system called Choi Kwang Do, which translates as "the art (or method) of Kwang Choi." It is now one of the most modern martial arts, health and fitness programs in the world, with schools located in many different countries including the United Kingdom (Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland), Canada, Greece, Russia, Argentina, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Barbados, Nepal, Russia, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Peru, Chile, Moldova, Hong Kong, Australia, Netherlands, Algeria and South Korea.

Grandmaster Choi has also taught Choi Kwang Do to the American military at Fort Benning, Georgia, the largest infantry training center in the U.S.; to the U.S. Rangers; to Georgia law enforcement officers; to narcotic agents; and to tens of thousands of dedicated Choi Kwang Do students around the world.

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At 78 years of age, Grandmaster Choi is a living testimony to his art. He punches and kicks with incredible agility, speed and power; he is in outstanding health; and he still teaches regularly. Under his watchful guidance, he has made Choi Kwang Do what it is today.