Korean Martial Arts - Huron, SD

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Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan

Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan/Traditional Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan*

Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan

After the liberation of Korea in 1945, five major schools (Kwans) of martial arts were founded.  The roots of what later would be known as Chang Moo Kwan (c. 1953) began in 1946 with the introduction of YOON, Byung In and LEE, Nam Suk.   The two met in 1946 and had a shared interest in training and teaching martial arts. LEE, Nam Suk (21) had taught himself "Shotokan," through a discarded textbook written by Gichin Funakoshi, and was already teaching. YOON, Byung In (26) had more formal training in Shutokan and Chan Fa and had returned from Japan.  According to secondary sources, LEE and YOON both began teaching at the YMCA in Jong Ro, Seoul, in early September 1946.  LEE, Nam Suk noted in an interview that they both initially had separate classes at the YMCA (YOON teaching Kwon Bup Bu and LEE his version of Shotokan or Kong Soo Do) and shortly after combined their classes after agreeing on a curriculum. LEE, Nam Suk shortly went on to teach Kong Soo Do at the Ministry of Communications in May 1947, where he worked. The Ministry of Communications was one of the few places to still have electricity during this period.  YOON, Byung In continued to teach his Kwon Bup Bu at the YMCA until his disappearance in 1949/1950.  Training at both locations was interrupted by the advent of the Korean War on June 5, 1950. The Korean War lasted until 1953.

After the Korean War, YOON, Byung In was still missing and LEE, Nam Suk and senior students reopened the Kong Soo Do program at the Ministry of Communications as the Chang Moo Kwan (“Institute of martial arts to produce right person”).  LEE, Nam Suk was elected President.  During the mid-1950’s, due to the expansion of the Chang Moo Kwan in Korea, LEE, Nam Suk spent less time teaching at the headquarters and more time visiting associated instructors and Dojangs (schools)

In 1961, the Kwan leaders got together and unified in a single organization, The Korea Taesoodo Association, in accordance with the decree of the Ministry of Education. LEE, Nam Suk was appointed General Director of this new organization. This organization was later renamed the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA). LEE, Nam Suk held various posts with the KTA and was appointed Executive Council member of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).   The present World Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan is a member of the WTF and follows the WTF/Kukkiwon guidelines and curriculum.  

LEE, Nam Suk travelled widely to places such as the United States, West Germany, Guatemala, the Republic of China, Curacao, Venezuela and Panama, to name a few, spreading Chang Moo Kwan Tae Kwon Do and supporting instructors and students regardless of race.  LEE, Nam Suk continued to travel and support the Chang Moo Kwan as its president until c. 1982, and afterwards when he retired and eventually moved to the San Franciso area in the United States.  LEE, Nam Suk was followed in the Korean World Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan presidency by KIM, Soon Bae (1982-2009) and KIM, Joong Young (2009-present). 

The Vaillancourt’s support the World Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan and the Chang Moo Kwan Taekwondo USA. These organizations support the World Taekwondo (or WTF) curriculum.  

Grandmaster Vaillancourt performing the 13th move in the World Taekwondo 9th dan Poomsae "Ilyeo."

Traditional Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan The roots of Traditional Chang Moo Kwan evolved from a meeting of Jon Wiedenman and LEE, Nam Suk in San Pedro, California in 1998.  Jon Wiedenman had trained in Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan under CHUNG, Dae Woong and LEE, Nam Suk had sat on numerous of his dan promotions both in Korea and California.  The 1998 meeting resulted in LEE, Nam Suk coming out of retirement and teaching general classes at Jon Wiedenman’s San Pedro YMCA and private lessons to the senior students.  As a result of this training and Jon Wiedenman’s “open cup” philosophy to learn, LEE, Nam Suk promoted Jon Wiedenman, his last senior student to 9th dan in Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan in April 2000.  LEE, Nam Suk taught Jon Wiedenman and his students Chang Moo Kwan material from his tenure with the Kwan that he wanted to preserve as his legacy for the future, material not currently being taught by the World Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan. Sadley LEE, Nam Suk passed in August 2000.  To honor of his instructor’s Chang Moo Kwan legacy and to preserve the material important to LEE, Nam Suk, Jon Wiedenman formed the Traditional Chang Moo Kwan.  The Traditional Chang Moo Kwan curriculum contains a series of unique older forms, one/three-step movements and other material not currently taught by the World Taekwondo Chang Moo Kwan.

Grandmaster Vaillancourt teaching Sara Lee, the daughter of Chang Moo Kwan Tae Kwon Do Founder Grandmaster LEE, Nam Suk, one of her father's original forms (Kibon Sam).

In a chance meeting between Jon Wiedenman and Dana Vaillancourt in South Dakota in 2022 (Jon was on his way to be inducted into the Tae Kwon Do Hall of Fame and his family grew up in the Huron area), a friendship and a shared love of Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan and its history formed a strong bond between the two.  Mr. Vaillancourt learned the traditional Chang Moo Kwan forms and traveled to San Pedro, California for a two week stay with Mr. Wiedenman.  With Mr. Wiedenman’s moral and technical support, Mr. Vaillancourt learned the Traditional Chang Moo Kwan curriculum, history and philosophy to share with his students and to preserve this LEE, Nam Suk legacy. The Vaillancourt's proudly support the Traditional Tae Kwon Do Chang Moo Kwan and its legacy material is taught as a separate training module within the Vaillancourt curriculum to dan students.



*This information is based upon actual interview footage with LEE, Nam Suk around March 2000.  The interview clarifies the early period (1946-50) of the foundation of the Chang Moo Kwan which may differ from popular secondary sources.  The interview recordings are in possession of Jon Wiedenman.





6th Dan Promotion (Mr. Gilbert)


4th DAN PROMOTION (Mr. Gavurin)

3RD DAN PROMOTION (Mrs. Vaillancourt)