(Denver, CO) – The world ‘historic’ gets misused a lot in the martial arts world, but the weekend of June 15-18th truly held a once in a lifetime series of events.
For the first time ever, the Kukkiwon held an 8th and 9th degree black belt test outside of Korea, and it was right here in Denver! About 200 people applied for the test but only 100 were approved. Master Ghassan Timani took the test as well as Master Andre Olivera, who was a main instructor of KAT during the mid 90s. Master Han Cho came from Ithaca as well. He was excited to visit KAT and said “I feel like I have found a new TKD Family.” Master Cho was Master Bill’s main teacher while he attended Cornell University and he is the creator of grappling drills A-J and one of the main reasons we train grappling at KAT.
In addition to the High Dan test, there was also a Kukkiwon Masters License Course. The 40 hour course is usually done over 5 days, but our group was the first to do it in just two days. The last session went 21 hours from 8 am Saturday morning to 5 am Sunday morning. It certainly wasn’t easy, but 7 KAT masters attended the course.
We learned a ton, and are excited to share it with our students.
Besides all this, the US Open Hanmadang was also held at DU. KAT Students competed and did very well, while Master Laron, Instructor Sir, and Instructor Donna refereed.