Potential: AMA Style Q&A with Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Drew Ahn-Kim, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Drew Ahn-Kim

    Drew Ahn-Kim Yellow Belt

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    Hey guys,
    So its been incredibly moving to see some of you reference my grandfather and his students, as well as the immense knowledge of TKD and its roots that many of you have. My grandfather is nearing 80 but has a razor sharp mind (we just watched UFC 195 last night, and he once again beat me calling the fights.)

    I'm not sure what the best format for this would be, but would anyone be interested in doing a variant of the Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn?

    I'm currently putting together a number of things for his 80th birthday and getting a lot of his students involved, so I've already been having him recount several stories from the days in Korea, the early 60's, the Olympic bid period and I feel as though this knowledge should belong to all students of the art.

    D.
     
  2. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't have the TKD background to have any relevant questions, but I'd love to see his perspective on the evolution of the art over the years.
     
  3. Drew Ahn-Kim

    Drew Ahn-Kim Yellow Belt

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    He's also an avid fan of Martial Arts and Combat Sports in general. Growing up he'd watch boxing, then as UFC came around he began to watch that and even at 80 he'll ask me to explain certain ground transitions. He now has full understanding of the control positions, as well as the basic submissions that are there.
     
  4. TrueJim

    TrueJim Master Black Belt

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    I tend to want to know more about “pioneer” stuff rather than more contemporary stuff:

    Q: According to Wikipedia, GM Ahn started studying taekwondo when he was 12 years old, in 1949. How did he get his start? What drew him to martial arts? Did he have many choices about where to study, and if so, how did he decide which school to attend?

    Q: What was it like to teach martial arts for the Korean Army in the late 50s and early 60s? We’ve had a lot of discussion on this forum recently about how modern soldiers don’t receive much hand-to-hand combat training…what was the military martial arts training like in Korea back then?

    Q: What drew Ahn to relocate to Ohio in the late 60s? Did he move to the U.S. in part to spread taekwondo, or did he just want to move to the U.S. for other reasons, and spreading taekwondo was a fortunate side-effect?

    Q: Again according to Wikipedia, Ahn originally taught Tang Soo Do in the U.S. but then later switched to teaching Kukkiwon-style taekwondo. When did he switch, and why?
     
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  5. Drew Ahn-Kim

    Drew Ahn-Kim Yellow Belt

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    I know a few of these but I'll transcribe answers directly from him when I next talk to him.
     
  6. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I would absolutely be interested in this. Not sure what questions I would ask, as they would probably be triggered by others, but either way I would love to hear his answers.
     
  7. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Two questions that I would be interested in are:
    Do you still actively practice Taekwando? If so, how has your training regiment changed throughout the years, as you've gotten older?
    As you watch MMA, who are your favorite fighters? As someone who's practiced (I'm assuming since I don't see anything suggesting otherwise) only Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do, do you feel that the fighters give enough emphasis on the striking aspects, and what do you think you could teach the top fighters?
     
  8. IcemanSK

    IcemanSK El Conquistador nim!

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    I've had a few quick interactions w/ GM Ahn, but more with a few of his master-level students. Both GM Ahn & his students have struck me as wonderful people of integrity. Please pass onto him that has no gone unnoticed in the TKD community.

    I would ask. 1) What direction would he like to see Kukki-TKD go in the future? 2) Who would he like to see as KKW president? 3) What do you make of the change from the importance of one's kwan vs. the current thought of what college TKD program one's master attended?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but I appreciate his willing to speak on these.

    Thank you!
     
  9. Drew Ahn-Kim

    Drew Ahn-Kim Yellow Belt

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    Hey guys, I will be answering these questions as they come in from my grandfather. He celebrates 80 next year but has full mastery of his desktop, iPad and iPhone. The only edits made will be to fix typos.
     
  10. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    I would love to know more about my KJN and GM Ahn's early martial arts days, according to Kang Uk Lee's book, both GM AHN and GM S.H. KANG joined the MDK around the same time, but I don't know where the came from prior to this. As I understand it, the two were childhood friends.
     
  11. reeskm

    reeskm Green Belt

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    Is this still going on?
    I have a few questions.
    As a Tang Soo Do only stylist, I have met very few Koreans that started in the MDK in the 1940's. I am very hungry for any information, as there is way too much speculation out there, and not enough first hand accounts or information.

    Q1) There is a lot of speculation about Hwang Kee, the man and his background. What was he really like as a person? What was his skill level like? A lot of people say that Hwang did not know any Tang Soo Do at all in the 1940's, and that he learned it or was taught it by the other Kwan leaders. Others say that he made up the story about learning Kung Fu in Manchuria, because nobody can find out who this Yang Kuk Jin was. Are these rumours true, or did he know what he was doing and was he just as good as everybody else in Korea at the time?
    Q2) Which dojang did GM Ahn join as a beginner. Where was it, and what did it look like? Who was his first teacher and what does he remember about the training conditions in those days?
    Q3) I have long wondered who it was in Taiwan that came to do demonstrations with his students in Seoul in the 1950's. Does GM Ahn remember who it was? What style of kung fu were they? (See my thread about it here: Korea/China (ROC - Taiwan) friendship tournaments in the 1950s)
    Q4) What was the curriculum like in 1949 and 1950 before the Korean war? Did it include Judo, Hapkido or Kung Fu techniques? Or was it mostly Tang Soo Do only?
    Q5) There are very few books or articles written regarding stories or tales from Korean masters of Tang Soo Do or Taekwondo. Could GM Ahn share a story about his life and adventures as a young man and about martial arts? Did it ever get him out of a tricky situation, or was there any memorable time or event that he recalls with fondness? Would he be willing to share his stories about the Korean War and how Korea has changed and modernized since then? What was it like when he moved to the USA?

    Thanks so much for putting on some kind of Q&A. This is such a fantastic idea. I am so excited to see the results and read the responses!123
     
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