USAT Honors Grand Master Al Cole


Yellow Belt
Mar 20, 2011
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Near Cleveland, Ohio
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 15, 2013—The USA Taekwondo Transitional Board of Directors would like to recognize Grandmaster Walter “Al” Cole for a lifetime of service, dedication and contribution to the sport.

Instrumental in the Olympic adoption of taekwondo and the further development of the U.S. Taekwondo Union (USTU), Cole served as the Team Leader for the 2000 Olympic Qualification Event held in Porec, Croatia, prior to taekwondo’s Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games. At the 2000 Olympics, he also served as the U.S. delegate. Cole graduated from the Kukkiwon Academy in 1998 and is the former President of the USTU Ohio State Taekwondo Association.

“Grandmaster Cole worked tirelessly to introduce the ancient art of Taekwondo into the modern Olympic Games,” said Anne Chase, Chair of the USAT Transitional Board of Directors. “His knowledge and insight is sought by players and non-players, white belts and Olympic medalists from Korea to Cleveland. USA Taekwondo is honored to recognize Grandmaster Cole and his lifetime of contributions to the art and sport of Taekwondo.”

Cole resides in Mentor, Ohio, with his wife, Cathy. His two sons, Allen and Joe, are both 5[SUP]th[/SUP] Dan and teach taekwondo at Cole’s Taekwondo, following in their father’s footsteps.


Master Black Belt
Nov 24, 2009
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Indeed it is. He is a good man and a good representative of the art.

He is.

I've had more than a few disagreements with GM Cole, but I have nothing but respect for what he does in taekwondo and who he is as a martial artist and a person.


Orange Belt
Dec 16, 2011
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Lawrenceburg, Indiana
I haven't seen it on the board posted but wasn't sure if anyone knew of Grandmaster Cole's passing on February 18, 2013??? This from Wes Dees page on Facebook. It is with great saddness that I tell you my friend and Taekwondo mentor Grandmaster Al Cole passed away this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with Al's family. As I have said before, Al was the most influential person in my martial arts career. We met at the Ahn Classic Taekwondo Tournament in the mid 1990's. I was new to the Ohio Taekwondo scene then and Al made it a point to meet me and welcome me. After that meeting Al and I began to talk on a regular basis. Over the years Al made it possible for me to experience many great opportunities. To many to talk about here. Experiences I will remember for the rest of my life. Al was a great friend and mentor to me and he will be sorely missed

Earl Weiss

Senior Master
Jan 27, 2009
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GM Cole was always the gentleman.

Sad that sometimes people have to die to be "recognized".

In 2000 I hosted General Choi. Only two local Korean instructors came to see him .

A few months after he died a memorial service was held in a suburb about a 15 minute drive from where I hosted General Choi. I heard (I wasn't invited - probably a good thing) about 40 Korean instructors were in attendance at the memorial service.