Grandmaster Tae Hong Choi Passes Away

March 10, 2009, 6:30 p.m. (ET)

USA Taekwondo has been notified that Grandmaster Tae Hong Choi passed away early Sunday morning (March 8). 

Grandmaster Choi was a Jidokwan member who was a Korean National Champion from the early 60's. He also joined the ROK Marine Corps and served in Vietnam as part of detail that guarded the U.S. Embassy. He spent some time training with Sensei Mas Oyama. GM Choi moved to Portland in the early 70's and basically founded Taekwondo in Oregon, producing such champions as Scott Rohr and Naim Hasan who became the middleweight representative on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Taekwondo Team. Another student of GM Choi's, Master Leon Preston, served as an International Referee at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

GM Choi founded the Oregon State Taekwondo Association and the Northwest Black Belt Association and was its president for 30 years. When the AAU was originally the governing body for Taekwondo in the USA, GM Choi was one of the vice-presidents, and was very active in the USTU, at one point serving as USTU Vice President.  GM Choi was a 9th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, 5th Degree Black Belt in Judo, and 5th Degree Black Belt in Hapkido.

He owned and operated his own Taekwondo school in Portland, Ore., and taught at Portland State University, Mt. Hood Community College, and Lewis & Clark College. GM Choi has changed thousands of lives in his years of training and teaching.