WARWICK — On Sunday, Jan. 28, more than 150 students from as far away as Mexico, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts assembled at the Chosun Taekwondo Academy to pay tribute to the good deeds and actions of a true icon of the martial arts.
Taekwondo pioneer and legend, Grandmaster Richard Chun, 9th degree black belt and one of the highest ranking master instructors within the borders of the United States, passed away Nov. 15, 2017. He was best known for his landmark textbooks, “Tae Kwon Do: The Korean Martial Art” and “Advancing in Tae Kwon Do,” which serve as a blueprint for traditional taekwondo schools worldwide.
Hosted by Grandmaster Doug Cook, owner of the Chosun Taekwondo Academy and a senior student of Chun for more than 20 years, the memorial celebration consisted of a video retrospective depicting the grandmaster’s rich life, followed by remembrances by a diverse group of students who have been loyal disciples since the 1960s.
Musical performances were offered up, both instrumentally and vocally, by local artists E’lissa Jones and Patricia Lurye Dempster during the event.
Yet, all eyes were on Kwang Hae Chun, the grandmaster’s widow, as she rose to approach the podium. Her resilience and grace were evident as she shared stories both profound and humorous of her late husband.
“It was humbling to see so many of Grandmaster Chun’s long-time students present, most of whom hadn’t seen one another for decades,” Cook said. “It struck me that this would likely be the last time all would be together under one roof. My teacher was a giant in the martial arts community. I am just honored that, in my smallness, I was accepted by him as a student, benefiting from his wisdom. I will miss him terribly.”
For information on the programs offered by the Chosun Taekwondo Academy, which is located on Galloway Road in Warwick, visit www.chosuntkd.com, call 845 986-2288 or email the school at email@example.com.