Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn was born in Seoul, Korea. His training in the martial arts began when he was twelve years old and continued through his residence in Korea. He served an internship with his instructor, Master Chang Bok Lee, as the Master Instructor for the Korean and American armies from 1955 through 1967.
He emigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio to begin teaching Taekwondo in August of 1967. In 1971, he founded the United Taekwondo Association (UTA) to help bring reputable martial arts instruction to the U.S. The goals of the UTA were to promote uniformity and standardization for the martial arts. In 1967, Grandmaster Ahn began instruction at the University of Cincinnati, where he still serves as an advisor. He has also taught at Miami University of Ohio and Xavier University.
During the 1970’s when Taekwondo was beginning its climb to national and international status, Grandmaster Ahn was a member of the founding Board of Directors of the National AAU Taekwondo Committee (which later became the United States Taekwondo Union (USTU)). His work was adopted by the Technical Standardization Committee. From 1986 to the end of 1992, he served as President of the USTU, which is the national governing body for Taekwondo. Grandmaster Ahn, as President of the USTU, lead the United States Olympic Taekwondo teams in 1988 in Seoul, Korea and in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. He contributed greatly to Taekwondo becoming a full medal sport at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
In addition to his other activities, Grandmaster Ahn has served as the Chairman of the Ohio AAU Taekwondo Committee, Acting Chairman of the National AAU Taekwondo Promotion Committee, and head of the United States team at the 3rd World Taekwondo Championships in 1977. As a 9th Dan Grandmaster Instructor, Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn is licensed and accredited by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) as a Class 2 International Referee and Master Instructor. He is widely known and respected nationally and internationally as a leading figure in Taekwondo—and as a tireless organizer and a dedicated master teacher.
Grandmaster Ahn has trained over 1000 black belts, including some to the level of Master, and over 50,000 students. Many of his students have received national recognition in competition and international recognition for their instructor and refereeing skills.