The Ahn Taekwondo Classic celebrated its 50th anniversary in April of 2017. In spite of the inclement weather, more than 500 participants spent the day competing in forms, breaking and sparring competition.
Grandmaster Ahn was the Honorary Chairperson for the Classic – traveling to Cincinnati from his home in California to be with us. This year’s competitors and dignitaries came from Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, New York, Kentucky, and California. And, more than 60 schools were represented by competitors.
We want to thank all of the referees, sponsors, volunteers, and parents who helped to make the event a success. Note that preparations have already begun for next year’s event which will be held on April 28th, 2018. For details, visit the tournament website at http://www.ahnclassic.com.
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.
The United Taekwondo Association has established the following testing schedule for color belt and black belt promotion testing this year:
Friday, January 27th – Color Belt Test
Saturday, March 11th – Black Belt Test
Friday, March 31st – Color Belt Test
Friday, May 19th – Color Belt Test
Friday, July 14th – Color Belt Test
Friday, September 15th – Color Belt Test
Saturday, October 14th – Black Belt Test
Friday, November 10th – Color Belt Test
This past week, three of our UTA schools had teams that competed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the AAU National Taekwondo Championships.
Competitors from all three schools have been training and competing since September 2015 in preparation for their performance at Nationals, and all of the preparation truly paid off! All of the competitors exceeded our high expectations.
Congratulations to the following UTA competitors:
RJ Gerhardt – Gold Medal in Forms
Master Robert Gerhardt – Silver Medal in Olympic Sparring, Bronze Medal in Forms
Zion Ivery – Bronze Medal in Forms
Nick Magaletta – Bronze Medal in Olympic Sparring
Master Ryan Newburn – Silver Medal in Olympic Sparring
Cassie Parkos – Silver Medal in Olympic Sparring
Jaylee Sowders – Bronze Medal in Olympic Sparring
Brett Updike – Bronze Medal Forms
There is now an easy way to see the many photographs taken at United Taekwondo Association events. Just click on the Picassa button at the top left corner of our home page, and it will take you to an archive of photos. Enjoy!
We recently had two UTA Black Belts participate in the Tae Kwon Do US Open Hanmadang in Denver, Colorado. Congratulations to both Master Debbie Gutzwiller and Mr. Tom Myers for their outstanding performances!
Results are as follows:
1st place traditional forms
1st place creative forms
2nd place team traditional forms
1st place power spin back kick breaking
1st place power skipping side kick breaking.
2nd place traditional forms
2nd place team traditional forms
1st place power skipping side kick breaking