While in Korea last July (1998), I was looking through some old issue of Taekwondo magazines at the Sang Moo Sa store on Kukkiwon-Gil (Kukkiwon Street), just down the hill, past the main gate from Kukkiwon. In the Korean language magazine "World Taekwondo", August 1997 edition, I found this interview with my Great-Grandmaster Lee, Chong Woo of the Jidokwan. Here is a rough translation of the article for those interested. Jidokwan was one of the five original Kwans and "Root to the birth of modern Taekwondo ." Al Cole

Roots to the birth of modern Taekwondo - is Jidokwan

By Chong Woo Lee

Supreme Grandmaster LEE, Chong Woo. 2nd Student of CHUN, Sang Sup. 

Jidokwan, as meaning of the "way of wisdom", has developed through the root of Chosun Yun Moo Kwan. Jidokwan, especially took a main role for the Kwan unity act, the new executive committee drove the act positively.

Initiative role for the Kwan Unity

For myself, for the Kwan, for the country, based on these three words, Jidokwan was founded in March 3rd of 1946. The Jidokwan was first titled as Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan Kong Soo Do Bu.

The Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan first founded by CHUN, Sang Sup, the first grandmaster of Jidokwan.

Master CHUN, Sang Sup first started his martial arts career in Judo during his high school years, then he attended Dong Yang Chuck Sik (Takushoku) College in Japan, where he mastered Karate.

Founded by Sang Sup Chun


Great Grandmaster CHUN, Sang Sup - 1948

After graduating from college, Chun, Sang Sup returned to Korea, and started to teach Taekwondo to black belt Judo trainees in the Yun Moo Kwan, which was located in Soo Song Dong, Seoul at the time. Lee, Kyung Suk was the grand master of the Yun Moo Kwan during that time and Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan was a Judo dojang.

After the surrender of Japan in world war II in August 15th, 1945, Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan moved there location from the Soo Song Dong to So Gong Dong, where the Japanese Gang Duk Kwan used to be located, and officially announced the opening of the Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan as branch of the Korea Taekwondo.

At that time, Taekwondo was called Kwon Bop. The first trainees of the new Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan Club were, Chun, Ill Sup, brother of Master Chun, Sang Sup; Pae, Young Ki; Kim, Bok Nam; Lee, Chong Woo; Pak, Hyun Jong; Lee, Byung Lo; Chung, Jin Dong; Kim, Chun Sun, they later became members of the Jidokwan.

Chun , Ill Sup first popularized the Taekwondo to the state of north Jun-La (Cholla buk do), Bae, Young Ki served 3rd Grandmaster term for the Jidokwan, and Lee, Chong Woo served 2nd and 4th grandmaster terms and they became the main leaders of the Jidokwan.

Yet, Park, Hyun Jong gained the strength of Jidokwan from the reign of the Pusan and Lee, Kyo Yun from Han Moo Kwan joined the Jidokwan and founded the Han Kuk Chae Yuk Dojang (Seoul) and acted as master while he was working for the police communications department.

The title Jidokwan first used from Pusan in 50'

Grandmaster PAE, Young Ki (above). First student of CHUN, Sang Sup

Pae, Young Ki had the earliest relation with Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan. He started his first training from the Soo Song Dong period

Great Grandmaster YOON, Byeong In (above).

Best friend of CHUN, Sang Sup, this picture was taken when he was a Sabum at Chosun Yun Moo Kwan in 1948. While studying in Japan, Master YOON became a student of Kanken Toyama Sensei. After teaching for Master CHUN for about 1 years, he opened the YMCA Kwon Bop Bu (Chang Moo Kwan) with LEE, Nam Suk. He disapeared during the Korean War. However, Pyung Soo Kim states that he made contact with Master YOON by writting letters to him in North Korea. Jidokwan and Chang Moo Kwan are considered brother Kwans as Master YOON and Master CHUN were often called brothers due to training together so much.

YOON Byeong In, the founder of Chang Moo Kwan, also worked as master for one year in the Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan in 1947. Later he went to the YMCA and then founded the Chang Moo Kwan.

Great Grandmaster YON, Kwai Byeong (above). Trained in Chuan Fa in Manchuria. Also trained and was certified as a Shihan (Sabum) under Kanken Toyama while studying in Japan. Became 2nd Sabum to work for Master CHUN. After Master CHUN disapeared in Korean War, the original students of Master CHUN voted Master YON as Jidokwan 1st President. However, in the mid 1960's, Master YON opposed Kwan unity and was voted out of Jidokwan. Chong Woo Lee became the 2nd Jidokwan President.

With appointment of new master YON Kwai Byeong, who was known as a great master among the Karate field, Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan became very active.

In June 25th 1950, the Korean War started and the Grandmaster Chun, Sang Sup, founder of Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan, was abducted to North Korea. And during the evacuation period in Pusan, the Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan changed their name to Jidokwan. Lee, Chong Woo first suggested the change of the Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan's title and with the agreement of YON Kwai Byeong, Chosun Yunmookwan Club became Jidokwan.

"After the abduction of master Chun, Sang Sup during the Korean war, I have suggested to YON Kwai Byeong for the change of the title and with his agreement, I suggested the appointment of YON Kwai Byeong as the grand master", said Lee, Chong Woo.

Jidokwan became very active and gained their strength in 1953, when Jidokwan extended their organization on the Han Kuk Chae Yuk Dojang’s (Korea Sports Center) Taekwondo Department.

During that period, once or twice a year, they thought self-defense and bone setting from special sessions. But Jidokwan started to have disruption over the Kwan unity act.

During the development of the Korea Tae Soo Do Organization, Ki Hwang and his followers from Moo Duk Kwan and YON Kwai Byeong and his followers from the Jidokwan stands in opposition to the Kwan unity act.

Training Through Contest

And that was the start of the disruption of Jidokwan. Lee, Chong Woo drove the Kwan unity act without YON Kwai Byeong and became 2nd Grandmaster of the Jidokwan with the support of the national committee.

Kim, Chun Sun (council of Jidokwan), Cho, Yong Dae (president of Australia's committee), Lee, Sang Chul (president of USTU), they are also alumni from Jidokwan.

Jidokwan, along with Moo Duk Kwan, acting as the main role of modern Taekwondo in Korea. Especially Jidokwan's unique and intensive training, one would have to defeat three straight competitors to have belt promotion, made the birth for the great athletics for this period.

History of Grand Master's

Founder: Sang Sub Chun
1st Grandmaster: YON Kwai Byeong
2nd Grandmaster: Lee, Chong Woo
3rd Grandmaster: Pae, Young Ki
4th Grandmaster: Lee, Chong Woo
5th Grandmaster: Lee, Sung Wan (current president since 1988)


Article #2

From the Korean language book “A Modern History of Taekwondo”

by Kyong Myong Lee and Kang Won Shik.

Chapter 1, Section 2: Choson Yun Moo Kwan Kong Soo Do Bu (Jidokwan)

The Jidokwan was founded by an elite member, CHUN Sang Sup, on May 3, 1946 as the Choson Yun Moo Kwan Kong Soo Do Bu.

When he was a teenager, he learned Judo and learned Karate while studying abroad in Japan. After the Independence Day, he opened the Choson Yun Moo Kwan Kong Soo Do Bu at the former Judo school, Choson Yun Moo Kwan, where he taught Judo and Karate. He began to recruit new members. He had a slender figure and was not particular, but was an intellect and always wore suits. However, during the Korean War, he vanished, the Choson Yun Moo Kwan Kong Soo Do Bu was abolished and it was renamed Jidokwan.

After Independence Day, the Choson Yun Moo Kwan taught no guep (mu guep) to 8th guep in high, middle and low classes. The student's Kwan number was based on guep promotion, and not only the day of the first registration as a student. The Choson Yun Moo Kwan was started in Seoul, but the major development and structural growth was spread from Chun Ju, Cholla Buk Do as a center. Then, CHUN Il Sup opened another school in Kunsan, Cholla Buk Do in May 1947, and spread his school's reputation from Jun Joo to Kunsan, I Ri, Nam Won, Jung Uep and more.

During the Korean War, the Choson Yun Moo Kwan's name was changed to Jidokwan. After CHUN Sang Sup was kidnapped to North Korea, the Jidokwan (Wisdom Way School) was opened and ran by YON Kwai Byeong and LEE Chong Woo until 1967. However, through the process of unification with the Korea Tae Soo Do Association, the Jidokwan had conflicts between YON Kwai Byeong and LEE Chong Woo. Led by LEE Chong Woo (Jidokwan), LEE Nam Suk (Chang Moo Kwan), UHM Woon Kyu (Chung Do Kwan), HYUN Jong Myun (Chung Do Kwan/Oh Do Kwan) and others planned to unify, but YON Kwai Byeong and HWANG Kee (Moo Duk Kwan) declined and persisted on their self testing committee.

Jidokwan graduates were:

1. BAE Young Ki

2. LEE Chong Woo

3. KIM Bok Nam

4. PARK Hyun Jung

5. KIM Soo Jin

6. JUNG Jin Young

7. LEE Kyo Yoon

8. LEE Byung Ro

9. HONG Chang Jin

10. PARK Young Kuen

and others.

Jidokwan's distinguished difference from other schools was mainly based on Kyorugi (sparring). When Taekwondo tournaments became active from the beginning of the 1960's to the 1970's, Jidokwan distinguished itself. The major representatives were LEE Seung Wan, CHO Jum Sun, HWANG Dae Jin, CHOI Young Ryul and more.

Jidokwan's representing annex was the Han Moo Kwan. But, LEE Kyo Yoon said his Han Moo Kwan root is not Jidokwan, but rather the Choson Yun Moo Kwan. This shows the debate of the origins of the school.

Jidokwan's first Kwan Jang (grandmaster) was CHUN Sang Sup; the second Kwan Jang was YOON Kwe Byung and the third LEE Chong Woo.
Article #3

From "Taekwondo People" Kukkiwon Magazine, Vol. 03

Grandmaster Chong Woo Lee awarded "Proud Person of Taekwondo Award" by
Kukkiwon President, Woon Kyu Uhm.

Grandmaster Chong Woo Lee receives Taekwondo Jidokwan Special Honor Award for service to Taekwondo from President Sung Wan Lee.

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