Chung Do Kwan (Blue Wave Institute)Break

The open and public practice of martial arts was illegal during the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 – 1945. During this occupation period Won Kuk Lee moved to Japan to attend college. When he was 19 years old Lee entered Japan’s preeminent Karate headquarters, the Shotokan, and received instruction from Gichen Funakoshi (where it is reported Lee attained a 4th Dan). After Korea gained its independence in 1945 there were several martial arts institutes that emerged. The Chung Do Kwan was the first of the five key martial arts schools (Dojangs) to open during this period. The words “Chung Do Kwan” translated mean Blue Wave School and also invoke the ideas of a young child’s spirit and vitality. The founder, Won Kuk Lee, had in mind a deep blue body of water with ripples reaching every shore. The deep blue color was symbolic of Beachan immense depth of knowledge and purity of understanding. The ripples were to signify how this philosophy was to wash over the student and spread out across the world. Not long after independence Master Lee developed a good relationship with the National Police Headquarters and led the efforts to rid Seoul of organized crime. This working relationship leads to the Chung Do Kwan becoming known as the National Police Headquarters Dojang. At one point it was reputed that there were 50,000 members and associates of the Chung Do Kwan across Korea.

The first graduates of the Chung Do Kwan were:

1. Yoo, Ung Jun  2. Son, Duk Sung  3. Uhm, Woon Kyu  4. Hyun, Jong Myun
5. Min, Woon Sik  6. Han, In Sook  7. Chung, Yong Taek  8. Kang, Suh Chong
9. Baek, Joon Ki  10. Nam, Tae Hi  11. Ko, Jae Chun  12. Kwak, Kuen Sik
13. Kim, Suk Kyu  14. Han, Cha Kyo  15. Jo, Sung Il  16. Lee, Sa Man
17. Rhee, Jhoon Goo  18. Kim, Song SikSparring

The first branch of the Chung Do Kwan to get started outside of Korea was in Tokyo, Japan and headed by Yong Taek Chung (number 7 in the above list). The period of the 1970’s saw a big outflow of high level Tae Kwon Do masters and instructors to many parts of Europe and the United States. In 1974 Mr. Chung brought the Chung Do Kwan to Kansas City, Missouri. His school, Chung’s Karate School operated in the Kansas City area until he retired in 1988.