GRANDMASTER SOON PIL HONG
Grandmaster Hong is still teaching the traditional, authentic Korean Martial Arts of Taekwondo, Habgido, and Gumdo after all of these years for two reasons: his love of the Korean Martial Arts and his wish to pass them on to future generations of martial artists. He encourages his students to do their best when they practice their martial arts skills in class.
However, Grandmaster Hong does not compare one student to another. He wants his students to show their "heart" and conduct themselves in the appropriate martial arts behavior inside and outside the Dojang.
Grandmaster Hong has been known to say to his students,
"I just want you to enjoy what you learn during Taekwondo, Habgido, or Gumdo classes. If you want to become a champion and compete nationally and internationally, I can help you reach that goal. My main concern is that you improve your life and every aspect of it."
When Grandmaster Hong's students feel that they want to thank him for what they have been taught, they will volunteer to do various projects around the gym to help improve the facilities for all to enjoy. This is what Korean Martial Arts are all about. The students will want to help the school grow when they are encouraged to strive to do their best every day in class. This is what Grandmaster Hong does. His students are made to feel like they are a part of his extended martial arts family.
"All that is separated can meet again, through this, everything can be seen to become one. I can find my real self and towards perfection turn. Mind, body, & spirit
harmonized make a human being whole. Action harmonizes freedom, ideas, and thoughts. When all are harmonized, they melt into one. One is perfect and equal to nothing." Korean Poem -
Soon Pil Hong - The Beginning
Grandmaster Hong began learning Taekwondo in 1968. The picture displayed here shows his perfect attendance record throughout his training at the Bug Sung Taekwondo Academy (ODOKWAN) in Seoul, South Korea from 1968-1975. He trained under Grandmaster Park Jong-Hun. The name of the school was changed in 1976 (to the Present) to Hug Ryong Taekwondo Academy (JIDOKWAN) - same location, where he trained under Grandmasters Kim Hwa-Hyung & Lee Byung-Chae. This level of dedication was shown by many, but not all. Grandmaster Hong has been dedicated to Martial Arts since beginning his path as a young man. During his most recent trip to South Korea (July/August 2011), Grandmaster Soon Pil Hong achieved/accomplished is 9th Degree Black Belt (JIDOKWAN) in Taekwondo. He received his belt & certification from Grandmaster Lee Sung-Wan, former President of Kukkiwon.
Soon Pil Hong - Mastering the Martial Art
Grandmaster Hong has taken great time and energy documenting his path through martial arts with photos. The Dojang is covered with pictures from 1968 as a white belt up to current photos of Grandmaster Hong diligently training and teaching students alike. There are so many pictures of his history we are unable to host all the pictures on our website! There are very few instructors who has their history of Martial Arts training documented through photos.
Definition of a Grandmaster
Grandmaster Hong has been an icon in his community by helping individuals and groups as much as he can. He donates to and supports many local area groups along with his other community members.
Many parents bring troubled children & teens to Grandmaster Hong to teach them discipline. He gives them an understanding of how life works and how to be a good person. He also teaches them to follow the Five Tenets of Taekwondo (Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, & Indomitable Spirit) in the Dojang (practice gym)as well as life.
Grandmaster Hong is the only one in the Michiana area (Michigan/Indiana)that has a legal license as a Grandmaster Instructor through World Taekwondo Federation. He is also the only one in the Michiana area (Michigan/Indiana) that has a legal Grandmaster's License to teach Special Needs Martial Arts Students. He also holds Grandmaster ranking in the Kukkiwon headquarters. Grandmaster Hong is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) and the U.S. Olympic Committee; he was also formerly the U.S. Referee Chairman of the USA Taekwondo (Martial Arts Commission, M.A.C.). Listed below are the achievements of Grandmaster Hong throughout his life as a Martial Artist and Instructor.
US Military Career
1984: 2nd Ranger Infantry Battalion
1984: Brigade Middle Weight Boxing Champion
1985 - 1988: ROTC Cadet, University of Notre Dame
US Military Honors
1980-1984: Expert Status, M-16 Assault Rifle & Grenade
1984: US Army Achievement
1984: US Army Good Conduct Medal
1986 - 1992: Court Translator for Korean - State of Michigan
1990 - Current: Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon - Raised over $60,000
1999 - 2003: Founder, International Exchange Program, Yang Hwa Elementary School - Seoul, South Korea
1999 - 2003: Founder, Grand Master Soon Pil Hong Scholarship Fund Yang Hwa Elementary School - Seoul, South Korea
Martial Arts Organizational Experience
2008: Head Organizer, 4th Universal Taekwondo Habgido Gumdo Union World Championship. 1,800 competitors - Guilin, China (WTF, UANTU, UTHGU)
2007: Head Organizer, 4th Universal Taekwondo Habgido Gumdo Union World Championship. 400 competitors - University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame, IN (WTF, UANTU, UTHGU)
2006: Head Organizer, 4th Universal Taekwondo Habgido Gumdo Union World Championship. 2,000 competitors - Songpagu Hagsang Gymnasium. Seoul, South Korea (WTF, UANTU, UTHGU)
2005: Head Organizer, 4th Universal Taekwondo Habgido Gumdo Union World Championship. 1,700 competitors - Ganseogu Song Jung Elementary School. Seoul, South Korea (WTF, UANTU, UTHGU)
Martial Arts Supervisory Experience
1992: Invited Master Position, 18th US Taekwondo Championship. Hampton Coliseum.
1996: Director, 20th Indiana Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championship, Joyce Center.
University of Notre Dame. Notre Dame, IN (USOC)
1997: Head of Court, 17th US Junior Olympic Taekwondo
Championship. Louisville, KY
1997: Director, 17th Indiana State Golden Senior Championship. Joyce Center, University of
Notre Dame. Notre Dame,
Martial Arts Referee Experience
1991: Head Umpire, US Junior Olympic Championship, Cincinatti, OH
1994: International Referee, South American Taekwondo Championship, Valencia,
1994: International Referee, Central American Taekwondo Championship, Tegucigalpa,
1994: International Taekwondo Referee, World Cup, Cayman Islands (WTF)
1994 - 1998: International Referee, US Open, US Olympic Training Center, Colorado
Springs, CO (WTF)
1995: International Referee, 3rd Central American Taekwondo Championship, Quito,
1995: International Referee, 3rd Central American Taekwondo Championship, US Olympic
Center, Colorado Springs, CO (USOC)
1996: International Referee, US Open taekwondo Championship, US Olympic Center,
Colorado Springs, CO (USOC)
1997: Head Referee & Coach Chairman, 1st US Golden Senior Taekwondo Championship,
Chicago, IL (USOC)
1998: International Referee, US Taekwondo Open, Orlando, FL (USOC & WTF)
1999: International Referee, 2nd International Taekwondo Korea Open. Chungju, South
Korea (IOC & WTF)
1999: International Referee, Canada Taekwondo Open. Ontario, Canada (WTF)
1999: International Referee, Korea Taekwondo Open, Chuncheon, South Korea (WTF)
1999: International Referee, US Open, Anaheim Convention Center Arena. Anaheim, CA
1999: International Referee, 3rd Mexico Taekwondo Open, Pan American Taekwondo Union,
Tlalnepantla, Mexico (PATU & WTF)
2004: Referee, US Olympic Training Center. Colorado Springs, CO
2006: International Taekwondo Referee, Chicago Open International Taekwondo
Championship. Chicago, IL (PATU & WTF)
Martial Arts Coaching Experience
2004: Coach, World Hammadang Taekwondo Championship Team, 1st Place Synchronized
Forms, Kukkiwon, South
1999: Head Coach, US Olympic Taekwondo Women's Team, China Olympic Center & Seoul
Olympic Stadium, China
& South Korea
1999: US Taekwondo Coach, International Seoul Cup, Kukkiwon, South Korea
1999: US Coach, Seoul Cup, Kukkiwon, South Korea
1998: US Team Coach, Pan-Am Cup Taekwondo Championship, Pan American Taekwondo
1994: US National Coach, 14th US Olympic Championship, Chicago, IL
1993: Team Coach, Jamaica National Taekwondo Team, World Taekwondo Championship,
Madison Square Garden,
New York, NY (IOC & WTF)
1992: US Coach, 12th US Jumior Olympic Taekwondo Championship, Orlando, FL (USOC &
1991: Head Coach & Head of Court, 16th National Collegiate Championship, Palatine, IL
1996: Regional Instructor of Sparring Forms, Technical, Contest Rules and Referee Certification Committee, Lafayette, IN (USOC)
1997: Regional Instructor of Sparring Forms, Technical, Contest Rules and Referee Certificatio Committee, Atlanta, GA (USOC)
2005: Regional Instructor, technical, Contest Rules and Referee Certification Committee, World Universal Taekwondo Habgido Gumdo Championship, Notre Dame, IN (USOC, UANTU & UTHGU)
2006: Regional Instructor, technical, Contest Rules and Referee Certification Committee, World Universal Taekwondo Habgido Gumdo Championship, Notre Dame, IN (USOC, UANTU & UTHGU)
2007: Regional Instructor,
technical, Contest Rules and Referee Certification Committee, World Universal Taekwondo Habgido Gumdo Championship, Notre Dame, IN (USOC, UANTU & UTHGU)
10/2001: Black Belt Magazine
11/2001: Taekwondo Times Magazine
11/2003: Taekwondo Times Magazine
03/2005: Taekwondo Times