What is Chung Do Kwan?
ACTA stands for American Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do Association. Many students ask “What does Chung Do Kwan Mean?”. Chung Do Kwan literally translates into “the Gym of the Blue Wave”, which relates to the idea that fluidity and flexibility can generate more power then stagnant force. The principles of our technique and style follow this philosophy.
Chung Do Kwan History
During the Koguryo Dynasty (BC 277 to AD 668), martial arts flourished. However, by the Yi Dynasty, an anti-military posture was taken, debasing anything martial. The final blow was delivered by the Japanese occupation of Korea (1909 – 1945) when it was forbidden to practice any form of martial arts. However, TaeKyon was secretly practiced and passed on to a handful of students. With the liberation of Korea in 1945 came the freedom to again openly practice martial arts, which is when the five Kwans of martial arts were established. All of the present day Tae Kwon Do Instructors can trace their beginnings to one of five Kwans: Chung Do Kwan (the first Kwan), SongMooKwan, JiDoKwan, MooDoKwan, and ChangMooKwan.
Chung Do Kwan was founded by Grandmaster Lee Won-kuk and became the largest civilian gym in Korea. Grandmaster Lee Won-kuk is thus the first to organize and found modern Korean Martial Arts. As the new Republic of Korea (ROK) Armed Forces became organized, Choi Hong Hi began to teach martial arts to his soldiers. Chung Do Kwan’s was the largest and the only gym whose ranks were recognized by General Choi when civilians became soldiers. On 11 April 1955, a board of instructors from the different Kwans, historians, and other prominent persons selected Tae-Kwon-Do (foot – hand – art) as the new name of the national martial art of Korea.
The ACTA continues to preserve the historic traditions of Tae Kwon Do first conceived by Grandmaster Lee Won-Kuk. The ACTA acknowledges Grandmaster Lee Won-Kuk the founder of Chung Do Kwan and the beginning influence from which we came. Grandmaster Lee said that students must never forget to appreciate their teacher. At the same time, students should always strive to have better techniques and a higher moral character than their teacher. Grandmaster Lee compares this idea to an old saying: “The color green comes from the color blue, but the green color is brighter than the blue. The ice comes from water, but ice is colder than water.” Once a student becomes a master, he should not forget that his position was a joint effort of both his and his teacher’s sweat. Without the teacher, he could have never reached the level of master just like there could be no ice without water and no green without blue.
Grandmaster Lee Won-Kuk was the founder of Chung Do Kwan, which was the first Kwan that eventually became Tae Kwon Do. Grandmaster Lee presented Grandmaster Kim In-mook his 9th Dan black belt. Grandmaster Kim is the founder and president of the ACTA, so ACTA Students are not far removed from the very beginnings of Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do.