2015 KMAM-HOF PIONEER INDUCTEEOsborne “Ozzie” H. Wright Jr.Grand Master Wright Jr. began studying Tae kwon do while stationed with a mobile Army surgical hospital in Korea in 1969. There he achieved the rank of First Degree Black Belt. While studying health and physical education at Temple University, he taught the martial art to students at the school. After graduating from Temple University, Wright enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1976 and is currently stationed at Fort Drum. He now holds the rank as Grand Master 9th Degree Black Belt.In the civilian world, Grand Master Wright works with teenage kids as principal of West Philadelphia High School. He opened his first Tae kwon do school, Chang Moo Kwan, in Philadelphia in 1972. He currently has three schools in Philadelphia, one in New York City, one in Cambridge, Mass., and one in Falls Church, Va.“I saw people practicing Tae kwon do in the Republic of Korea in 1969,” he said. “It looked interesting so I started taking classes. I didn’t think it would go as far as it has.”Concurrently with his martial arts career, Grand Master Wright earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Temple University, a Master of Science Degree from Saint Joseph's University and postgraduate studies at Cheney University. He is currently the administrator with the School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and an active member of the United States Army Reserve.Using education as a vehicle to impact the future of our youth, Ozzie also employs martial arts skills to reach youth and adults from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, teaching thousands, the way to carry on the tradition that began with Grand Master Wright.“Tae kwon do is a lifetime sport,” he said. “It helps you focus on life and helps you to see something inside you could not see before.” As a reservist at Fort Drum, Grand Master Wright continues sharing his love of martial arts by leading a free class in Tae kwon do for Soldiers.The classes meet from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays on the second floor at Magrath Sports Complex. Classes are open to students with any or no martial arts experience.
Sgt. 1st Class Ozzie Wright, 1215th Garrison Support Unit, watches students practice at a tae kwon do lesson. The free class meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at Magrath Sports Complex. Photo by Pvt. Brian Schroeder