2014 KMAM-HOF LEGEND INDUCTEEChoi Hong Hi (1918 – 2002)General Choi Hong Hi was born on Nov. 9, 1918, in what is now North Korea. According to statements in his book, he was a sickly child. His tutor, recognizing his frail physique, also instructed him in the Korean art of foot fighting. In 1937, he went to Japan, where he studied English, mathematics, and karate. On his return to Korea in 1942, he was drafted into the Japanese army. After attempting to escape to join the underground Korean Liberation Army, he was arrested and sent to Pyongyang prison on charges of treason. He was freed in August 1945, just days before he was to be executed.In 1946, General Choi became one of the founders of the South Korean army, in which he eventually became a general. He trained those under his command in the new martial art he founded and eventually he trained instructors in Tae Kwon Do for the entire South Korean army. By the time he founded the ITF in 1966, there were already associations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and North America.General Choi passed away in 2002, and he is survived by his wife Choi Joon Hee, his son Jung Hwa, two daughters, Sunny and Meeyun, and a number of grandchildren. My experiences with the General During my Tae Kwon Do training, I had the good fortune to meet General Choi several times and I will share the only photo that survived a housefire with you on the following page.One of the most notable things found with the General is that he freely shared his art with whomever was interested and he even gave me some pointers on sparring. To this very day, I have many good friends in the ITF world and I was very fortunate to have met several of his greatest students: Grandmasters, Park Jong Soo and Hwang Kwang Sung. Both are true KMA Icons and Legends.By far, General Choi’s most important achievement with regards to martial arts, was the founding of the ITF. This organization gained worldwide popularity and it was without a doubt, THE major fact that the art of Take Kwon Do became as popular as it is today. Another HUGE achievement was his documentation of the entire ITF curriculum and few organizations can lay claim to having anything near such documentation of their art.