Master Park Chul Hee
2012 Visit to Watertown Headquarters Dojang

Master Park Chul Hee (the founder of Kang Duk Won as one of the original schools of Tae Kwon Do in the early 1950's) visited the Main Dojang of American Kang Duk Won during his current trip to the United States. He arrived in New York State the first week of January and contacted Master Robert Lawlor concerning his visit to Watertown, NY. Master Park's American tour included additional travels to Ohio, Michigan, and California, prior to his departure home to Korea.

Master Park was in Watertown from January 16th-18th. While in Watertown, he spent time enthusiastically discussing history and techniques unique to Kang Duk Won. In the course of their conversations, Master Park fondly recalled previous training encounters with Master Lawlor at the Watertown YMCA Main Dojang and also in the Washington, DC region during the 1970's. The Watertown YMCA Dojang represents one of the very first Kang Duk Won classes ever to be established in the USA. (The Dojang still exists in the same training area in which classes were initiated over forty years ago.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Master Park reviewed the school's manual American Kang Duk Won Karate. He was especially pleased to find how American Kang Duk Won had flourished over the years through guidance of Master Lawlor and the Black Belt instructors . Master Park was excited by the success of the regularly offered summer training camps and the well-established American Kang Duk Won International Championships, now in its 38th year (Mar. 31, 2012). On more than one occasion, Master Park commented the real "Spirit of Kang Duk Won" was present in all he was observing!

Along with presenting items to the main office, Master Park offered information so future communications may take place with the American Kang Duk Won Karate office. Additional exchanges were discussed for Master Park's next USA trip. Master Park indicated he is working on a new book on Kang Duk Won. He has asked for photos and explanations of American Kang Duk Won's current programs. He indicated these will be considered for inclusion in his historic publication. The main office has already begun preparing a collection of materials to be forwarded to Korea for this purpose.

Throughout Master Park's visit to the Main Dojang, Chief Instructor Mr. David Dummitt was highly instrumental in offering transportation, coordinating schedules, and with his participation in the instruction of various techniques Master Park performed. He represented all of American Kang Duk Won Karate in a courteous and well-informed manner. Mr. Dummitt's generosity and assistance made Master Park's Watertown visit a complete success.

American Kang Duk Won Karate is greatly appreciative of Master Park's efforts in visiting Northern New York. He obviously enjoyed the time that was available for talking about Master Kum Chun Kim, comparing techniques as basic as the "horse stance," and conversing about the philosophies of Kang Duk Won in the year 2012.

It was an honor to have the founder of Kang Duk Won visit the Main Dojang.
Master Park Chul Hee displayed the true qualities of a gentleman whose life as a traditional martial artist
continues to inspire everyone he encounters!

A special "Thank You" is extended to Master Park Chul Hee from all of the students and Black Belts of American Kang Duk Won Karate.

Photos of Master Park Chul Hee during his Watertown visit and items which he shared are posted below!

(Click on picture to enlarge,)
    Master Park Chul Hee, founder of the Kang Duk Won, visited Watertown, NY, the location of one of the earliest dojangs to be established in the USA (1970). Master Park met with Master Robert Lawlor, president of American Kang Duk Won Karate, and discussed many topics related to the history, philosophies, and current growth of American Kang Duk Won.

    Kang Duk Won, an original school of Taekwondo, has remained a traditional school of the martial arts. Literally translated "the arena for the teaching of virtue," American Kang Duk Won continues to emphasize the mental and physical attributes which were initially outlined and have been taught for over sixty years. Master Park complimented Master Lalwor, black belt instructors, and students of American Kang Duk Won for what he witnessed during his recent visit (Jan16-18, 2012).

    The original design of the Kang Duk Won patch has remained relatively unchanged since the school was founded. The earliest KDW patches also displayed the stylish black, gold, and flesh color combination still used on uniforms today.

    The significance of the fist coming out of a burst of lighter shading symbolizes the awareness and enlightenment one realizes after many years of training in the Art of Kang Duk Won. Master Park Chul Hee presented Master Lawlor with many of these traditional KDW patches at the time of his Watetowrn visit.

    The Korean Kang Duk Won patch and the American Kang Duk Won patch reflect very similar appearances. Each KDW patch is worn on the left side of the karateka's uniform.
    The earliest manual of Kang Duk Won (written by Master Park:1951) and the most recent manual of American Kang Duk Won Karate (written by Master Lawlor and Master Palumbo: 1995) are displayed along with a patch which was presented by Master Park to students and black belts at the main dojang in Watertown, NY. Master Park Chul Hee is now working on another text. He has asked that historic texts and photographs of American Kang Duk Won be shared with him in the coming year for possible inclusion in this publication.
    The original manual of Kang Duk Won (top center) is shown with all of the American Kang Duk Won Karate manuals and current school patches.
    The light blue text (top left) entitled Student Manual: A Necessary Guide for Beginner and the Advanced Student was written by Master Lawlor in 1980. This was followed by his 1994 publication of American Kang Duk Won Karate: Basic Principals and Techniques (top right). Members now study the Art from the 2005 editions of American Kang Duk Won Karate, co-written by Master Lawlor and Master Palumbo (bottom l, r).

    The history of Kang Duk Won (its Korean roots) and the subsequent spread of American Kang Duk Won Karate (Northeast & Midwest, USA and Ontario, Canada) are thoroughly detailed in these very important manuals. Master Park's comments during his visit related to his plans for an upcoming book were truly inspiring. American Kang Duk Won Karate is already compiling materials for Master Park's consideration as his work progresses.

    (The American Kang Duk Won Karate website will strive to keep visitors appraised of his progress as future communications are shared with the Main Dojang Office.)

    Master Park shared articles recently written about his career and still extremely busy training and teaching schedule, as was evident by his journey to the USA.
    Master Lawlor and Black belts of American Kang Duk Won Karate spoke with Master Park about the summer training camps (est. 1976) and International Championship Tournaments, now it their 38th year. These exchanges were especially pleasing to Master Park, as was evident with his commenting on several occasions, "true spirit of Kang Duk Won" evident in what is being taught.
    Master Lawlor will be contactingMaster Park Chul Hee once he returns to Korea. Master Park was pleased to have had the time to visit with Master Lawlor at Watertown's Main Dojang. Master Park commented, the teaching and courtesy displayed by all of the black belts, was "True Kang Duk Won!" Master Park wished to keep in touch with American Kang Duk Won Karate so as to visit several dojangs during another trip that has been scheduled for 2013.
    AKDW Classes
    In speaking with black belts and students following Master Park's visit, Master Lawlor expressed what a privilege it had been to witness Master Park's dynamic spirit, virtuous lifestyle, and enthusiasm in sharing his "Art of Kang Duk Won!"
    This classic illustration is found at the very beginning of Master Park Chul Hee's original Kang Duk Won manual. An historic copy was presented to the Watertown main dojang over forty years ago. Master Park indicated a copy of it also was presented to the Kukkiwon Library in Korea. We all anxiously await information on Master Park's progress on the writing of his current text.

    It was a great honor to have Master Park ask for American Kang Duk Won Karate photos and materials to be sent to him in the coming months!

    This display (in the Kukkiwon museum in Korea) holds emblems of the original schools of taekwondo. Over the decades, the sport-competition emphasis has continued to increase in popularity. The teachings and philosophies of Kang Duk Won as an art form have remained consistently traditional and remain to this day community oriented.
    During his visit to Northern New York State, Master Park Chul Hee met with black belt instructors and members of American Kang Duk Won Karate. Staff at the YMCA Main Dojang and local businessmen also had the pleasure of meeting Master Park. Throughout his training and discussions of the martial arts, Master Park's schedule and transportation were coordinated by Chief Instructor Mr. David Dummitt.

    On several occasions, Mr. Dummitt assisted Master Park in the demonstration of kicks and self-defense techniques. Mr. Dummitt was kept very busy at all times, confirming how extremely focused Master Park continues to be concerning his teaching of Kang Duk Won.

More information can be obtained from:

American Kang Duk Won Karate, P.O. Box 151, Watertown, NY 13601

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