Taekwondo Champions Worldwide : USA

GM Neil Ehrlich

Country : USA


Grandmaster Neil Ehrich is one of the numerous champions from the legendary Kim Studio which reigned supreme in traditional point system tournaments in the Eastern United States particularly during the 60’s through early 70’s.. While Mitchell Bobrow, Albert Cheeks, Michael Warren, George Thanos and Bernard Floyd were winning constantly in civilian competition, Ehrlich while serving in the military racked up an impressive list of wins while stationed at O-San Air Force base in South Korea. Among those wins were a bronze medal at the 3rd Foreigners Taekwondo Championships in 1970, a silver medal at the 4th Open Tang Soo Do Championships that same year , 2nd place at the 1971 Yongsan Taekwondo Championships and gold at the 1969 Seoul Foreigners Cup.One of his most memorable free sparring matches while serving in Korea was against Roy Kurban who later became one of the top competitors in the United States. Upon returning to the States himself Ehrlich also continued his winning ways in various major form and free sparring events. With an earlier background in Chinese soft style martial arts Ehrlich trained his two sons Max and Jake who became champions in their own right. Max in particular won numerous major events as a youth and adult in both in soft style weapons and hard style forms. Click both names above to see Max and Jake in action..


I started in the Martial Arts at the age of twelve. Although my family moved several times and often, I was unable to study with an instructor. I always practiced and tried to retain the skills I learned.

Below are listed the styles and the instructors who have influenced me the most in my Martial Arts training. The year I began my training is also listed, however the length of time studying/training with these men varies from several hours to decades.

1960 – Raymond Hughes. Kodokan Judo
1960 – Harvey Eubank Gojuryu Karate
1960 – William Dometrich Chitoryu Karate
1961 – Chong Kwan Lin Tien Shan Pai Chinese Boxing
1962 – Jim Linnane Kodokan Judo
1963 – Roger Davis Freestyle Wrestling
1964 – Ki Whang Kim Moo Duk Kwan Tang Su Do
1965 – Aikio Mitake & Nobuhiro Hayashi Yoshinkai Aikido
1967 – Glen Premu Okinawan Kobudo
1968 – John Quinn Aikijujitsu, Kobudo, Kusarijitsu, Jodo
1968 – Mr. S Muay Thai Boxing
1968 – Chuck Norris Tang Soo Do
1969 – Mr. Moon Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do
1969 – Mr. Paek Chong Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do, Hwa Rang Do Gom Sul
1969 – Sang Su Kim Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do
1970 – James L. Semmes II Shorinji Kenpo, Kobudo
1971 – Robert W. Smith Yang Taiji, Pakua, Hsing I
1971 – Dr. Maung Gyi Bando
1971 – Robert Maxwell Bando
1971 – Il Hoi Kim Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do
1972 – Willy Lin Tien Shan Pai Chinese Boxing
1972 – Joe Colvin Hung Gar Chinese Boxing
1973 – Jhoon Rhee Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do
1974 – Joe Lewis Kickboxing
1975 – Randy Davis Western Boxing, Wing Chun
1976 – Jim Ed Jones Western Boxing
1984 – Bruce Chiu Arnis, Tiger Crane Chinese Boxing, Broad Sword
1985 – Ray Chapman Practical Pistolcraft

Once I earned my Black Belt in Tang Soo Do, I made a point of studying a variety of Martial Arts. Although all of these arts have strong points, they also have weaknesses. The most outstanding weaknesses were the way these systems were taught.



U.S. Team Karate Championships San Jose, CA 1st Korean Black Belt Form 1968
Seoul Moo Duk Kwan Championships Seoul, Korea 1st Welter Weight, Black Belt Sparring Sept. 1969
Korea Tae Kwon Do Assn. Foreigner’s Championships Seoul, Korea 3rd Black Belt Sparring Sept. 1970
Korea Tang Su Do Assn. Foreigner’s Championships Osan, Korea 2nd Black Belt Form & Sparring Dec. 1970
8th Army, Yongsan Tae Kwon Do Championships Seoul, Korea 2nd Black Belt Sparring 1971
Yon Moo Kwan Tae Kwon Do Assn. Foreigner’s Championships Taegu, Korea 1st Black Belt Form, 2nd Black Belt Sparring Mar. 1971
6th Annual American Invitational Tae Kwon Do Championships Wash D.C. 3rd Black Belt Form Oct. 1971
3rd Eastern Regional Karate Championships Silver Spring, MD 3rd Black Belt Form Jan. 1972
Baltimore Open Karate Championships Baltimore, MD 2nd Black Belt Form Apr. 1972
7th American Invitational Karate Championships Wash D.C. 2nd Black Belt Form 1972
Miami University Open Karate Championships, Maumee, Ohio 1st Black Belt Form
Undefeated in team fighting 2-0 1972
East Coast AAU Karate Championships Catonsville, MD, 3rd Black Belt Form 1972
Midwest Tang Soo Do Championships Toledo, Ohio 1st Lt. Wt. Black Belt Sparring; 2nd Black Belt Form; 2nd, Grand Champion Sparring 1972
All American Open Karate Championships, New York, NY, 3rd Black Belt Form
U.S. Masters Open Karate Championships , Virginia Beach, VA 3rd Black Belt Form 1972
Baltimore Invitational Karate Tournament, Baltimore, MD 2nd Black Belt Form 1973
U.S. Black Belt Championships, Ocean City, MD, 1st Lightweight Sparring 1973
U.S. Karate Championships Dallas, TX, 3rd Black Belt Form 1974
Full Contact Fights Wash D.C. vs. Minneapolis, Minn. Bethesda, MD vs. Gordon Franks
Won – Split Decision Dec 1974
Atlanta Pro Am Karate Championships Atlanta, GA, 1st Black Belt Form 2nd Lightweight Sparring 1975
Jax Pro Am Karate Championships Jacksonville, FL2nd Black Belt Form
2nd Light Weight Sparring 1975
2nd Savannah Classic Savannah, GA 1st Black Belt Form 1976
World Black Belt League Wash D.C. vs. NY City Teams Falls Church, VA vs. Edward St. Julien
Won – Unanimous Decision Oct 1976
East Coast Maccabiah Games Tournament, Adelphi, MD 1st Light Weight Black Belt Sparring Feb 1977
U.S. Maccabiah Games Tournament New York, NY 1st Black Belt Form Apr 1977
World Black Belt League Wash D.C. vs Philadelphia, PA Teams
Wash D.C. vs. Mr. Tanos Won – Unanimous Decision June 1977
Professional Karate Association National Championships Baltimore, MD
4th Korean Black Belt Form, July 1978
Mid-Atlantic Karate Championships Lynchburg, VA 3rd Black Belt Form Nov 1979
Eastern Regional Karate Championships, Rockville, MD, 1st Black Belt Form
1st Black Belt Sparring Mar 1986
Eastern Regional Karate Championships, Rockville, MD, 1st Black Belt Sparring & Form
3rd Black Belt Weapons Mar 1987
Hagerstown Karate Championships, Hagerstown, MD 1st Black Belt Sparring
2nd Black Belt Form, May 1987
Eastern Regional Karate Championships, Rockville, MD, 1st Black Belt Sparring
2nd Black Belt Form, Mar 1988
Bluegrass National Karate Championships, Louisville, KY, 1st Black Belt Sparring June 1999
U.S. Open Karate Championships Orlando, FL, 1st Black Belt Sparring July 1999
U.S. Capital Classics Wash D.C. 3rd Black Belt Sparring Aug 1999
Battle of Atlanta Atlanta, GA, 1st Black Belt Sparring 3rd Form Sept 1999
Diamond National Karate Championships, St. Paul, MN 3rd Black Belt Sparring
4th Form Oct 1999
North American Sport Karate Association , Minneapolis, MN, 4th World Rated Black Belt Fighting
6th World Rated Black Belt Form Dec 1999
World Series of Martial Arts Chantilly, VA, 1st Black Belt Sparring
1st Black Belt Form, 2nd Black Belt Weapons, March 2000