Taekwondo Hall of Fame® Ceremony 2009

Great-Grand Master Sihak Henry Cho

Country : USA


In 2009 Sihak Henry Cho received the highest honor in Taekwondo upon being inducted into the OFFICIAL TAEKWONDO HALL OF FAME®


Sihak Henry Cho (1934-2012) was a 9th degree Great Grandmaster in Tae Kwon Do and widely recognized as one of a “handful” of originators who introduced martial arts into the United States. For these accomplishments, Great Grandmaster Cho was awarded the 2011 Lifetime Achievement award by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition in recognition for his contribution to the advancement and promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition-related programs nationwide through Tae Kwon Do.

Great Grandmaster Cho began his martial arts training in 1949 in South Korea. After coming to the United States and completing his graduate studies in 1961, he decided to run his own martial arts school in New York City, which he ran for forty years. Great Grandmaster Cho has taught tens of thousands of students at his schools, and satellite schools throughout the world, where thousands of students have been promoted to the Black Belt ranks.

In 1964, Grandmaster Cho took a break from his daily teaching responsibilities and toured ten major cities in the United States and Canada in ten weeks with the Wonderful World of Sports to demonstrate Tae Kwon Do techniques. He was nicknamed the “Super Imp” by the late Quentin Reynolds, the narrator of the Sports’ show. Grandmaster Cho has frequently appeared in the media, including appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson – his first appearance on the Tonight Show was in November, 1962, when the show had been on the air for only about a month.

One of Great Grandmaster Cho’s proudest moments was in 1974 when he led a group of Tae Kwon Do masters in the United States and successfully lobbied to include Tae Kwon Do in the U.S. Amateur Athletic Union (“AAU”) as a main competition sport. The AAU Tae Kwon Do committee later renamed itself the USTU to become a full member of the U.S. Olympic Committee. As chairman of the tournament committee of the AAU, Great Grandmaster Cho wrote the new competition rules and regulations which were the first draft of the rules currently being used by the World Taekwondo Federation.

In 1965, Great Grandmaster Cho organized the first All American Open Tae Kwon Do/Karate/Kung Fu Championship Tournament, and presents this event every year thereafter for forty-seven years. It has become the longest-running national martial arts tournament in the United States and twenty three of the tournaments (from 1967 to 1989) were held in the world-famous Madison Square Garden Center. In 1989, he received the GOLD TICKET AWARD from Madison Square Garden to commemorate twenty-three consecutive years of promoting the tournament. The long winners list of this Tournament includes many distinguished martial artists including Chuck Norris.

Grandmaster Cho was inducted into Black Belt Magazine’s Hall of Fame as “Man of the Year” in 1971 and is the recipient of many other prestigious awards. (Source Henrycho.com)