GM Park Jong Soo

Country : Canada


GM JONG SOO PARK was truly one of the pioneering legends of Taekwon-Do. In addition to being the first proponent of ITF Taekwon-do in Canada he was a member of the demonstration team at the First ITF World Championships held in 1974 in Montreal, Canada (a reaction to the 1973 KTA World Championships held in Korea), tournament director, trainer of many champions which included Michael Cormack and Don James as well as being a national champion of Korea himself. He holds a special place in the history of the Official Taekwondo Hall of Fame as he was one of the first of many Grandmasters to endorse and acknowledge our efforts in writing.

MORE ON GM PARK JONG SOO (Source Wikipedia)

Park Jong-soo (1941 – 27 November 2021) was a South Korean master of taekwondo and one of the twelve original masters of taekwondo of the Korea Taekwon-Do Association. He held the rank of 9th dan. Following a career in the South Korean military, he emigrated to Canada in 1968.

Park was born in Chung-Nam, Korea, in 1941, during the period of Japanese occupation. He trained in taekwondo under Choi Hong-hi. In 1965, he was invited to be the coach of the German Taekwon-Do Association, and moved from South Korea to West Germany.[4] Park was ranked 5th dan that year.[6] The following year, he moved to the Netherlands and founded the Netherlands Taekwon-Do Association.[4] Through the late 1960s and 1970s, Park was a key member of the taekwondo demonstration teams that accompanied Choi around the world.

In 1968, Park settled in Toronto, Canada. In 1973, he held the rank of 7th dan. In 1974, Park and several other ITF masters demonstrated taekwondo in Toronto—then being promoted as “the new home of the ITF” by Choi. Park and Choi went their separate ways after Choi insisted on establishing relations with North Korea during a politically sensitive period. By 2002, however, they were reconciled, and Park was present at Choi’s deathbed.

In 2004, Park was President of the Canadian Taekwon-Do Association, and presented a seminar in Afghanistan. In 2008, Park conducted a seminar in Beijing. He headed taekwondo schools in Toronto.

Park is listed as a pioneer in Canada (1950s, 1960s, and 1970s) in Choi Chang-keun‘s list of taekwondo pioneers.