Grandmaster David Chaanine is the Founding Father and pioneer of Taekwondo
in Lebanon. Through countless demonstrations
and teaching to hundreds of people, he spread Taekwon-Do throughout Lebanon. He also introduced the art to other Arab countries.
This happened long before the birth of the WTF. Grandmaster Chaanine's 7th Dan is certified by the WTF with the certificate #5039213
(see below) awarded in 1993 and by the ITF certificate # Leb1 (See Below), awarded in 1988. When asked what about his next rank,
his reply, "I am done with the Dan."
In 1965, Grandmaster Chaanine began instruction in Taekwon-Do, a style called
Choung Do-Kwan. He became a 1st Dan in 1967.
When the International Taekwon-Do Federation was formed, his qualifications were examined and was awarded 1st Dan in 1970 by the
Nearly everyone practicing Taekwondo in Lebanon today, is either a student
or former student of Grandmaster Chaanine, a student of his
student or a student of his students' student. With the help of many dedicated students, his two brothers Jean and Milad, the late Fred
Sarraf, Dr. George Ghanem, and Mr. Hussain Hamdan, to mention a few, helped TKD spread throughout Lebanon.
Grandmaster Chaanine holds respect and admiration for his mentor and the
founder of modern Taekwon-Do, Gen Choi Hong Hi,whom he
says is the only legitimate founder of the modern Taekwon-Do.
Before Taekwon-Do, there were many martial arts in Korea. For further knowledge
about this subject refer to General Choi's TKD book..
When the ITF was formed, many great masters were dispatched around the world to familiarize the existing instructors who taught the
old methods of the Korean style with the newly developed one, Taekwon-Do. One of those was
Master Jae Haw Kwon.
In Munich, Germany, 1971, the First European Taekwon-Do Festival was held.
Grandmaster Chaanine competed and placed first in
forms and sparring as a representative from Lebanon. Grandmaster Chaanine wearing his first place medal from the International
Taekwon-Do Championships in Munich.
In 1972, Taekwon-Do began its birth among the army elite with the help of
his dear friend and student, General Mahmoud Abou Dargham,
the founder of the Al Magaweer. Many dedicated officers in the military academy practice Taekwondo.
From 1968 to 1976, Grandmaster Chaanine promoted Taekwon-Do in Lebanon. At
this time Taekwon-Do was in its infancy world wide.
With the guidance of General Choi and his two visits to Lebanon with a team of his elite students, Grandmaster Chaanine was able to give
credit to the art he teaches to this day. The many students that follow his guidance have become the elite of Taekwon-Do in Lebanon.
After the Grandmaster left Lebanon for the United States in 1976, his students
and the art saw chaos and disorder. In 1989 the LTF was
organized. It has failed to unite and preserve the quality of the traditional Taekwon-Do. Recently, the Lebanese TKD Federation is seeing
a new era; a reform movement to bring back quality in teaching and performing. Mrs.Carine Murr, a first-degree black belt in TKD is the
new president of the LTF (see more details soon). Grandmaster Chaanine met with Mrs. Murr and was impressed by her dedication,
resilience and sincerity in promoting and bringing back Taekwondo as it once was.She is leading by example, practicing the art and fol-
lowing its tenets. Mrs. Murr is perhaps the only female in the world to head a TKD federation. (Courtesy David Chaanine Website)
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