The Greats of Tae Kwon Do
Dr. Sang Kee Paik

Dr Sang Kee Paik
(Photo Courtesy of Chuck Stepan)

History of Paik's USA Taekwondo

To better understand Paik's USA, what we stand for, and what we teach, we must first have a running knowledge
of Taekwondo, or Korean martial arts in general.

Paik's USA started in 1971 when a then Dr. Sang Kee Paik, a Pathologist working in the psychology department
of the University of Wisconsin decided to teach some "softer style" of Korean martial arts that he had learned in Korea.

Dr Paik started his training in 1945 under the tutelege of Grandmaster Yoon, Byung In, an accomplished master of
the Chinese martial art of CHUAN FA. Grandmaster Yoon had first opened his school in the Seoul YMCA. Then
the school moved to Sung Kyun Kwan university and Dr. Paik, who was an undergraduate of the University at the
time, happily practiced this art of "Yun Mu Kwan Kwon Bup Bu", as it was called at the time. Term "Kwon Bup" is
the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese term "Chuan Fa".

Soon thereafter, the program was turned over to an old friend of Grandmaster Yoon, who had trained with him in the
Shudokan Karate while both attended University, studying abroad in Japan. Grandmaster Ki Whang Kim took over
the program and after several years of training, the young Dr. Paik became the first of the Kim/Yoon pupils to receive
the blackbelt.

Soon thereafter, Korean War broke out and Grandmaster Yoon disappeared, and after the war, Ki Whang Kim ran
his schools in the Seoul area where Dr. Paik pursued his passion.

When Grandmaster Kim left for the US, in 1959, Dr. Paik sought out his friend and training mate at the old dojang,
Grandmaster Chull Hee Park, who had founded the "Kang Duk Won Kwon Bup Bu" in 1956 and had been training
many future grandmasters. Throughout the 60s, the 2 friends trained.

In 1969, the Paik family moved to the US. Paik family had grown to 4...

Originally named "Paik's Oriental Martial Arts Institute", Dr. Paik started to teach the system he learned and researched
in Korea. The system resembled the ChuanFa he had learned from Yoon and the movements were flowing, circular, and
absorbing, much like water. Named after the elements of life, Dr. Paik had a unique system he called "Sa-Sang". Much
of the concepts and techniques based on the philosophy of the 4 elements, air, earth, fire, and water. Added to this his
knowledge of Taekwondo style kicking, and the linear, direct attack style of Karate he had mastered from his days in
Korea training under the Kim/Yoon tutelege, Dr. Paik had a unique, devastating system.

In the mid 1970s, Dr. Paik had surgery on both his knees, which had been bothering him for a while. To help instruct and
manage his school, he brought on a young, dynamic Taekwondo Champion from Korea, Il Sik Kim to instruct for him.
Master Kim introduced the Paik's school to the competitive aspect of Taekwondo.

After Master Kim moved on to open his own schools in Indiana and Illinois, Paik's school, now named Paik's Academy
of Martial Arts began to dominate the tournament scene.

Always open to knew ideas and systems, Dr. Paik instructed his son Peter and daughter Myung to attend all different
styles of competitions, to pit their skills against the best other schools and systems had to offer.

Led by the younger Paik's, particularly Peter, Paik's academy enjoyed much success in the tournament arena. In the 1980s,
the martial arts boom separated the martial arts industry into either a traditional school based on the philosophy and the
traditions as passed on by the ancient masters, or the more modern school which taught a more trendy, "Americanized"
version of martial arts.

Preferring to stay with a more traditional version of the martial arts, Dr Paik stayed closely with the Taekwondo movement
and was instrumental in helping Taekwondo become an Olympic sport.

Also well aware of the bounds that tradition can put on progress, he developed Taekwondo's CREATIVE side as he
introduced the creative form competition in the 1990 United States Taekwondo Union National Championships which he
was asked to host at the Dane County Coliseum in Madison, WI

Mr. Peter Paik, using the skills and the techniques he learned through his father, made a name for himself as a competitor in
the Taekwondo and the Karate circuits through the late 70s and the early 80s. He took advantage of his competitive
experience to learned about Okinawan weapons, Chinese KungFu, and even American Kickboxing as he competed and
trained with some of the best known martial artists of that time. John Longstreet, Ray McCallum, Dan Anderson, Keith Vitali,
Steve Anderson, Freddie Letuli, Harold Burrage, Gerard Robbins, David Deaton, Mike Genova, Joe Corley, Jeff Smith,
John Worley, Kareem Ali Jabbar, Greg Fears, Tony Blanchard, John Chung, George Chung, Ernie Reyes Sr, and Jr,
Arlene Limas, Linda Denley, John Sharkey, Cynthia Rothrock, and Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee were all legendary in the
American martial arts scene and helped in Mr. Paik's development as a martial artist. Thus helping to shape him as a
competitor, a technician, and a champion.

In the late 80s, Mr. Paik moved to Florida to pursue a Movie connection he had made through his travels and settled in
Orlando, FL. At the request of his father, he opened a Taekwondo school and actively supported many Taekwondo events
all over Florida, Georgia, and Alabama and received his 6th degree blackbelt.

With a little guidance from another ex-Ki Whang Kim blackbelt, Grandmaster Jang Yeol Park, Mr. Paik found a niche in
the Florida Taekwondo scene. He also befriended an established Taekwondo and Ju jitsu master Angel Gonzalez, who
inspired him to improve his schools and reach new heights.

In 1996, his father, Grandmaster Sang Kee Paik was ailing in health and summoned his son back to Madison, WI. 1997,
he made a move back to Madison and 1998, took over the operations full time.

Since then, He has received his 7th degree blackbelt and in 2002, produced 5 National Champions, including his daughter
Cassi, who is well on her way to becoming a great martial artist in her own right.

Paik's USAcademy of Taekwondo currently teaches many students of all ages, both genders, many different Nationalities,
and families. The approach has developed into a positive, motivating school to help people of all ages to improve their esteem,
confidence, inner strength, and self control.

Potential students can call 608-278-0600 to get a private interview and may visit the school at 5708 Raymond rd, Madison,

Article Courtesy of Paik's USAcademy


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