Over a decade has now passed since the Founder of Taekwon-Do passed away. Every now and then I reflect that most of the people in my classes, even senior black belts, never got to meet and train with General Choi. That is a great pity as he was certainly a legend – an amazing figure and source of incredible knowledge.
In April 2002, practically on his death-bed, Gen Choi travelled to the United States to fulfil his promise to Grand Master CE Sereff to teach a course for his students. That was considered his last IIC. The previous September was the last full course, held in Jamaica shortly after the devastation of 9/11. As you will hear him say at the end of the video, the world was chaotic and people were afraid to travel. But 30 fanatical Taekwon-Do students gathered in Jamaica regardless to learn from the man himself.
General Choi always encouraged us to ask questions. In fact before each course, he would approach some seniors privately and encourage them to ask lots of questions at the course. He usually wouldn’t discuss techniques much before that – preferring instead to save that for the seminar.
General Choi was most gracious and generous with his time, and was always careful to repeat his key points so they were clear. Sometimes though he would not quite understand what was being asked and go on a bit of a tangent. It was tricky to try and push for an answer sometimes without being disrespectful, so I would normally just stand and wait for as long as I could comfortably get away with – but sometimes eventually you just had to bow and sit down.