Sung Young Ji: A Champion of Peace Through TaeKwonDo

In the realm of TaeKwonDo, few individuals embody the spirit of harmony and goodwill as profoundly as Sung Young Ji. Hailing from South Korea, Ji’s journey to the United States was not just a personal pursuit of martial arts excellence but also a quest for global understanding and reconciliation. His dedication to TaeKwonDo transcended mere physical practice, evolving into a profound mission for peace.

In 2007, history was made as Ji played an instrumental role in organizing the groundbreaking Goodwill Tour, which saw the North Korea (DPRK) National TaeKwon-Do Demonstration Team’s historic visit to the United States. This unprecedented event, aimed at fostering peaceful relations between the two nations, captivated audiences across five cities. Ji’s tireless efforts over sixteen years culminated in this remarkable initiative, demonstrating the power of TaeKwonDo as a catalyst for diplomacy and understanding.

At the esteemed US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society’s 22nd Annual Meeting, Ji’s invaluable contributions to the Goodwill Tour were rightfully acknowledged. Among peers and leaders of the martial arts community, Ji was awarded the prestigious Peace Award—an honor that not only celebrated his dedication to TaeKwonDo but also recognized his role as a champion of peace and reconciliation on the global stage. Through his unwavering commitment to the principles of harmony and mutual respect, Sung Young Ji continues to inspire generations, proving that the true essence of TaeKwonDo lies not just in physical prowess but in its ability to unite and heal divisions, one kick at a time.

“At the prestigious US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society’s 22nd Annual Meeting, held amidst the backdrop of esteemed martial arts tradition, Sung Young Ji’s remarkable contributions to the historic Goodwill Tour of 2007 were duly recognized. Among a gathering of distinguished peers and luminaries, Sung Young Ji was honored with the prestigious Peace Award, a testament to his unwavering commitment to fostering goodwill and promoting cultural exchange through the transformative art of TaeKwonDo.”

Left Sung Young Ji Right Woo Jin Jung 2024 US GRANDMASTERS SOCIETY

In October of 2007, a groundbreaking moment in history unfolded as the North Korea (DPRK) National TaeKwon-Do Demonstration Team embarked on a monumental journey to the United States of America. This unprecedented event marked the first-ever visit of the DPRK TaeKwon-Do team to the U.S., captivating audiences across five cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cedar Rapids, Louisville, and Atlanta. At each location, thousands of spectators bore witness to the unparalleled skill and mastery of the martial art form, proudly displayed by the world-renowned DPRK team.

The monumental tour was meticulously organized and generously sponsored by TaeKwonDo Times Magazine & Hwang Martial Arts, with the noble objective of fostering peaceful relations between the United States and North Korea through non-governmental channels of exchange.

Behind this historic initiative stood Grandmaster Woojin Jung, a dedicated practitioner and ambassador of TaeKwonDo, whose journey from South Korea to the United States culminated in a profound mission for peace. Over the course of sixteen years, Grandmaster Jung tirelessly worked to realize this ambitious exchange program, driven by a singular purpose: to contribute to the peace and eventual reunification of the two nations through the transformative power of TaeKwonDo.

Amidst the tour’s cultural significance, a moment of profound symbolism emerged as the strains of the North Korean national anthem echoed on U.S. soil for the very first time. This historic milestone not only bridged geographical distances but also paved the way for reciprocal gestures of goodwill and cultural exchange. In a remarkable turn of events, the New York Philharmonic reciprocated this gesture by making their own historic visit to North Korea in February 2008, where they performed the U.S. national anthem—a powerful testament to the transformative potential of cultural diplomacy.

In the annals of history, this remarkable journey stands as a testament to the power of perseverance, diplomacy, and the unifying force of TaeKwonDo. With profound respect and gratitude,

Grandmaster Woojin Jung
Publisher, TaeKwonDo Times

Messages from the 
North Korea TaeKwonDo Demonstration Team

To the United States,

We would like to thank all of those involved in organizing and implementing the Good Will Tour 2007. Our trip to the United States was wonderful. We were so pleased to have the opportunity to travel to the United States and we were so proud to represent TaeKwonDo for Americans.

The United States was so big and there were so many things to see and do. Our hosts showed us great hospitality and respect and for that we are thankful. It was wonderful to see the faces of Americans as they witnessed our demonstration for the first time and we thank you for your warm welcome.

Everyone was so friendly and helpful as we toured the country. We send our deepest thanks.

In TaeKwonDo and Respect,

The North Korea National TaeKwonDo Demonstration Team Members

 “I am not a political person. I am just one TaeKwonDo person who came from South Korea and settled down in the U.S. to teach TaeKwonDo. It took 16 years to establish this exchange to help contribute to the peace and unification of the two countries of the U.S. and DPRK through TaeKwonDo“.

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