Yun Hak-deok



Yun Hak-Duk



With heavy hearts, we mourn the passing of a true pioneer and master of Taekwondo, whose indelible mark on the art and its community will forever be cherished.

Yun Hak-deok, known in the Washington State Taekwondo and sports community as a venerable figure, breathed his last on the 16th of last month at the age of 84. His journey to the heavenly abode commenced after a valiant battle with illness, following his collapse due to influenza earlier this year. Despite relentless efforts, the revered master could not overcome the ailment, and he peacefully departed at 10 p.m. on that fateful evening at Edmonds Swedish Hospital.

A former Korean Navy officer and esteemed Taekwondo instructor for the US 2nd Division stationed in Korea, Yun embarked on a transformative journey when he immigrated to Seattle in 1976. It was here that he laid the foundation of his legacy by establishing a Taekwondo studio near the University of Washington. This humble beginning blossomed into the creation of the Taekwondo Association, heralding a new era of Taekwondo excellence in Washington State.

Beyond the confines of his studio, Yun’s impact extended far and wide. He opened additional studios in Tacoma and Lynnwood, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to spreading the art of Taekwondo. His dedication knew no bounds, as he even arranged transportation for his students through the operation of two buses. Yun’s influence resonated not only within the Korean community but also across mainstream society, elevating the stature of Taekwondo as a revered martial art.

As the founding chairman of the Washington State Taekwondo Association, Yun exemplified leadership and vision. His efforts laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Washington State Korean Sports Association in 1986, a testament to his enduring legacy in fostering sportsmanship and camaraderie within the community. Moreover, his contribution transcended borders, as he played a pivotal role in founding the World Martial Arts Health Association.

In honoring the memory of Yun Hak-deok, plans for a memorial service befitting his stature are underway. Details regarding the venue and date will be announced in due course, symbolizing our collective gratitude and respect for a man whose dedication and passion enriched the lives of countless individuals. Let us come together to celebrate the life and legacy of a true master, whose spirit will continue to inspire generations of Taekwondo practitioners worldwide.