LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jung Oh Grandmaster Hwang was born in Korea, but now, he calls Louisville home. It’s where he’s raising a family and teaching children the art of Taekwondo.
WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin had the opportunity to sit down with Hwang and watch a demonstration by his students, led by his daughter Mimi.
“I'm from South Korea. I come to the United States in 1987. I studied at the University of Tennessee,” Hwang said.
When Hwang was in elementary school in South Korea he started learning taekwondo and judo. It led him to the Olympics twice. He missed the opportunity of a third because his country sat out.
“Seoul Korea boycotted the Olympic games so he had to wait for more years for his chance to compete, Hwang said. “1984 changed my life. I got a silver medal at that time.”
Hwang said he was the international referee for his sport in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Hwang, his wife Sun and their two year daughter Mimi came to America in 1987. Eventually moving to Louisville and opening three martial arts studios in the city.
“Louisville is my hometown. I love Louisville. Louisville is the best city. I love Louisville,” Hwang said.
Hwang also loves to teach children the core values of his heritage that we all can relate to, regardless of where you are from.
“I wanted to give more opportunity to children to learn respect, discipline, and positive attitude. He can do, she can do, why not me? Yes, I can positive attitude,” Hwang said.
Grandmaster Hwang believes every person should have the following: focus, discipline and respect. This is very important.
“In Asian culture, it's mind and body together. That's respect. That's for all Asians, especially martial arts,” Hwang said.
Giving over a million dollars to charity like the Crusade for Children, and now starting his own foundation, Hwang just wants to leave a legacy of hope.
“I want to share my Olympic three's. Never, never never give up. You know. Teach the generation they quickly give up. We always never, never, never give up. Yes, I can I can do it!” Hwang said.