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GEORGE VITALE

New York City

INTRODUCTION:

Dr. George Vitale’s fascination with the fighting arts began with Western systems as a youngster with boxing, spurred on by his Father’s interest. As a teen he trained in Wrestling, competing locally in both. His introduction to the Eastern Arts began with an exposure to Tang Su Do. Thereafter he enrolled in Taekwon-Do under the tutelage of Master Kim Kwang-Sung (K-7-45) at ITF Main Gym #21 in the early 1970s. Grandmaster Kim born in Gwangju, Korea was originally from the Moo Duk Kwan and was a Taekwon-Do Pioneer in West Germany. Dr. Vitale’s extensive involvement in Taekwon-Do saw him traveling nationally since 1984 and internationally since 1987. To date he has been to over 70 countries pursuing his love for Taekwon-Do, as a student, teacher, researcher and producer. His main area of interest is the history of Taekwon-Do. He is currently involved in 3 documentaries and writing a book on the subject. The Graduate School work he has done since 1993 has culminated in his earning an academic Doctorate Degree from north Korea, the first American to ever do so. As a result of the expertise he has developed over the decades he is often invited to share his experiences with various institutions and media outlets. Master Vitale is happy to have the opportunity to now share with followers of this website.

EDUCATION:

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)       2011 Sports Science/Physical Education (TKD)

Master of Arts (M.A.)                     1997 Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)                  2012 History

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)          1984 Police Science

Associate of Arts (A.A.)                2011 Liberal Studies

Associate of Science (A.S.)         1979 Security Administration

TAEKWON-DO HIGHLIGHTS:

ITF Order – Outstanding Contributions 2015

Tri-States Icons Martial Arts Hall of Fame 2015

Taekwondowon Contribution to Globalization 2014

Kukkiwon Outstanding Contribution & Dedication 2014

U.S. Grandmasters’ Society Peace Award 2013

International Hall of Fame World Peace & Outstanding Research 2012

TaeKwonDo Times Master of the Year 2011

Coordinator USA-DPRK Goodwill Tour 2011

TaeKwonDo Times Ambassador of the Year 2010

WTF Outstanding Contributions 2010

VIII Dan (8th Degree) A-8-14(b) 2009

Official Taekwondo Hall of Fame 2009

Coordinator USA-DPRK Goodwill Tour 2007

Cuba Taekwon-Do Goodwill Mission 2004

Supported USANTF 2002

Completed Numerous Research Papers on Traditional MAs & Juvenile Delinquency 1997

Vice President USTF 1990

Director ITF 1988

ITF International Instructor #404 1987

ITF International Class “A” Umpire 1987

Graduate #9 of 5th ITF International Instructors Course 1987

EXPERIENCE:

Taekwon-Do Instructor           1977 to Present

New York State Police            1981 to 2005

NYC Youth Counselor            1977 to 1981

ASSOCIATIONS:

Lifetime Member – ITF & USTF

Member – Korea Society (New York City)

Member – National Committee on North Korea (Washington D.C.)

Member – Amateur Athletic Union (Albany, NY)

Member – World History Association

Member – American Historical Association

STATEMENT:

The history of Taekwon-Do has been purposely distorted and manipulated for a myriad of reasons. It appears that an early motivation for the intended confusion was to hide the connection to the obvious Japanese martial art influence that the Koreans had. Since the Japanese Empire had gone to extreme measures to subjugate Korea during their long-term occupation, after the occupation national efforts were made to reinvigorate Korean pride, at the same time when Taekwon-Do was being initially developed. This movement impacted the early telling of Taekwon-Do’s history. Competing personalities and rival factions eventually split Taekwon-Do into two major groups. Once this happened additional pressures bore down upon the telling of Taekwon-Do’s history, corrupting it even more. Eventually major political interference also impacted the truth of the history when General Choi Hong-Hi ran afoul with the south Korean dictatorships when he became a leading outspoken critic of the military regimes. Once General Choi fled Korea for his safety a concentrated campaign was undertaken to destroy him and his ITF, by enticing and even forcing his members to join the new WTF. As the WTF became more successful and grew into the premier Taekwondo organization, General Choi’s ITF was weak and close to ending. As a result he looked to introduce Taekwon-Do to north Korea. General Choi had always envisioned spreading his Taekwon-Do without regard to race, religion, political ideology or national boundaries. He even dreamed of bringing it someday to the north, as a means of helping his beloved Homeland reunite. General Choi named his final Pattern Tong-Il, which denotes the long sought after reunification. Once General Choi visited the north, which was illegal in south Korea, he was labeled a communist traitor who committed a treasonous act by engaging in what was viewed by some as anti-nationalist activity. There always seems to be pressures that look to shape the telling of history. However, history is factual information that should inform us who did what, where and when. Dr. Vitale looks to draw upon his wide range of police training and investigative skills and combine that with his extensive academic education to uncover factual data and illicit information from many of the people who were there at various points along the development of Taekwon-Do.

TKD.Research@yahoo.com

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