• Master Ash

“What is a Master”

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

January 22, 2011 My sixth dan black belt test by GM Choi Ye Bong

This is GrandMaster Ye Bong Choi. GM Choi trained under General Choi (no relation), the founder of TKD. I found out about him from one of my classmates who was a student at his school.

I met GM Choi in when I was fifteen years old. He was a seventh dan master at the time and ran several schools with the headquarters at 241 Hamilton St in New Brunswick. I still remember going to see him with my parents and starting training that spring.

I have known him for over 40 years. He is a ninth degree black belt with over 300 black belts over countless countries. He is a Master.

He recently retired from active teaching and training black belts in 2020.

GM Robert Zuczek, myself, and GM Choi Ye Bong

GrandMaster Robert Zuczek is now a seventh degree black belt with over 100 black belt students that he has trained. GM Zuczek also trained under GM Choi and is his most senior black belt. He is the most senior black belt in the Choi Taekwondo school. He has trained for over 50 years.

He is a Master.

I met GM Zuczek after starting in the New Brunswick school. I found out that GM Choi had a school closer to my house in South River where GM Zuczek was teaching. He was a second dan black belt at that time. He was young, energetic, and a tournament champion. I wanted to be fast, strong, and powerful like him.

I started taking classes there regularly, at least three times a week. It was wonderful! I grew stronger and faster and learned weapons, breaking, sparring, and how to be a black belt. I learned so much from Grandmaster and my fellow students.

When I received my first dan in 1983 from GM Choi, GM Zuzcek presented me with his very own black belt that he wore in training. That black belt is one of my cherished treasures.

When I went away to college, medical school, residency, and fellowship, GM Zuczek continued to teach me and helped me start my first school in medical school. He guided my training and prepared me for all my black belt tests including the sixth dan. He continues to advise me. Who knows? Maybe someday I will test for the seventh dan.