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Grand Master Ahn


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Grandmaster Ahn & the United Taekwondo Association

Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn immigrated to the United States in the summer of 1967.  At the time he began instruction with the R.O.T.C. program at the University of Cincinnati.


After the University of Cincinnati program was established, a commercial school, Ahn’s Taekwondo College, was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The first gup certificates were awarded to students in September of 1969.


In 1971 the United Taekwondo Association (UTA) was founded by Grandmaster Ahn.  His vision was for the UTA to serve as an organization to facilitate the development and spread of Taekwondo in the United States.  It was to be a vehicle through which students and instructors who did not have the benefit of a Grandmaster to receive assistance without the politics of the Kwans - which was an issue in Korea.


As the focus of Taekwondo shifted to recognition as an Olympic sport in the 1980’s, the UTA’s influence and operations were confined to a regional, rather than a national, scope.  The purpose was still the same - to assist students and instructors who approached the UTA in their time of need.


Today the UTA acts as the rank repository for black belts and color belts who have tested directly with Grandmaster Ahn or one of his affiliated schools.  In addition, the UTA’s Board of Masters is responsible for promotion testing and curriculum review and development.


Our goal is to expand the influence of the UTA through the development of our existing schools and to attract new schools and club members across the United States.  In addition to providing assistance with rank documentation, the plans are to assist member schools and clubs by offering additional benefits.

In addition to his other activities, Grandmaster Ahn has served as the Chairman of the Ohio AAU Taekwondo Committee, Acting Chairman of the National AAU Taekwondo Promotion Committee, and head of the United States team at the 3rd World Taekwondo Championships in 1977. As a 9th Dan Grandmaster Instructor, Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn is licensed and accredited by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) as a Class 2 International Referee and Master Instructor. He is widely known and respected nationally and internationally as a leading figure in Taekwondo—and as a tireless organizer and a dedicated master teacher.


Grandmaster Ahn has trained over 1000 black belts, including some to the level of Master, and over 50,000 students. Many of his students have received national recognition in competition and international recognition for their instructor and refereeing skills.

Grandmaster Kyongwon Ahn was born in Seoul, Korea. His training in the martial arts began when he was twelve years old and continued through his residence in Korea. He served an internship with his instructor, Master Chang Bok Lee, as the Master Instructor for the Korean and American armies from 1955 through 1967.


He emigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio to begin teaching Taekwondo in August of 1967. In 1971, he founded the United Taekwondo Association (UTA) to help bring reputable martial arts instruction to the U.S.  The goals of the UTA were to promote uniformity and standardization for the martial arts.  In 1967, Grandmaster Ahn began instruction at the University of Cincinnati, where he still serves as an advisor.  He has also taught at Miami University of Ohio and Xavier University.


During the 1970's when Taekwondo was beginning its climb to national and international status, Grandmaster Ahn was a member of the founding Board of Directors of the National AAU Taekwondo Committee (which later became the United States Taekwondo Union (USTU)). His work was adopted by the Technical Standardization Committee. From 1986 to the end of 1992, he served as President of the USTU, which is the national governing body for Taekwondo. Grandmaster Ahn, as President of the USTU, lead the United States Olympic Taekwondo teams in 1988 in Seoul, Korea and in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. He contributed greatly to Taekwondo becoming a full medal sport at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.


• One of the founding members of the AAU Taekwondo program

• Responsible for establishing the United States Taekwondo Union as the National Governing Body for Olympic Taekwondo

• Lobbyist for Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport

• Initiator for the World Cup Taekwondo event when President of the United States Taekwondo Union

• Founding member of the United States Taekwondo Won

Has taught Taekwondo from 1957 through 2008

1957 to 1967 in Korea

1967 to current in the United States, estimated 500,000 students over 51 year period, promoted over 1000 Black Belts




•1967 – Arrived in Cincinnati, OH to establish the martial arts program at the University of Cincinnati and to provide instruction to the R.O.T.C. students

•1974 – Founding member of the National AAU Committee

•1975 to 1979 – President of the Ohio Taekwondo Association

•1977 – Head of the U.S. National Team at the 3rd World Championships held in Chicago, IL

•1978 – Author of the promotion standards and code of operation for the National AAU Taekwondo Committee

•1980 to 1984 – Vice President of the United States Taekwondo Union

•1985 to 1986 – President-elect of the United States Taekwondo Union

•1986 – Director of the 1st World Cup Taekwondo event held in Colorado Springs, CO

•1986 to 1992 – President of the United States Taekwondo Union

•1987 to 1992 – Executive Board Council member of the World Taekwondo Federation

•1986 to 1992 – Member of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee

•1988 – Team Leader for the U.S. National Team at the 1st Taekwondo Demonstration at the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea

•1989 to 1992 – Chairman of the Law & Legislation Committee of the World Taekwondo Federation

•1990 – Certified as an International Referee by the World Taekwondo Federation

•1990 – Promoted to 9th Dan by the World Taekwondo Federation / Kukkiwon

•1992 – Team Leader for the U.S. National Team at the 2nd Taekwondo Demonstration at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain

•1992 – Member of the Promotion Committee for the Taekwondo Olympic status

•1992 – Member of the Arbitration Committee for the 1992 Barcelona Taekwondo Olympic Games

•1995 – President of the Ohio State Taekwondo Association


•1999 – Founding member of the United States Taekwondo Won

•2001 to 2004 – President of the United States Taekwondo Won

•2008 – 2009 – Member of the Kukkiwon International Advisory Committee

•1977 – Award from Dr. Un Yong Kim for Outstanding Contribution to Taekwondo

•1987 – Award from Pan American Games

•1992 – Award from the Barcelona Olympic Games

•1995 – Award from Dr. Un Yong Kim for Outstanding Contribution to Taekwondo

•2002 – National Martial Artist of the Year from the International Tang Soo Do Federation

•2003 – National Sport Merit Award from the Republic of South Korea





Randolph Smith, Sr.

Kim Limes

Charles Moore



Ryan Newburn

Ken Phillips

Norman Kim

Patrick Brown

John Rohleder 

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Ahn TaekwonDo - Cincinnati

11100 Kenwood Rd

Cincinnati, OH 45242

ph. 513-791-8888




Jacobs Taekwondo

Master Jason Jacobs

Miami Township Rec Center

6101 Meijer Drive

Miami Township, OH 45150




Ahn Taekwondo- California

2566 Telegraph Ave. - Suite C

Berkeley, CA 94704

Tel: (510) 280-5157




Grand Master Ahn's Retirement Letter

Grand Master August O'Neil's Acceptance Letter

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2020-12-30_GM ONeils letter.jpg


Hapkido is a dynamic Korean martial art.  It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, and common primitive attacks.  There is also the use of traditional weapons which vary in emphasis depending on the tradition examined.

Our program is perfect for current martial artists, new students looking to learn an dynamic and interesting form of martial arts, or individuals who are just looking to learn practical self-defense techniques.

The head of the UTA Hapkido Program is Grandmaster August O'Neal  He holds a 9th Degree black belt in Taekwondo and a 7th Degree balck belt in Hapkido.



The UTA Classic Weapons Program has been developed to re-affirm the place of the use of traditional Korean weapons and to perpetuate their influence within Korean martial arts.


While there are common threads that run through the eastern martial arts such as Taekwondo, Karate, and Tai Chi, there are also elements that are uniquely Korean. We will celebrate those for what they are, within the context of the program.


Student will learn using the long staff, twin sticks, sais, kamas, tonfas & a variety of swords.

Discover more about UTA Classic Weapons Program:


11100 Kenwood Road

Cincinnati, Ohio 45242

513-791-8888 *



Membership in the United Taekwondo Association is available for our Taekwondo, Hapkido, and Classic Weapons programs.


For more information on becoming a part of our organization, please contact our main office at 513-791-8888 or

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