Doug Cook, owner and head instructor of the Chosun Taekwondo (60 Galloway Road, Warwick), was recently awarded the ninth-degree black belt from the Chang Moo Kwan in South Korea, the highest degree possible in taekwondo.
According to his announcement, the honor was based on his literary contributions to the craft, which include four books and hundreds of articles on taekwondo to his credit. He was also lauded for teaching seminars globally, running a school professionally for almost three decades, being president of the United States Taekwondo Alliance, nine martial pilgrimages to South Korea, a special recognition award presented to him by the ambassador of the Republic of Korea at its embassy in Washington, D.C., years of community service, and his ongoing physical practice.
Cook said, “I am immeasurably humbled to be awarded this high rank. I did not seek it, but when told by my seniors, here and in Korea, to accept it, I obeyed. When I began training in taekwondo years ago at an advanced age, I never thought I would live long enough or prove worthy of earning such a rank. Dreams do come true if you persevere.”
Cook expressed appreciation to Grandmaster Ellen Rachlin and Grandmaster Martin Marcus for their recommendations, and to his mentor in South Korea, Grandmaster Kyu Hyun Lee, an original member of the Chang Moo Kwan, for his encouragement. He also expressed appreciation to Grandmaster Joong Young Kim, president of the Chang Moo Kwan in Korea.
The Chosun Taekwondo Academy, established in 1996, practices a traditional curriculum that focuses on self-defense, martial arts philosophy, authenticity, and meditation. The academy also features classes in hatha yoga and qigong, all taught by adult black belt instructors. For more information on the programs offered at the Chosun Taekwondo Academy, call 845-986-2288, or visit chosuntkd.com.