WARWICK-The Korean National Tourism Organization has honored Master Doug Cook of the Chosun Taekwondo Academy in Warwick for his efforts in helping to forge a stronger relationship between the two countries through the martial arts. The dignified ceremony held at KNTO headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, was attended by the government agency's director, Kee-Hak Hwang, members of his staff, various dignitaries and local news reporters. Following a brief congratulatory speech, Kee presented Master Cook with two dozen roses along with a plaque of appreciation that reads: "In recognition of helping to build a stronger friendship between Korea and the United States through taekwondo. KNTO salutes your leadership, hard work and dedication." The event coincided with a seven-day taekwondo training and cultural tour throughout South Korea that found Master Cook and 16 of his adult students studying with the Korean Olympic Taekwondo Team, in addition to world renowned 9th degree black belt Grandmaster Gyoo hyun-Lee of the World Taekwondo Federation. The group also visited, meditated and trained in ancient Buddhist temples located high in Korea's southern mountains. Cook, author of the best-selling book, Taekwondo: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Warrior, and a student of martial arts pioneer Grandmaster Richard Chun, said, "Because of how it is portrayed on television and the in the cinema, many people view taekwondo as a violent pursuit. At its heart, however, lies an art that cultivates discipline, benevolence and a sense of well being. Therefore, it is truly a privilege to be recognized by an organization whose sole mission is to cultivate friendship throughout the world. The fact that I, as a professional martial arts instructor, can participate in this endeavor makes the experience all the richer." Taekwondo, with roots that date back to antiquity, is the national martial art of Korea with over 50-million practitioners across the globe according to WTF statistics. It is said to be the most popular martial discipline in the world today. The Chosun Taekwondo Academy & Hatha Yoga Center, with Master Doug Cook as its head instructor, teaches a pure form of taekwondo that emphasizes self-defense, self-enrichment and internal energy development, as opposed to simply sport.