John Chung

Take a trip back to the 80's and enjoy this performance by a Tae Kwon Do and Sport Karate legend.

This is the second edition of a weekly series that will be featuring old school sport karate videos to keep the history of the sport alive. Today, we enjoy this exceptional Tae Kwon Do performance by world champion John Chung at the Battle of Atlanta in the early eighties. This routine is a classic rendition of Jhoon Rhee's legendary choreography with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. At the time, Chung was ranked as the number one forms competitor in the world according to the PKA ratings, a position that he would hold frequently throughout his competitive career.


The Black Belt Magazine Hall of Famer was first rated number one in the world in 1981, when he held world championships in fighting and forms competition. According to his website, his techniques have been compared to Sam Snead's perfect golf swing and his "Perfect 10" performances have been compared to olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci's historic performance. The "King of Kata" has appeared on major television stations from CBS to ESPN, and has performed at prestigious venues such as Madison Square Garden and the White House.

www.usadojo.com

Chung graduated from Wake Forest University in 1984 and has been teaching martial arts since 1972. He continues to teach seminars internationally and has his own studio, The John Chung Tae Kwon Do Institute. His school's name clearly draws inspiration from his mentor, as Chung trained at the Jhoon Rhee Institute. Chung also gives back to the martial arts community by regularly donating his time to judge at open martial arts tournaments. His impact on martial arts history is unquestionable and the three-time Diamond Nationals forms champion is remembered as one of the greatest competitors of all time.

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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