Nam Tae Hi

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Nam.
For the football player, see Nam Tae-Hee.
Nam Tae Hi
Born 19 March 1929
Seoul, Korea
Died 7 November 2013(2013-11-07) (aged 84)
Garden Grove, California, United States
Style Taekwondo
Teacher(s) Won Kuk Lee
Rank 9th dan taekwondo
Notable students Han Cha Kyo, Jhoon Goo Rhee

Nam Tae Hi (남태희; 南太熙; 19 March 1929 – 7 November 2013) was a pioneering South Korean master of taekwondo,1234 and is known as the 'Father of Vietnamese Taekwondo.'1 With H. H. Choi, he co-founded the Oh Do Kwan and led the twelve original masters of taekwondo of the Korea Taekwon-Do Association (KTA).15

Early life

Nam was born in March 1929 in Seoul, Korea,1 during the period of Japanese occupation. He began training in the martial arts in 1946, training after school for five nights each week.6 Nam's training continued in the Chung Do Kwan under Won Kuk Lee.6 It has been claimed that Nam introduced Bok Man Kim (a pioneering master and one of the technical founders of taekwondo, working with Choi) to taekkyeon in 1948,7 but other sources indicate Nam did not meet Bok Man Kim until 1954.8


While a Captain in the South Korean military forces, Nam met Choi,1 and acted as Choi's second-in-command in the early days of taekwondo. Nam was pivotal in the development of taekwondo, and was called Choi's "right hand man" in the latter's official biography.9 In 1954, at the rank of 2nd dan, Nam participated in a military demonstration of martial arts for the President of South Korea, Syngman Rhee, and broke 13 roof tiles with a downward punch; Rhee was reportedly so impressed that he subsequently ordered all Korean military personnel to undergo training in martial arts.361011

In March 1959, Nam was a member of the first Korean taekwondo demonstration team to travel overseas, demonstrating his martial art in Vietnam and Taiwan.1 Around this time, he was appointed President of the Asia Taekwon-Do Federation, and was also one of the founding directors of the KTA.9 In 1962, Nam was appointed as Chief Instructor of taekwondo for the Vietnamese army, and came to be known as the Father of Taekwondo in Vietnam.1 Nam designed the Chang Hon taekwondo patterns Hwa-Rang hyung, Chung-Mu hyung, and UI-Ji hyung.1

Later life

Nam moved to the Chicago area in 1972, opened a dojang in 1973, and then later lived in Los Angeles.1 He appears on Chang Keun Choi's list of taekwondo pioneers.12 In 2007, he was inducted into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame.13

After being admitted to hospital due to pneumonia, Nam died on 7 November 2013 in Garden Grove, California, USA.141516

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i World Taekwon-Do Alliance: Grand Master Nam Tae Hi Retrieved on 22 February 2009.
  2. ^ Grandmaster Van Binh Nguyen, IX degree Retrieved on 8 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b Burdick, D. (1990): A history of Taekwondo Retrieved on 8 January 2010.
  4. ^ Van Binh Self Defense Academy: History of Taekwon-Do Retrieved on 8 January 2010.
  5. ^ A tribute to the original masters (c. 2007). Retrieved on 13 June 2007; link has expired, as at 1 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b c Weiss, E. (2000): Nam Tae Hi: Chung Do Kwan's quiet man Tae Kwon Do Times. Retrieved on 20 January 2010.
  7. ^ Archer, P. (1973): "Three stages of Tae Kwon Do." Black Belt, 11(7):28–32.
  8. ^ Anslow, Stuart: Supreme Master Kim, Bok Man Interview, Totally Tae Kwon Do, 27:11-23.
  9. ^ a b Park, S. H. (1993): "About the author." In H. H. Choi: Taekwon-Do: The Korean art of self-defence, 3rd ed. (Vol. 1, pp. 241–274). Mississauga: International Taekwon-Do Federation.
  10. ^ History of Chang Moo Kwan Retrieved on 20 January 2010.
  11. ^ Vitale, G. (2009): A history of Taekwon-Do demo's (sic) Totally Tae Kwon Do, 5:41–45.
  12. ^ Choi, C. K. (2007): Tae Kwon Do Pioneers Retrieved on 15 March 2008.
  13. ^ Taekwondo Hall of Fame: Awards ceremony and banquet (6 April 2007). Retrieved on 22 April 2010.
  14. ^ Kido Kwan Martial Art International: Passing of Nam, Taej-hi (sic) (7 November 2013). Retrieved on 12 November 2013.
  15. ^ Tae Kwon Do Times: Colonel Nam Tae-Hi (1929–2013) (8 November 2013). Retrieved on 12 November 2013.
  16. ^ World Taekwondo Alliance (November 2013). Retrieved on 12 November 2013.