My friend Dr. Jae Bock Chung was inducted into Madison's Sports Hall of Fame last spring, quite an honor for the champion of an Olympic sport that too often flies under the radar.
Tae Kwon Do isn't part of NBC's coverage of the winter Olympics in South Korea this week — it's a Summer Olympics sport and will be part of the next competition, which will get underway in Tokyo in late July 2020.
Few know, though, that the sport is quite alive right here in Madison. Chung, a native of South Korea himself, has been teaching it here for more than 50 years now. It's an incredibly physically demanding sport, based on muscle strength and agility, but also has a most practical side — it can be quite useful for self-defense. For years, Chung conducted training for Madison Police recruits who could apply the techniques if needed on their jobs.
The holder of a 9th degree black belt himself, the highest rank in the worldwide Chung Do Kwan Federation, Grandmaster Chung sent me a note recently that two more of his students have moved up the black belt chain.
One, Mark Maier of Sauk City, has been awarded the 8th degree black belt certification and now holds the title of senior master. That's the second-highest ranking black belt in the world. The other, Jon Augelli of Verona, has reached the 7th degree black belt certification and holds the title of master. The two local men were certified after black belt testing last fall.
Madison old-timers may remember Chung's first school on Wilson Street, in the warehouse that has since been razed for architect Kenton Peters' condominiums at the foot of King Street just off the Square. His school moved several years ago to 1306 Midvale Blvd., next door to his pain clinic in the old Meadowood Shopping Center at the intersection with Verona Road.
I don't do Tae Kwon Do myself, but I know who to call just in case.
Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @DaveZweifel
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