A Bio of Grandmaster Olando Vega
GM Orlando Vega was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He comes from a humble family with a low income. His parent’s taught good moral and Christian values on how to live and survive. He had sincere motivation in the early years of his life to pursue a degree in college.
In 1971 he applied for college without any economic resources. He applied for a student loan and his dream in life started from there. He pursued higher education from the Catholic University of Ponce, Puerto Rico majoring in Science and Mathematics and a minor in Physical Education and Spanish History. Upon graduation, he began teaching physical education to junior and high school students. With time, he became exceptional as an instructor and changed his efforts in teaching physical education to mentally handicapped and physically impaired men and women.
He has been involved in martial arts for over forty-five years. He began learning Kempo Karate with Sensei Felix Vega from New York. He studied under Sensei Vega for two years. In 1971 he began in Tae Kwon-Do under Master Danny Ortiz at the YMCA in Ponce, Puerto Rico. At the same time, he began in Judo under Dr. Ricardo Paranos. He began practicing both martial arts at the same time and achieved his black belt in 1976.
He was the president of the Catholic University Judo Club and earned a gold medal in 1974 during the inter-college games (LAI) in the 139-pound division.
In 1976 he decides to move on and looked for more knowledge in Taekwon-Do. In 1977 he started practicing with the International Taekwon-Do Federation under the Young Brothers and his president GM Young IL Kong and the president in the Island, Master Benny Rivera. From 1979 to 1984, GM Vega was acting as the vice-president for the Young Brothers I.T.F. in Puerto Rico.
He led Puerto Rico’s Taekwon-Do team from 1974 – 1986 in national, international and world championships. He represented the Taekwon-Do team eighteen times in international events and won first place twelve times. From there, he won eight times as a Grand Champion in the heavy weight division amazingly weighing only 140 pounds. He was also a winner in breaking techniques and patterns or forms.
He represents Puerto Rico in Venezuela, United States, Canada, Scotland, Virgin Islands, Domican Republic, Guatemala and Puerto Rico. In 1984 he was the Puerto Rico team coach in the world Championship in Scotland. The Puerto Rico team won third place in the world. In 1983 he received from his city mayor, an award of “The Best Athlete in Taekwon-Do”.
GM Orlando Vega and his achievements during his military service.
In 1986 he decided to join to the United States Navy. As a service member of the U.S. Navy he became an exceptional Instructor on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Over three hundred U.S. Navy and Marines participated in his program. He created the Teddy Roosevelt Taekwon-Do team. He also served in Desert Storm in 1991 in the liberation of Kuwait.
Today Master Vega holds a 9th Dan with the International Taekwon-do Federation, 6th Dan in O.S.C. Ho Sin Sool (Street Self Defense), 5th Dan in Korean Hapkido, 5th Dan in World Taekwon-Do Federation, 4th Dan in O.S.C. Mu Ki-Do (Korean weapons) and a Black Belt in Judo. Master Vega is the president of Oriental Sports Center Association. The organization is open for all styles and is not a political organization.
GM Orlando Vega Taekwon-do Records
Taekwon-do Martial Arts Instructor in Ponce, Puerto Rico- 1976-1987
Taekwon-do and Self Defense Master Instructor in the U.S. Navy -1988-1991
Taekwon-do Martial Arts Master Instructor Norfolk, Virginia- 1991-2000
Taekwon-do and Self Defense Master Instructor Elizabeth City State University, NC-2006-2013
Taekwon-do and Self Defense GM Instructor Elizabeth City, NC 2005-2021
• 1976 Best competitor of the year presented by P.R. Karate Institute Ponce, PR
• 1981 Best Athlete of Taekwon-do presented by the City Mayor of Ponce, PR
• 1982 Best competitor of the year presented by Young Brothers Bayamón, PR
• 2007 Instructor of the year presented by Panam TKD Council
• 2009 Instructor of the year presented by Panam TKD Council
• 2010 President of the United States TKD Council (U.S.A. –I.T.F. NGB)
• 2013 Hall of Fame for the World Greatest Martial Arts Master
• 2015 Pioneer of the Martial Arts on 70’s award in Puerto Rico
• 2015 President of the International Taekwon-do Federation UNION in America
• 2015 Chairman of Promotion of the International Taekwon-do Federation UNION
• 2016 Vice-president of the International Taekwon-do Federation UNION
• 2017 Worldwide Taekwon-do Hall of Fame official induction.
• 2018 President & Founder of the International Taekwon-do Federation the Americas
• 2019 Who’s is Who in The Legends of Martial Arts Hall of Fame
Competition Sparring Awards
• 1974 International Karate Championship Guaynabo, PR (3rd Place Open Division)
• 1975 Ponce Open Karate Championship Ponce, PR (1st Place H/Weight)
• 1975 S. Henry Cho Karate Championship New York, NY (3rd Place)
• 1976 S. Henry Cho Karate Championship New York, NY (1st Place)
• 1977 International Young Brothers Championship Bayamón, PR (2nd Place L/Weight)
• 1978 Caribbean Karate Championship Saint Croix, VI (1st Place H/Weight)
• 1979 1st International Henry Cho TKD Championship San German, PR (1st Place H/W)
• 1980 General Choi Cup, Suk Jung Kim TKD New York, NY (1st Place)
• 1981 2nd International Full Contact Championship, Venezuela (1st Place H/Weight)
• 1981 1st International Richard Chung Championship, Ponce, PR (1st Place H/Weight)
• 1981 2nd International Open championship, Buffalo NY, (1st Place H/Weight)
• 1982 Intercontinental Cup Quebec Canada, (3rd Place M/Weight)
• 1985 International TKD Championship Guatemala (3rd Place H/Weight)
• 1986 Navy Taekwon-do Games (1st Place M/Weight)
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