Original ITF Magazine - GM WadleyWhat country did you grow up in as a kid? Do you still live there?

I was born in California, but moved to Little Rock, Arkansas at the age of 9. I now live in Texas.

How big was your family that you grew up with?

Family of 7. Four brothers. I am the eldest.

So what age did you start TaeKwonDo?

I statred boxing in 1977, then karate, then Taekwondo in 1979.

what inspired you to start?    A film star, lack of fitness, Self Defense, Confidence etc

Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris film’s!

When you took up TKD Did your family support you?


Regarding family, did any of them take up TKD ? 

My four brother and mother also took up Taekwo-Do with me.

What grade did they get if any?

All reached their black belts. Mother earned her 4th Dan, Brother, Farren is soon to test for 8th Dan and brother James to 7th Dan.

Do they still train?

Only three of us still train. We lost one of our brothers when he was 17. He was killed by a drunk driver.

How many times did you meet the founder? 

I never meet the founder. I grew up in an independent organization here in the United States. Hang Ung Lee of the American Taekwon-Do Association was my original instructor. He left the ITF in the 1970’s before I started.

Did you compete during your career at all?

I competed all over the United States in both closed and open events. Once I became a member of the GTF under GM Park, Jung Tae, I competed worldwide.

Do you have a memory about competing you would like to share?  Injuries sustained, the teaching methods taught by your instructor, highs or lows, people me, etc.

Competing in Mosco, Russia in 1994 was an experience. The USSR was just collapsing. We witnessed the fall of the Russian parliament while on our trip. Very dangerous, but exciting!

What was your best title won to when competing?

I won many state, national and international titles, but just the travel alone was my biggest reward. I still to this day have many friends from all over the world who we still keep in touch with each other.

Did you ever serve on your national TKD squad? Give details

Yes. I served for 10 years. I traveled ten times to represent USA in competition.

What age did you become an instructor?

Age 15 I started helping. By age 17 I was working full time for my instructor. Age 21 I OPENED MY OWN Dojang and have been teaching full time ever since.

What is your best memory as an instructor? Students achievement / First Black Belt / or title status

Getting to travel around Korea to be able to experience where Taekwodo derived from. Being promoted to Ninth Dan by GM Park Jong Soo.

So what has been your best achievement in TKD apart from becoming a Grand Master?

I do not feel I have a best achievement. Some might say the Official Taekwon-Do Hall of fame? Or 9th Dan? I would say it is the amount of different Taekwon-Do organizations recognize my efforts.

Do you have one memory you can share about TKD. A fun story / Who you met etc

Although I never had the privilege of meeting General Choi, I have meet and trained under several pioneers such as GM Park, Jong Soo, GM Nam Tae Hi, GM Kong, Young Il, GM Kim, Bok Man, GM Lee You Son, GM Suk Jung Kim, GM C.K. Choi and many others.

What are your hopes or plans for TaeKwonDo in general for the future?

Continue to work with ITFU and others to help unify Taekwon-Do for future generations.

If you could change anything from your career what would it be 

I have not regrets! I live a blessed and wonderful life. Taekwon-Do is my life and it has provided for me more than I deserve.

Lastly what is your current position you hold in TaeKwonDo apart from GM?   

I hold office of Vice President for ITFU, President for the United Taekon-Do Alliance in USA, Vice President for International Taekwon-Do Home under GM Lee You Son, Vice President Independent Taekwon-Do Schools UK.

5/5 - (1 vote)