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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I am belatedly covering the passing of a great man, Duk Son Sung, a giant at the outset of the Tae Kwon Do movement in Korea, and founder of the World Tae Kwon Do Association.

I remember him as a vigorous man in his forties who went home the same day after appendectomy surgery and took a pistol away from a man who was attempting to rob a bar in NYC. Of course, I also remember him as the organizer and driving force behind intercollegiate karate competitions during my time at West Point. I have written him into my book Old Scores out of respect for the positive influence he played in my life and the lives of so many others.

Duk Sung Son

Born in Seoul, Korea on Jun. 17, 1922
Departed on Mar. 29, 2011 and resided in Newport, RI.

Newport, RI – Grand Master Duk Sung Son, 88, of 375 Thames Street, Newport, RI, died Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at Newport Hospital, Newport, RI.

He was the husband of the late Young Jin (Kim) Son.
He was born in Seoul, Korea, on June 17, 1922.

Grand Master Son was a founding father of the Korean Martial Art Tae Kwon Do, and was the founder and first president of the World Tae Kwan Do Association. Grand Master Son was the original chief instructor to the Republic of South Korea Army and taught the United States 8th Army that was stationed in Korea after the Korean conflict ended. He immigrated to the United States in 1963 where he taught at the Military Academy at West PointNew York UniversityPrinceton, Brown, Fordhan and many other Universities in the tri-state area. He was the author of two textbooks on the subject; Korean Karate – The Art of Tae Kwon Do and Black Belt, Korean Karate. He taught his martial art form all over the world, and was respected by millions.

He is survived by his daughter Yehjong Son and her husband Steven G. Cundy and his granddaughter Lahna Son-Cundy all of Newport, RI