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Kajukenbo Founder - Peter Young Yil Choo

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Offline John Bishop

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Kajukenbo Founder - Peter Young Yil Choo
« on: February 06, 2003, 08:23:32 AM »



Grandmaster Peter Young Yil Choo   8/21/26 – 6/19/97

Peter Choo was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He was one of the co-creators of kajukenbo.  Responsible for the Korean art of tang soo do or the "KA" in kajukenbo.  Choo first studied western boxing as a young boy, winning the prestigious 1937 Joe Lynch Boxing Award.  (Joe Lynch was the trainer of Max Baer, the Heavyweight Champion of the world in 1934-1936). 
At a young age he also started a study of Korean martial arts under the tute-lage of his father.  The system his father taught him would later be referred to by the founders as tang soo do, since that was the common name used to describe the Korean striking arts after 1945. 
During the 40’s Choo also trained in kenpo jiu jitsu under Professor Thomas Young, and jujitsu under Professor Sam Luke Jr.  At the same time he continued with his boxing workouts.  Something that he would do long into his future military career.
Choo had been in the U.S. Army since 1944, and in 1949 he was sent into the Korean War.  After the war he made a career out of the military, spending many years in Asia and Europe.   
Having a life long interest in the fighting arts, he always made it a point to learn the native art of the countries that he was stationed in.  Right after the war he was stationed in Korea.  This gave him another opportunity to train in the Korean martial arts that his father had taught him.  This time (around 1953-55) he trained with a young Korean Army officer named Jhoon Rhee (Rhee would later become known as the man who introduced Tae Kwon Do to America).  This being prior to the uniting of all the Korean kwons under the banner of Tae Kwon Do in 1962, Rhee’s art like many of the Korean arts at the time was simply referred to as tang soo do. 
Shortly after 1955,  Choo was stationed in Japan.  There he took up the study of aikido under Morehei Uyeshiba at the Aikikai, and with Koichi Tohei at Tohei’s home.  When stationed in Okinawa, he took up the study of shorinji ryu karate, under a fellow soldier named, Ed Takai. 
When stationed in Europe, Choo continued with his boxing.  He also received several championship awards during his three years of tourney with the 6th U.S. Army Far East, and U.S. Army European Divisions.  Grandmaster Choo retired from the Army in 1965. 
Grandmaster Choo had a favorite saying, "if you think you're beaten, you are.  If you think you dare not, you won't,  if you'd like to win, but think you can't, almost an cinch, you won't.  For life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man.  For sure as fate, the man who wins is the man who thinks HE CAN!"  Grandmaster Choo passed away in Hawaii in 1997.


« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 03:13:58 AM by John Bishop »
John Bishop  8th Degree-Original Method 
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