Master Ooi 황 복 래 관 장

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International Master Instructor

President of Ooi's Taekwondo/Tangsoodo and OMAS(Ooi's Martial Arts System).  Canadian Representative of the World Kumite Organization (WKO).

 

I left the Orient for the United Kingdom late 1973 and started the first Taekwondo/Tangsoodo class in a small church hall in Hackney, East London.  Ooi's Taekwondo-Tang Soo Do was founded January 18, 1974 with only 6 students.  From 1974 to mid 1985, with the help of my students Ooi's Taekwondo-Tang Soo Do expanded throughout London and into Surrey and Kent.   My greatest passion as an Instructor was definitely the time when I was in England. I pushed my students to their limits and then some!  It could be argued that at the time, some of the best Tang Soo Do fighters in England came from my school. Today many are instructors themselves and running their own schools. It was a time of contrasting highs and lows where I learnt the meaning of trust, loyalty and disappointment.  England taught me a lot and I thank all my British students and trust you understand I was harsh, so you would excel!!!

After 12 years teaching in England, I was invited to go to Canada which became my home on June 3, 1985.  With 38 members, Ooi’s Taekwondo-Tang Soo Do (Canada) was set up on February 8, 1986. After nearly 38 years since I started in England, Ooi’s Taekwondo-Tang Soo Do, with the constant support and effort of Master Steve Graham, now has over a thousand members in Canada, England, Cayman Islands, Thailand, Jamaica, Bahamas and most recently in Malaysia.

My interests in the martial arts extend beyond the Korean disciplines. To be a better teacher, I have to be open to other systems. In Sept.1995, together with five students, I made a martial arts pilgrimage to the legendary Shaolin Temple in China, on it's 1,500-year anniversary. Perhaps a little naive, I was expecting to climb some kind of mountain and hike through a forest before getting to the Temple. The mountain and the forest are still there, but we rode in our mini bus right up to the Temple gates!!!  Stalls selling cheap souvenirs besieged the temple. I was totally unprepared for what I saw and was bitterly disappointed, cutting short our scheduled five day stay at the Shaolin to just three days. The 2nd day, we hiked up Mount Shaoshi, to the cave of Da Mo (legendary creator of Shaolin Kung Fu, said to have meditated in it for nine years). Alone most of the time on that long hike, I looked down to the Temple far below and visualized what it was like for the monks all those many years ago. Standing alone on the mountainside, it was so peaceful! The solitude, tranquility and natural surroundings were in a word, inspiring! Far away from the commercialism below, the essence of the Shaolin Temple suddenly hit me! The 1,500-year heritage of the Shaolin Temple and the influence it has had on Oriental martial arts worldwide was overwhelming and in a flash, I knew instantly why I had come to the Shaolin Temple. I had become a little complacent over the years and now I felt the fire within me burning again. Reflecting upon my own existence and purpose in life, it was a profound and inspiring moment taking me back to my roots, rekindling memories of a youth and past that I am now rediscovering.

Appointed in 2008 as Canadian Representative of the World Kumite Organization, which promotes full contact sparring without any protective gear except for the groin and gum shields.

Fast forward 2010:  Canada has been extremely good to me and my family.  We have a solid base of members and an equally solid core of senior students.  2010 has been especially good and I consider myself very fortunate to have come to Canada.  It has given me a family life that is ideal to my beliefs and it appears to be getting better all the time. I would like to acknowledge so many, but the list would be unending as every single person had a role that brought me to where I am today, so to list a few:-

1. My Instructor Grandmaster Choi Chang Keun.  You inspired me on this journey I have taken.

2. My Tangsoodo brothers:- GM MK Loke of the UK who has no equal in the fluidity of his forms.  You inspired me more than you know;  The late GM Lee Beom Jhoo of Belgium/Denmark, my friend and Tangsoodo brother, who passed away in Aug.28, 2008- "RIP Hyong Nim... I truly truly regret not being in contact more than I should have!."  You brought me back to Taekwondo!

3. My Taekwondo brothers: GM CL Lim, GM CS Lim, GM WH Cheah everyone of you special masters of the martial arts discipline; Special thanks to GM WK Cheung who invited me to Canada and changed the course of my life.

4. My Students from England: My good friend Master Steve Graham, it was a shaky start in the beginning, but now your  unquestionable loyalty and friendship is more than I ever expected; Keith Tucker & all my senior Black Belts in England who all walked by my side at one time or another... it was a tough hike!

5. My students in Canada, you now walk with me and the trail is much more leisurely than it used to be.  It will be a good one.

6. My family... you've always walked with me, thank you.

I'm currently working on a chart of all Black Belts produced since the founding of Ooi's Taekwondo/Taekwondo.  Anyone able to add or make corrections, please contact me so I can build an accurate chart.