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The question of who is the "best" is a matter of opinion. There are many qualities of a student or master of Taekwondo that could be used to decide who you "think" is the best, but answers to this type of question are likely to be based more on a personal relationship a student has with a particular individual, or organization where the natural inclination would be to name your own Master or Grandmaster.

There have been many knowledgeable, highly skilled and talented Masters in Taekwondo throughout the years. Many are no longer living, and even more are being created with each generation. It would be more appropriate to note their particular skills, character traits, lifetime achievements, and their contributions to Taekwondo, but not to single one out as a fabricated "best." Any genuine Taekwondo Master would decline such a designation.

(Supervisor's note: Since there are likely to be many personal opinions to this question, let us place those on the "Discussion" page for this question. Naming individuals here will be removed and placed in the Discussion area where members can state why they agree or disagree with those named.)

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12y ago
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13y ago

It depends. The titles of Instructor, Master, or Grandmaster are only valid within the organization issuing the title. They are usually not automatic with specific ranks, but require a minimum rank to attain, as well as additional training, dedication and service to the art of Taekwondo. The title of Instructor, Master, or Grandmaster is only valid within the organization issuing such a title, but is often respected and widely accepted throughout the Taekwondo community when it comes from a legitimately recognized source.

In some organizations, the title of Master is first eligible to those 4th Dan and higher. The World Taekwondo Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, called the Kukkiwon, requires an instructor to be a certified 4th Dan or higher to be able to recommend other black belt certificates to students up to 3rd Dan. However the titles Master and Grandmaster is not defined by the Kukkiwon, and is left to the Kwanjang (Grandmaster) of an organization to decide what titles to use and at what rank.

In former times, a 5th or even 6th Dan was required for Master as this was the lowest rank that could run a Dojang (Taekwondo School) in Korea.

Both the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), and the American Taekwondo Association (ATA - Song Ahm Taekwondo), require a minimum of 7th-8th degree (dan) for Master, and only one individual, the current President, is a 9th and Grand Master. Other major Taekwondo organizations have multiple Grandmasters, but might refer to one of them as the "Senior Grandmaster" or "Great Grandmaster" as in the family terms of grandfather, and great-grandfather.

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14y ago

How do you define what is "best?" Everyone is going to have their opinion about who is the best. The truth is, the best experts and Masters of Taekwondo are seldom seen or heard. Most of the highest skilled Masters would never step into a competition ring, yet they are very deadly. Even when an athlete is in their best physical condition, and at the top of their game, they are still too young and inexperienced to be able to be considered the "best" in the world. Most of them would not last long against one of their senior Grandmasters who train specifically to kill, and win a fight quickly with tactics and skills that the young athlete has never even seen before. The older Master is not likely to be stronger, faster, or even more flexible and agile, so he has to be able to fight smarter, and smarter usually wins. So, write down a name if you want, but I guarantee you that there are at least a hundred that are better of whom you have never heard their name.

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12y ago

Who is the "greatest" is a matter of opinion. There have been many, many "great" ones, but there is no way to put one above the other, and a genuine Taekwondo Master would decline such a designation.

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13y ago

In Taekwondo, a master is referred to as "SABUMNIM" (pronounced: sa bom nim)

A grandmaster is referred to as "KWAJINIM" (pronounced kwa jee nim)

Traditionally a master is 6th and 7th degree and a grandmaster is 8th degree and higher, but most instructors in TKD use SABUMNIM regardless of official rank if they are at least 3rd degree or higher.

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11y ago

There are many who have gained fame and notoriety within the Taekwondo community. However, world-wide, one of the most famous Taekwondo masters would probably be Chuck Norris, who holds a 9th Dan in Taekwondo at the Kukkiwon (world Taekwondo Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea).

Two other famous Taekwondo Grandmasters outside of native Korean birth would be Sr. Grandmaster Edward B. Sell (Kukkiwon 9th Degree - Founder of U.S. Chung Do Kwan Association), and his wife, Grandmaster Brenda J. Sell (Kukkiwon 8th Dan). They hold the distinction of being the two highest ranking non-Koreans (male and female respectively) in the world, and have been on the cover of Taekwondo times magazine on several occasions.

Within the Taekwondo community several names are well known, such as the founder of each of the original Kwans that united to form the KTA.

Won-Kuk Lee: Founder of Chung Do Kwan

Byung-Jick Ro: Founder of Song Moo Kwan

Hwang Kee: Founder of Moo Duk Kwan

Byung-In Yoon: Founder of Kwon Bop Bu / Chang Mu Kwan

Sang-Sup Chun: Founder of Yun Moo Kwan / Jidokwan

Also

Hong-Hi Choi: Founder of Oh Do Kwan and ITF (International Taekwon-Do Federation)

Jhoon Rhee: Founder of Rhee Taekwondo

Haeng-Ung Lee: Founder of ATA (American Taekwondo Association)

and STF (Song Ahm Taekwondo Federation)

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10y ago

To reach the Taekwondo Master there needs to be certain colors of belts earned and degrees. A Taekwondo Master is considered one by his/her Grandmaster.

Traditionaly, a fourth degree black belt is considered a master. The above answer is correct you are not a master until a Grand master or council of masters recognizes you as one. However they recognize one by awarding the fourth degree.

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Sameer

Lvl 3
1y ago

Lav Kumar is Indian taekwondo athlete.

Lav is martial artist. Lav practice karate from age 6 year. Now he is learning taekwondo. He is blue belt in karate and in taekwondo yellow belt.

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Wiki User

13y ago

That's a tough one being that there are a lot of great players. A few of my favorites are Gabriel Mercedes, Son Tae Jin, and Aaron Cook.

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12y ago

well one of the best ones is grandmaster kurban and i met him at a seminar and he is one of the best ones

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