School History Overview
The Korean Academy of Taekwondo was founded in February of 1980 by Grandmaster Jae Kyu Chung. Grandmaster Chung trained in Korea and was a member of the Korean Green Berets and won many national and international titles. After leaving Korea, he taught for eight years in Brazil and then came to Colorado. He built up the Aurora school on Alameda St, and then later at 380 S. Potomac St, near Gymnastics Institute. He also taught at the third building located at 13700 E. Alameda, near Aurora Mall. During this time he was the coach of the US National Taekwondo team.
Master Chung also built up two sister schools, the Littleton and Arvada branches of the Korean Academy. In the mid nineties, he transferred control over the Aurora school to his student, Master Ghassan Timani. Master Ghassan also had help teaching class from Master Andre Olivera, one of Master Chung's students from Brazil. Eventually, Master Andre left to form his own school.
Master Ghassan continued to exercise control over the Korean Academy, and Master Chung sold all three of the schools, and he returned to Korea to pursue a career in politics, including serving as the head of security for Kim De Jung, the former president of South Korea. Master Ghassan is the highest student of Grandmaster Chung in the world.
In the fall of 1998, the third building was torn down to make way for a freeway off ramp and so the school moved again, this time to 16800 E Mississippi.
The school remained in that location for six years until Master Ghassan built a new school across the street. The new building has the significant advantage that it is not part of a complex as other schools are— it is a free standing structure designed from the ground up to provide an intelligent layout, modern safety equipment, and the latest digital media technology.
2004 saw the return of Master Bill Pottle, one of the Korean Academy’s highest ranking students. After getting his black belt from the Korean Academy, Master Bill trained at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania where he was pursuing academic and professional interests.
Master Bill also took over the Metro State Taekwondo program, which was founded in the spring of 1966 by Master Larry McGill. The Metro State program is the oldest collegiate Taekwondo program in the United States.
In 2006 the school welcomed many students from the former United Academy of Taekwondo. With the closing of United Academy, KAT also became the oldest Taekwondo school in Aurora.
In 2007 the school took over the former Garrett/Strantz Taekwondo in Littleton, CO, and installed a state of the art ‘floating floor’ in the facility. KAT expanded again in 2009, taking over the former ML Parr Academy of Taekwondo in Loveland.
For a more comprehensive account, visit the detailed school history section of the KAT website. You might also like to see the KAT Wikipedia Page.
The school has also had branches in Baghdad, Iraq (in one of Hussein’s former palaces) and Joshua, Texas, through the work of Master Emelio Tio.
Over the years thousands of students have trained with the Korean Academy. We have had many state, national, and international champions. In all of these years, we have had an excellent safety record.
First Taekwondo School
Second Taekwondo School
Here's what is left
of the third taekwondo school after we all went crazy and
started kicking down the walls... okay, so it was really
knocked down for a freeway off ramp.
Meditation in the 4th School
See pictures of the Current