In 1988 I started my career as an international referee in Hungary 88, then came Montreal 90 and Korea 92, where I was elected the best referee in the World Cup. At that time, General Choi offered me to take charge of Italy since my nationality, and my grade of 6 give could contribute to that country.
However, fate made me stay in Argentina.
In Russia, 93 was the World Cup would change the history of the TKD in the organizational and refereeing aspects.
I remember having stopped a fight in the central area for a long time since they wanted to change failure, and I did not allow it.
Then General Choi held a Thursday meeting and referees to discuss the issue, and it was then that he removed a Korean Master from office and appointed GM Bos as the new head.
My last World Cup was Poland 95; However, in the years 98/99, General Choi in a meeting at the Austrian headquarters appointed me in charge of the committee of judges and referees for the Argentina 99 World Cup together with GM Leong.
So I started with my first courses adding didactics to them, and we began to interpret General Choi, who wanted to add the martial art to the competition. This way is how the pre-established fight in the world championships was born.
My stories with General Choi are a succession of small anecdotes that have marked me strongly.
The simple fact of being able to share an exam table next to Him, or staying on the same floor of a hotel during an IIC… and hearing the “alarm clock” of His fists against the wall at 6 am sharp!
One of the memories that struck me the most was his speech at the first world championship in North Korea in 1992 when he apologized to the people of North Korea, where he was born for killing his compatriots in the Korean War. It was a very emotional moment to see that man so small, but with great humility and wisdom when he asked his people for forgiveness in his land.
Needless to say, he was like a father to me, for his words, his sincerity, and his gratitude.
Whenever I can, I quote to my students a passage from the Bible, where I compare General Choi to the mustard seed story.
Being the smallest in the world, it becomes one of the lush trees where many birds can nest.
This is how the General was: he was the first to sow the seed of Taekwon-Do, and we practitioners are the birds that nest in his tree that we have printed on our dobok: the tree of unity, of respect, of humility.
I am still training, merely setting the example General Choi Hong Hi has left me.
GM Armando Grispino