After almost 5 years of Shotokan Karate, I moved for my work to Germany.
No Karate to find but Taekwon-Do ITF.
In 1976 I started with Taekwon-Do ITF. Finally, after several schools in Germany as a student and later as instructor I arrived in the main school in Kassel –Germany.
I became an international instructor in the school of Master LEE KI YUNG in Kassel (one of the first students of Gen CHOI HONG HI, and also a good friend of Grandmaster Rhee Ki HA, who I met several times in the UK later).
In April 1990 I was promoted in Germany to 4° degree. The same year in September 1990, I was introduced by Master LEE KI YUNG to General CHOI HONG HI in Cologne, Germany.
It was the first time I saw General CHOI HONG HI, he made a huge impression on me, being small, but with a huge appearance.
He had heard that I was going back to Belgium and immediately he asked me to start a federation in Belgium, in a military way, which I considered as an honor, coming from him. I received the first plaque 386 for ITF –Belgium from General CHOI.
I started with my school “Juche” in Ghent. In the French speaking part of Belgium an instructor came back from Dubai … so ITF-Belgium started to develop…
Afterwards I saw GeneralCHOI HONG HI several times. In November ‘93 I was promoted by him in Benidorm, together with 4 other persons, to 5° degree.
What I always remembered, he was sitting on an ordinary chair and after the grading he asked me to join him.
On my knees in front of him, he put his hand on my head and asked how Belgium evolved.
A strange experience, a feeling never to forget. I said that everything went well (in ‘92 I had already send a team to Korea, and for 4 years we organized the Open Belgian Championships with 550 competitors from 25 countries in the last edition).
In July 1994 there were the World Championships in Malaysia. By coincidence my room I thought there were works every morning, but it was General CHOI HONG HI patting his hand against the wall of his hotel room. Harding.
One evening at a banquet with all the other countries I received from him the medal for “Outstanding Instructor”.
Afterwards I attended several seminars with him in Germany, Canada, and others.
I was promoted in the UK to VI° degree by General CHOI HONG HI and his son.
During seminars to show that the opponent could be huge, he did not call me “Vanberghen” but “Berg”=”mountain” explaining huge…his memory to me.
The last seminar was in March 2001 in Hungary where he made a huge physical impression being over 82!
Meantime ITF–Belgium is a fact. And the legacy of General CHOI HONG HI will stay forever in Belgium.
Conclusion: General CHOI HONG HI determined my live. Nothing more to add and his legacy forever.
Grand Master Frank Vanberghen
Pioneer ITF- BELGIUM