When General Choi Hong-Hi passed away in a hospital in Pyongyang on 15 June 2002, it was not only the President of the ITF who left us, but also the founder of the martial art of Taekwon-Do, which today has no equal. General Choi was and is irreplaceable and will never be forgotten!
However, he lives on in his legacy = TKD and is therefore omnipresent.
The task of our generation is to preserve this by remembering him and passing this memory on to the next generation.
Thank You General Choi!
Someone who had the closest contact with General Choi outside his family is HGM Tom MacCallum, former ITF Secretary General and now Chair of the ITF GMPC. I have asked HGM MacCallum to give his perspective and I have nothing to add to his statement below because it mentions everything that is important to say.
GM Paul Weiler
“General Choi Hong Hi is a historical figure who should never be forgotten, especially by his own countrymen and Taekwon-Do (TKD) practitioners. Unfortunately, politics have come to make some people try to hide his name. This is the man who is “the FOUNDER OF TKD” and not “someone who had some influence” as some people would have you believe. General Choi’s divided country of Korea had the opportunity to make TKD a great ambassador for their country and make their country beloved to the world in general. However, they chose to try to take his “child” from him that led to the current situation where different groups criticise each other and thus TKD does not have as much success as it surely deserves. To this end I am reminded to tell practitioners that I, as a person who was present (June 11th. 2002) when Gen Choi spoke his “last words”, would like to emphasize the necessity to remember such a great man forever. From his very generous last words to me I pride myself that I have followed his philosophy and vision to the best of my ability. When the last words were spoken there were members of the ITF present which included, Rhee Ki Ha, Hwang Kwang Sung, Park Jong Soo, Tom MacCallum, Leong Wai Meng, Hwang-Jin, and Jong Jae Hun. General Choi spoke about us all. This may help you to understand why I am very keen that you remember this man who gave us so much. Think of the people who owe their livelihood to him or those who have been saved by his philosophy. I beg you to always revere this legend that gave so much to us and always have him in your mind.”