For students learning martial arts, it is always important to know the lineage of your instructors. The quality of the martial art you are learning depends largely on the quality of your instructor. Your instructor’s martial arts pedigree is just as important as his/her propensity toward teaching and serving as a martial arts role model to you and your family. The following information includes short biographies of instructors who are an integral part of the Maximum Martial Arts lineage.
Grandmaster Myung Kyu Kang (Deceased)
Grandmaster Myung Kyu Kang was born in Manchuria (now called Shin Yang, China) and started training martial arts at age 3. He later moved to Seoul Korea where he trained under top Japanese, Korean and Chinese masters. He is a graduate of the University of Korea Yudo College. Master Kang is a true pioneer of today’s mixed martial art movement. Way before the time of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, Master Kang was teaching his interpretation of martial art. This eclectic style includes Moo Duk Kwan, Judo, Aikido, Jujitsu, Wushu, Tai Chi Chuan, and Chi Kung.
In Korea he taught Tae Kwon Do to the Korean Air Force Academy, the 23rd Intelligence School, US 728th Division and several universities, colleges and high schools. While in Korea, he established twenty Taekwondo gymnasiums. The largest one is called Dong Po Gymnasium. In 1964, Master Kang came to the United States. Here he organized the Taekwondo Association in the United States. He was the first President of the Moo Duk Kwan Association of the United States. There are 300 branches of Moo Duk Kwan in the United States. In December 1969, Master Kang received the Dan Bak medal, the second highest award from the Republic of Korea. He is one of six men in the world to hold the true 10th degree black belt ranking. Master Kang has taught Taekwondo for 60 years and has over 70,000 students with over 5,000 black belts.
Grandmaster Han Young Choi (Deceased)
While Choi, Yong Sul is considered the founder of modern day Hapkido and was a student of Master Sogaku Takeda and the Daitoryu Aikijujitsu lineage, Takeda did in fact have another student, Grandmaster Jang In Mok. Jang In Mok was the only other Korean student to study directly under Takeda and adapt techniques into what we now know as Hapkido. The president and founder of the World Chun Ki Association, Grandmaster Choi, Han Young was Jang In Mok’s main student. Chun Ki Hapkido is a fusion of Grandmaster Choi’s martial arts training which began with the Choi Family Martial Arts under the guidance of his Father Chun-san and his Uncle Man-san when he was a young boy. He then studied for four years at a Korean monastery learning Chi development. From there he studied Moo Duk Kwan under Grandmaster Hwang Kee. It was after this training, that Grandmaster Choi began training with Grandmaster Jang In Mok in the art of Hapkido. Chun Ki Hapkido combines the stepping and jumping movements from the Choi Family Martial Arts, the concept of a set of techniques and kicking from Moo Duk Kwan, and the Hapkido concepts and techniques from Grandmaster Jang In Mok.
Grand Master Daniel R. Walker
Grand Master Daniel Walker- 8th Dan Taekwondo, 9th Dan Chunkido- Originally from the Richmond, Virginia area, he began his martial arts training in 1971 at the age of 18. He has trained under multiple instructors during the course of his martial arts career, most notably Grandmaster Myung Kyu Kang and Grandmaster Han Young Choi. Grandmaster Walker opened the Taekwondo Institute in Las Cruces in 1983 and eventually moved to Santa Fe in 1991 to direct the New Mexico Taekwondo Institute there. He remained active in monthly testing and seminars at the Las Cruces school for many years after his move to Santa Fe. Master Walker has taught many movie stars vacationing in the Santa Fe area. On some occasions, he has been flown to filming sites to conduct personal training for film casts. Grandmaster Walker’s teaching on martial arts philosophy is largely unparalleled and is a guiding light to his students. Witnessing Grandmaster Walker teach a class, even the most seasoned instructor will be absolutely blown away by his ability to captivate an audience.
Master Marcy K. Shoberg
Master Marcy Shoberg- 5th Dan Taekwondo, 6th Dan Chunkido- Master Shoberg started training at the age of twelve alongside her father. She bought the Taekwondo Institute from Master Walker in 1991 and has run the school to the present day. She changed the name of the school to Gold Medal Taekwondo in 1996. Master Shoberg is a distinguished international referee having refereed at the 2004 WTF World Taekwondo Championships. Master Shoberg has always served as a good example of a martial artist’s endless pursuit of further knowledge. She is a walking text book full of knowledge about many various martial art subjects.
Master Ray Kleitz
Master Ray Kleitz- 4th Dan Moo Duk Kwan, 3rd Dan Chunkido- Master Kleitz started training under Daniel Walker as a teenager in the early 80’s. Master Kleitz has taught self-defense courses at NMSU for many years. Master Kleitz is a true master of his craft. His keen attention to detail and upbeat teaching style are both very informative and inspiring. Master Kleitz always remains a positive role model to traditional martial artists. He is also a highly accomplished shiatsu/ and polarity therapist and the absolute best Tai Chi instructor in the area.
Sifu Herman K. Cobile
Sifu Herman Cobile teaches at Progressive Street Fighting Combat Systems in Waipahu, Hawaii. His style is comprised of techniques from different martial arts, including Jeet Kun Do, Muy Thai, Kali, and Krav Maga. Herman studied Jeet Kun Do under renowned instructor Dan Inosanto, a first generation student of Bruce Lee. Herman is also a stunt man. Herman began his career as a stuntman in Magnum P.I. starring Tom Selleck. Then Herman went on to work with such notable actors as Gene Hackman, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew Broderick, Kim Delaney and Cheryl Ladd. Herman’s credits include Marker, One West Waikiki, Blood & Orchids, Godzilla and Tour of Duty. His most dangerous stunt was in Uncommon Valor, where he hung from a helicopter, then got smashed into a shack. Ouch!
Grandmaster Ik Mu Kang
Grandmaster Kang, Ik Mu- Mililani, Hawaii- is an 9th degree black belt instructor and the co-founder of the Unified Taekwon-do schools system. Grandmaster Kang received the majority of his martial arts training, while serving with the ROK (Republic of Korea) Army. He was a member of the ROK Army Taekwondo team and a two time Korean national Taekwondo champion.
Master Justin J. Castillo
Justin Castillo, 6th Dan Taekwondo Chung Do Kwan, 4th Dan Kukkiwon, 5th Dan Hapkido World Kido Federation, – started learning martial arts in May 1990 under Daniel Walker at the Taekwondo Institute. He earned his first black belt in 1994. Over the past twenty eight years, he has had the tremendous opportunity to train directly with every featured instructor in the martial arts lineage above except for Master Myung Kyu Kang. Master Castillo was an avid martial arts competitor for many years, having competed in a little over seventy five tournaments. Although competition was very alluring, he found his true passion, teaching and guiding students along the path of martial arts. He has taught martial arts for the past sixteen years now. Serving with the 25th Infantry Division, US Army, Master Castillo taught life-saving combat skills to many US Soldiers. During his tour in Iraq, he helped rebuild the Iraqi infrastructure by teaching much needed hand-to-hand combat skills to over 600 Iraqi Soldiers and Police Officers. Master Castillo has guided many students to their black belt and has produced many state and national champions.