iACT 2019: Overcoming ‘the self’ and then Benefiting ‘the World’

Ron Dziwenka – iACT President

Ron Dziwenka (Kukkiwon 7th dan) holds an M.A. and a PhD in East Asian Studies from the University of Arizona and an M.A. from Yonsei University. He is also a 7th dan in Changmookwan Taekwondo. He has published several papers on martial arts philosophy and has presented his research at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Scientific Congress as well as at international conferences in the Republic of China, Republic of Korea (ROK), Canada, Mexico and the USA. During his 12 years at Yonsei University in the ROK, he was a contributing member of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Research Society. He was an invited member of the WTF Scientific Research Committee (2015-2017). He is currently Senior Study Abroad Advisor in the Center for International Education and Adjunct Faculty in the History Department at Salisbury University, on the Editorial Board of the Journal for the International Association of Taekwondo Research (JIATR), and an active member of the Society for the Study of Philosophy and the Martial Arts as well as the American Philosophical Society. He is a Co-founder and the President of iACT.

John A. Johnson – iACT Vice President

John A. Johnson (Korea Hapkido Federation [KHF] 6th dan [Eul Ji Kwan], ITF 5th dan, Kukkiwon 4th dan) holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Sports and Taekwondo from Kyung Hee University and is a professor in the Humanitas College at the same university. He is also the Executive Director for the International Association for Taekwondo Research (IATR), the copy editor for the Journal for the International Association of Taekwondo Research (, and a reviewer for two other international journals. He has published research articles on Taekwondo Philosophy and Education. In other academic work, Dr. Johnson has presented his research in South Korea, Mexico, Russia, the Czech Republic, and the United States. He was the International Relations Director for the KHF and organized Hapkido demonstrations at US military bases, including the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Dr. Johnson was an assistant producer of the Fight Quest – Hapkido television show that aired on the Discovery Channel. Over the years, he has taught ITF Taekwon-Do and Hapkido classes and/or workshops in Thailand, South Korea, and the United States. He also runs a student club at Kyung Hee University where he teaches ITF Taekwon-Do and Hapkido classes. In 2015, Dr. Johnson began teaching Taekwondo Etiquette and Self-defense courses for the World Taekwondo Federation/Kyung Hee University Partnership Athlete, Coach, and Youth Programs. He has lived in South Korea since 1999 and has spent over 31 years studying Korean martial arts. He is a Co-Founder and Vice-President of iACT.

Master Justin Castillo – iACT Secretary

Justin Castillo (Chungdokwan Taekwondo 6th dan, 5th dan World Kido Federation [Hapkido], Kukkiwon 4th dan) has spent 28 years training and teaching multiple martial art disciplines, including Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kickboxing, Krav Maga, and Kali. He currently serves as the New Mexico & El Paso Regional Director for the World Kido Federation. He was recently cast as background boxer in Creed II. He was the lead Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor for the rebuilt Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police for the Kirkuk Region of Iraq from December 2003 to March 2005, serving with the 25th Infantry Division (Light). He also served as the lead Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor for 1st Bn, 27th IN, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light) from March 2000 to May 2005. He currently oversees all training at his Taekwondo school in New Mexico,  and gives international support to his satellite school in Nepal. He is a Co-Founder and Secretary of iACT.

iACT 2016 logo

International Meeting of Minds to Improve Taekwondo for the Future