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




Dr. Steven Capener is an associate professor of Korean Literature at Seoul Women’s University in the Republic of Korea (ROK). He earned his BA from the University of Montana in Sport Science, and his MA and first PhD in Sport Philosophy from Seoul National University. He went on to complete another PhD in modern Korean literature from Yonsei University (ROK). He has been living in the ROK since the late 1980s. He worked for the International Division of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) from 1989-1992. Professor Capener was a member of the US National Taekwondo Team in 1986 and 1987. He won bronze medals in the 1986 1st World University Taekwondo Championships and the 8th World Taekwondo Championships as well as a gold medal in 1987 at the 10th Pan American Games. At his current position, he teaches Korean Literature, English Literature, and Literary Translation. He is a Kukkiwon 8th degree.


Dr. Wojchiech J. Cynarski is a full professor at the University of Rzeszow in Rzeszow, Poland. He is the Founder and President of Idokan Poland Association (IPA) and International Martial Arts and Combat Sports Scientific Society (IMACSSS) since 1993, and the editor of the Ido Movement for Culture. Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology since 2000, which is indexed in Scopus and other indexes. Since 2005, Professor Cynarski has been the Chair of Cultural Foundation for Physical Education, Tourism, and Recreation at University of Rzeszow. He is the current president of IMACSSS and of the IPA. He has published over 600 scientific works, including 15 books (monographs and manuals). His major scientific interests concern sociology of culture, tourism, and sport; philosophy; pedagogy; and martial arts. He is a high-ranking Karate black belt and an honorary black belt in Taekwondo.


Master Suzan Crochet is an 8th dan (ITF) and earned a BEd and an MSEd Degree in Physical Education (Perceptual Motor & Developmental Delays). She is a recently-retired public school educator (1980-2014) where she specialized in Special Needs Education. She is a highly-decorated competitor and coach, having earned multiple gold medals in International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) tournaments. She has earned certification at numerous international instructor courses and has umpired at international events. She is the President of the Phoenix Group (ITF INO#78). In addition, she is the ITF’s Discipline and Reconciliation Committee chairperson.


Dr. Ron Dziwenka (Kukkiwon 7th dan) holds a PhD in East Asian Studies from the University of Arizona. 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 the Senior Study Abroad Advisor in the Center for International Education and an adjunct faculty member in the History Department at Salisbury University 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.


Dr. John A. Johnson (International Taekwon-Do Federation [ITF] 6th dan, Korea Hapkido Federation [KHF] 6th dan, Kukkiwon 4th dan) is an assistant professor at the Department of Taekwondo in Keimyung University (Daegu, Korea). He is one of only a handful of foreign Taekwondo professors ever in Korea and is the first ITF practitioner to hold that distinction. He earned his PhD from Kyung Hee University and is the executive director of the International Association for Taekwondo Research (IATR). Professor Johnson has presented his research on Taekwondo international relations, pedagogy, philosophy, and history in several countries including Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Portugal, and the USA. In 2015, he taught Taekwondo Etiquette and Self-defense courses for the World Taekwondo Federation/Kyung Hee University Partnership Athlete, Coach, and Youth Programs. 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 US. He has lived in South Korea since 1999 and has spent 35 years studying Korean martial arts. He is a Co-founder and Vice President of iACT..


Dr. Greg Kailian earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston University and a doctorate in International Education from the University of Southern California. He lived in the ROK for a decade starting in 1973 as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to the Seoul National University College of Education. Considered among the most highly qualified and experienced non-Koreans in Taekwondo, he is certified as a Kukkiwon 9th dan, 1st Class Master Instructor, and 1st Class Poom/Dan Promotion Test Examiner, as well as a World Taekwondo “S” class international referee. Dr. Kailian is the author of Sport Taekwondo Referee Primer.


Dr. Young Sun Kim earned his PhD from Yonsei University (Republic of Korea). He has been a career researcher for Kukkiwon since the 1980s and has published numerous articles in the fields of Physical Education, History, and Philosophy. He is a Lecturer of Taekwondo Spirit and History for the World Taekwondo Academy at the Kukkiwon, the Primary Researcher of the 2015 Kukkiwon Taekwondo Spirit Development Project, and an editor and contributor of the 2013 and 2018 Kukkiwon Whitebooks on Taekwondo Education. Grandmaster Kim (8th dan Kukkiwon) is the Chief Instructor of the International Taekwondo Academy in Yonsei University, which he founded in 1987.


Grandmaster Herb Perez is a former US Olympian in Taekwondo and politician. He was a gold medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He competed at both the 1987 and 1991 World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World Taekwondo Championships, winning the bronze medal each time. He also became the first American to beat Korea at the 1987 World Cup Championships in Helsinki, Finland to become the WTF World Champion. He starred as himself (with the nickname “Olympus”) on the 1995-1997 martial arts TV series WMAC Masters. He also served as Chairman for the WTF Education Committee and Vice Chair of the WTF Technical Committee along with Dr. Steven Capener. Together they created and implemented the multi-tiered scoring system in place today along with the video review protocol. Master Perez became a prominent critic of electronic scoring in the 2016 Summer Olympic Taekwondo competition. Outside of Taekwondo, he was a City Councilman and Mayor for Foster City, CA. Master Perez is now the Vice Mayor of Foster City, CA.


Dr. Franjo Prot is a World Taekwondo Europe (WTE) Council Member and Vice President of the Croatian Taekwondo Federation. He is a full tenured professor at the University of Zagreb, now affiliated with the Science and Research Centre of Koper, Slovenia. Dr. Prot’s scientific work can be divided in four main disciplines: kinesiology, data analysis, psychology, and biological anthropology. He has presented and published his contributions since 1981. He is an active member of various national and international scientific and professional associations. He has been President of the Program Committee of the 3rd to 7th International Conference on Kinesiology, organized by the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Zagreb. He was a member of the Program Committee of the International Scientific and Expert Symposium “Child in Motion,” organized by the Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana and Faculty of Education and Applied Kinesiology in the University of Primorska, Koper. He is a regularly invited speaker and lecturer at the Postgraduate Studies Department at the University of Zagreb and Ljubljana. Dr. Prot is a former national team competitor (2nd World Taekwondo Federation World Championships in Seoul in 1975, European Championships in Stuttgart in 1975, and European Championships in Rotterdam in 1976), and is an active sports official (4-term Croatian Taekwondo Federation President) and National Team Leader for Taekwondo sport events. Since 1986, Dr. Prot has continuously headed most of the national teams participating in official international Taekwondo events, namely the World Taekwondo Championships, World Taekwondo Cups, European Taekwondo Championships, FISU Universiades, and University World Taekwondo Championships. Under his leadership, the Croatian Taekwondo competitors have won numerous World and European medals and titles; among them two bronze medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, one bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and four medals in the 2015 European Games. For the Universiade 2019 at Napoli, Italy, he is the World Taekwondo technical delegate (TD) for the Taekwondo event.


 Dr. Hyeongseok Song (Kukkiwon 4th dan) has been a Professor at the Department of Taekwondo, Keimyung University in Daegu, Korea since 1999. He earned his PhD in 1995 at the Deutsche Sporthochschule zu in Koeln, Germany. He is now the President of the Korean Society for the Philosophy of Sport, Dance, and Martial Arts, the Vice President of the Society of Korean Sport Philosophy, and the Chairperson of the Korea Taekwondo Center in Keimyung University. His research interests are in historical and philosophical problems of Taekwondo and sport from a humanistic perspective, and he has published extensively in these fields. Professor Song has contributed to several articles to international journals and presented at numerous academic conferences worldwide on Taekwondo.


Dr. George Vitale (International Taekwon-Do Federation [ITF] 8th dan) started training in Taekwon-Do as a martial art in the early 1970s. Currently, he is only the seventh American-born practitioner to achieve the level of 8th dan in ITF Taekwon-Do. He spent 24 years with the New York State Police and now draws upon that investigative training and experience to aid in researching the history of Taekwon-Do. Among his four undergraduate degrees is a BA in History, and he has earned an MA from the City University of New York (CUNY). After attending CUNY’s Graduate School and University Center’s Doctoral Program for two years, he enrolled in an international program administered in part through the Pyongyang government in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In 2011, he earned his doctorate from their State Commission on Academic Degrees and Titles, becoming the first American to do so. His training, studies, and research have led him to over 70 countries around their world, often teaching during his extensive travels. Dr. Vitale’s utilization of Taekwon-Do as a tool of soft diplomacy has resulted in a long-term active engagement with the people of the DPRK to establish peace between the ROK and DPRK. His various activities toward this goal lead to his membership in the National Committee on North Korea in Washington, D.C. He continues to present and publish research articles on Taekwon-Do. His work has earned him recognition from numerous organizations, as well as appreciation not only from the US government but also from the governments of both the ROK and the DPRK.


Dr. Young Sun Kim earned his PhD from Yonsei University (Republic of Korea). He has been a career researcher for Kukkiwon since the 1980s and has published numerous articles in the fields of Physical Education, History, and Philosophy. He is a Lecturer of Taekwondo Spirit and History for the World Taekwondo Academy at the Kukkiwon, the Primary Researcher of the 2015 Kukkiwon Taekwondo Spirit Development Project, and an editor and contributor of the 2013 and 2018 Kukkiwon Whitebooks on Taekwondo Education. Grandmaster Kim (8th dan Kukkiwon) is the Chief Instructor of the International Taekwondo Academy in Yonsei University, which he founded in 1987.


Sanko Lewis has lived in Seoul, South Korea for over a decade and is an assistant professor at Sahmyook University where he teaches literature. He completed his PhD at Kyunghee University, with a research focus in martial arts and East Asian philosophy and received an award of excellence from the Graduate School of Physical Education for his PhD dissertation: “Preaching Peace, Practising War: Mohism’s Resolution of the Paradoxical Ethics of War and Self-Defence in East Asian Martial Arts.” He has given several interviews and presentations for Korean media about his life in Korea and about Taekwondo and martial arts philosophy. He is also is a regular contributor to martial arts magazines and his blog that focuses on techno-philosophical topics in ITF Taekwon-Do is well regarded in the ITF community. Dr. Lewis has also been an executive member in various positions in the national governing bodies for ITF Taekwon-Do in his home country of South Africa. He practices several martial arts and teaches ITF Taekwon-Do in Seoul, Korea.


Dr. Joseph Lynch earned his PhD in Philosophy at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA in 1992. Since 2010, he has been a professor of Philosophy at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA. Among other courses, he has taught Philosophical Classics, Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Asian Philosophy, and Buddhism. He is the Chief Editor and Publisher of the philosophical journal Between the Species and a Fellow of Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics Fall 2008 to the Present. His academic areas of specialization are Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion, and Philosophy and the Martial Arts. Dr. Lynch is also the Founder and Director of the Society for the Study of Philosophy and the Martial Arts.


Dr. Udo Moenig was born in Peißenberg, which is near Munich, Germany. As a young man, he studied various martial arts and began Taekwondo in 1979. During the 1980s, he was a member of the German national Taekwondo team and trained professionally for four years as a member of the German national military team, headquartered at the Sportschule in Sonthofen. In 1988, after finishing his military service, he traveled extensively in Asia and, in 1990, settled for further studies and training in Korea. After earning his BA in Asian Studies from the University of Maryland, he engaged in three terms of North Korean Studies from the Graduate School for North Korean Studies. He then earned his MA and PhD degrees in Physical Education from Keimyung University (ROK) with concentrations in Taekwondo, History, and Philosophy. In 2005, Professor Moenig was appointed by the Youngsan University Department of Taekwondo in Youngsan, ROK as the first foreigner in Korea to teach Taekwondo at the university level. He has researched, lectured, and published extensively in the field of Asian Studies, martial arts, and sports. He has authored (or co-authored) a variety articles about Taekwondo and martial arts that have been published in various journals. His latest publication is a groundbreaking work titled Taekwondo: From a Martial Art to a Martial Sport (London: Routledge, 2015).


Dr. Allan Back is a professor of Philosophy at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He received his BA in philosophy (Phi Beta Kappa) from Reed College, and his PhD in Philosophy is from the University of Texas at Austin. He has studied Taekwondo and Hapkido for many years. He has written many articles and three books with the late Dr. Daeshik Kim on the martial arts and now continues to do so by himself. He has also published widely in such areas as the history and philosophy of logic, ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, comparative philosophy, and philosophy of sport. His first book received a prize from VG-Wort. In 1999, he was awarded a Forschungspreis from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung (Senior Humboldt Research Prize) for his research Senior Humboldt Research Prize) and has been occasionally in residence at the University of Freiburg. Professor Bäck has also taken an American Philosophical Association Fellowship for the Institute for Advanced Studies at Edinburgh University in Scotland in recognition of his scholarly work. Kutztown University has given him the Chambliss Research Lifetime Achievement Award for his research and the Wiesenberger Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Dr. Tobias Winright was formerly a law enforcement officer (initially corrections, then some reserve policing, and as an academy ethics instructor) and a lay ecclesial minister (in campus, parish, and youth ministry). Now, Dr. Winright is currently the Hubert Mäder Endowed Associate Professor in Health Care Ethics and an Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. He has a PhD in Christian Ethics/Moral Theology from the University of Notre Dame, an MDiv. from Duke University Divinity School, a BA in Political Science from the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, and an AA is from St. Petersburg Junior College. He has coauthored, edited, and coedited five books, and has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on theological ethics and just war, pacifism, just policing, capital punishment, ecology, and bioethics. He is currently writing a book on Just and Unjust Policing and another book on gun rights and regulations, as well as editing the T&T Clark Companion to Christian Ethics, which contains over 50 essays by international contributors on a wide variety of ethical topics. He is an Associate Editor for Health Care Ethics USA, was coeditor of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics from 2012 to 2017, and from 2010 to 2015 he was book review editor for the international journal Political Theology. He practices Taekwondo at Arch Taekwondo with Master Patrick Thimangu in St. Louis, Missouri.

International Meeting of Minds to Improve Taekwondo for the Future