Grand Master Joseph Philip, 9th Dan

Celebrating 51 years in the Art

In 1985, be became the first African-American to become a Tae Kwon-Do Master.

From 1976 to 1990, he was the first African-American to serve as Chairman and Chief Instructor of the Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota Region of the American Chung do Kwan Tae Kwon-Do Association (ACTA). During his tenure, he was responsible for supervising 18 Instructors and presiding as Chief Testing Judge for more than 15,000 students, including 3,000 Black Belts.

In 1999, he was a guest Judge at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for Regional Tae Kwon-Do competition in preparation for the 2000 Sydney Games.

In 2002, he became the first African-American promoted to 7th Dan, making him the ranking Traditional Tae Kwon-Do Black Belt in America, and in 2010, he became the first African-American promoted to 8th Dan.  In 2019 he was promoted to 9th Dan.

He has developed 862 Distinguished Black Belts, including 3 Senior Masters, 20 Master Instructors, and 368 Junior Black Belts.

His students range in age from an 85 year old Catholic nun, to 5 year olds learning the values of Discipline, Courtesy, and Respect. They range in skill from agile students capable of flying 20 feet laterally to devastate a target to those capable of breaking five boards. They range in athletic ability from those who enjoy burning up to 2000 calories per class, to those who need crutches or wheel chairs for mobility.

He has volunteered his expertise and has been the Chief Instructor of the UNI Tae Kwon-Do Club for 40 years.

In 2007, Grand Masters worldwide, honored him with the title “KwanJangNim”, a distinction reserved only for those who are a Grand Master.