Grand Master Robert H. Hardin
It all started when…
Grand Master Hardin began his training in December of 1968. As a red belt, he taught a club at the YMCA in Warren, Arkansas, later expanding to the YMCA in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1971, he opened a full time school in Hot Springs. He taught there until 1982, when he sold his Hot Springs school and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to open a school and begin development of the Tennessee region. He also was a member of the staff of Henderson State University teaching Taekwondo there from 1975 to 1982. During this time he was very active with the American Taekwondo Association (ATA), achieving the position of ATA Regional Vice President in 1980.
In 1983 he left the ATA and was instrumental in the organization of the UST (later USTA). In 1984, Grand Master Hardin founded the Mid American Taekwondo Centers (MATC). He also developed the Choong Sil style of Taekwondo, which integrates a goal-oriented philosophy as part of the Taekwondo training. The MATC later became the Choong Sil Taekwondo Federation (CTF) in 1995.
Grand Master Hardin has always felt that the quality of a martial artist is reflected by his credentials and has always sought the highest level of certification possible.
- First through Fourth Degree – Grand Master Hardin was active in the American Taekwondo Association where he earned these ranks as well as the designation of Certified Instrustor under Grand Master Yi Haeng Ung.
- Fifth Degree – Promoted by Grand Master Yong Sung Kang of the USTA September, 1983
- Sixth Degree – He tested with the ITF International Taekwondo Federation and received his Sixth Degree from General Choi Hong Hi on November 21, 1986.
- Seventh Degree and Master Instructor – Promoted by Grand Master Park Jung Tae of the Global Taekwondo Federation on November 20, 1992.
- Eighth Degree – Promoted by Grand Master James K. Roberts (9th Degree) of the Amateur Athletic Union on December 20, 1999.
- Ninth Degree – The seniors of the CTF unanimously promoted Grand Master Hardin to Ninth Degree on November 17, 2007. This rank has been recognized by Grand Master Nam Tae Hi, one of the original pioneers of Taekwondo, of the World Taekwon-Do Alliance.
Appointments and Achievements –
Amateur Athletic Union –
Grand Master Hardin was appointed Southeastern Chairman for the AAU Taekwondo program in 1997 and served in that capacity until moving to Arkansas in late 1999 where he served as Arkansas State Chairman for the AAU Taekwondo program. In addition, he served as the Chief of the AAU Board of Examiners – Dan Program during the AAU’s ’99-00 fiscal year.
United States Taekwondo League –
Grand Master Hardin joined with several other association directors from other regions to the country in 2001 to form the United States Taekwondo League. This League of Associations was formed to offer a National level of competition for point fighters. The USTL sponsors an annual National Tournament in the summer each year.
Martial Arts Hall of Fame –
Grand Master Hardin was inducted into the 2003 Martial Arts Hall of Fame as “Founder of the Year” for founding the style of Choong Sil Kwan Taekwondo.
World Taekwondo Alliance –
In early 2011, the World Tae Kwon-Do organization appointed Grand Master Hardin as its temporary Secretary General and Mrs. Hardin as Executive Director. These appointments were confirmed by a meeting of the Tae Kwon-Do pioneers in Dallas, TX in July 2011.
It was a great compliment to the CTF to be affiliated with the WTA in this manner and opened doors to the highest level of certification available in the world today, that of the original pioneers of Tae Kwon-Do. Grand Master Hardin and the CTF were pleased to play a key role in the future development of Traditional Tae Kwon-Do throughout the world.
Grand Master Hardin has been very fortunate to have several pioneers of Taekwondo as his mentors including Grand Master Nam Te Hi, Grand Master Park Jung Te and Grand Master C. K. Choi. These gentlemen, as well as many other luminaries in the Taekwondo world, helped influence him and the development of Choong Sil Kwan Taekwondo.