Grandmaster Doug Cook holds an 8th Dan Black Belt from Chang Moo Kwan in the Korean martial art of taekwondo and is certified by the Kukkiwon as a 7th Dan. He is president/CEO of the United States Taekwondo Association, an Advisory Council member of the World Martial Arts Alliance, publisher of HOONLYUN: The Journal of the USTA, and a six-time gold medalist. He was a senior student of the late Grandmaster Richard Chun, 9th dan, for twenty-five years. Grandmaster Cook has trained in Korea on eight separate occasions and currently administers training and cultural tours to the homeland of taekwondo. He holds a D3 status as a US Referee and has received high honors from Korea in the form of a “Letter of Appreciation” signed by World Taekwondo Federation past-president, Dr. Un Yong Kim.
In 2003 Grandmaster Cook was awarded the Medal of Special Recognition from the Moo Duk Kwan in Seoul, South Korea. In 2004, while attending a training camp in Korea, Grandmaster Cook received a Special Citation from the Korean government for forging a stronger relationship between Korea and the United States through martial arts. A six-page interview featuring Grandmaster Cook appeared in TaeKwonDo Timesfocusing on taekwondo philosophy and his views on the role the martial arts will play in the twenty-first century. In June 2006, he was inducted into the Budo International Martial Arts Hall of Fame as “Taekwondo Master of the Year”. In 2007, Grandmaster Cook was invited on several occasions to speak as a guest lecturer at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, the only institution of higher learning in the country to offer a major in the martial arts. Grandmaster Cook was recently listed in Black Belt magazine as one of the Top Twenty masters of the Korean martial arts in America. In 2009 he was invited to speak at the prestigious Korea Society in New York City. Grandmaster Cook appeared twice on the cover of Totally TaeKwonDo magazine, with one issue featuring an eight-page in-depth interview. He was inducted into the TaeKwonDo Times 2011 Hall of Fame as “Writer of the Year”. Also in 2011, at a ceremony honoring Grandmaster Richard Chun, he was again awarded a Special Recognition Award from the Moo Duk Kwan in Korea. In the same year, Grandmaster Cook received a Special Citation from the Ambassador of South Korea at the nation’s embassy in Washington, DC, in recognition of his editorial contributions to taekwondo and was interviewed by ABC-affiliate, Univision regarding the Olympics. In 2013 he was inducted into the Legends of the Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Taekwondo Master of the Year.
Grandmaster Cook is credited with the creation of the Chosun Women’s Self-Defense Course. He has also provided training for the US Army National Guard/42nd Division prior to military operations and has instructed agents from the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Police Department and the Bronx County Sheriff’s Department. Grandmaster Cook was called upon to demonstrate taekwondo as part of a three-man team at the annual Oriental World of Self-Defense held in New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden. There, he and the team were cheered on by martial arts legends such as Richard Chun, Henry Cho and Chuck Norris.
Because he is a traditionalist, Grandmaster Cook places great emphasis on the underlying philosophical principles and self-defense strategies surrounding taekwondo. He demonstrates this belief by infusing meditation, Kiexercises, a strong attention to basics, and the practice of the classical forms, or poomsae, in his instructional methodology.
Aside from continuing his martial arts education under senior grandmasters, Grandmaster Cook owns and operates the Chosun Taekwondo Academy located in Warwick, New York – an institute specializing in traditional martial arts instruction and Ki, or internal energy, development. Grandmaster Doug Cook currently shares his knowledge of taekwondo through a series of articles he has written for TaeKwonDo Times, Black Belt and Totally TaeKwonDo, as well as various other martial arts publications. For the past twenty-five years he has written monthly columns for TaeKwonDo Timesand Totally TaeKwonDomagazines. Grandmaster Cook is the author of four best-selling books focusing on taekwondo entitled, Taekwondo: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Warrior, Traditional Taekwondo – Core Techniques, History, and Philosophy, a finalist in ForeWordmagazine’s Book of the Year Award, Taekwondo – A Path to Excellence, released in 2009, a USA Book Award finalist, and Taekwondo Black Belt Poomsae: Original Koryo & Koryo, authored in partnership with Grandmaster Richard Chun. All editions are published by YMAA of Boston and are available online and at booksellers worldwide.