Senior Grandmaster Charles E. Sereff
RETIRED: April 2016
My love for martial arts started in the ’60’s and has lasted a lifetime. From Tang Soo Do to Taekwon-Do, my leadership abilities were recognized when in 1974 General Choi Hong Hi, the Founding Father of Taekwon-Do and President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, asked me to form the US Taekwon-Do Federation.
Coaching the US Team to Gold in 1974 in Montreal Canada with three of my seniors on the team was a highlight of the decade. In 1979 I was elected president of the USTF, a position I have held since then.
In the 80’s I spent time traveling internationally with Taekwon-Do teaching. I also spent time with General Choi in repeated attempts to get Taekwon-Do recognized as an Olympic sport by the IOC. During the 80’s decade with the help of my senior instructors, I wrote and published requirement manuals for the USTF.
Along the way, General Choi promoted me to Grand Master Instructor, the second Grand Master in the International Taekwon-Do Federation. My ITF number is A-9-1. General Choi’s first Grand Master was Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha of the United Kingdom.
They tell me my charisma and skill kept dozens of students with me through their 7th Dan Master promotions, 8th Dan Sr. Master and three to Grand Master, but I think they just liked punching and kicking. The Tenets of Taekwon-Do have helped guide my life to retain both good friends and a little vitality and perhaps contributed to my sense of humor.
When teaching, I feel actions speak louder than words. I am proud to be considered the Instructor’s Instructor. I think about all the people that I have taught and met throughout the world. If I had a photo journal of everyone who has touched my life, it would be a thousand pages. I have been fortunate to teach some of my students from childhood to adulthood and to continue with their children. To teach is to touch someone’s life forever. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to teach so many beloved students.
Teaching and being around young people, in mind and body, has helped me to stay forever young. I continue to teach at my gym when time permits. The 40 years I have spent in Broomfield teaching has been one of the most rewarding things I have done.
Another love I have is for the sport of fishing, a tradition I have shared with the Sereff grandchildren and many of my Taekwon-Do instructors. Throughout the world, I have had the pleasure of teaching fishing to not only my instructor, General Choi, but many of his followers.
My career as an Electrician in the union lasted 50 years and allowed me to be financially able to travel extensively spreading Taekwon-Do throughout the world.