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History of the Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU)


Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU) was founded in September of 1977, by Dr. Un Yong Kim, during the 3rd World Taekwondo Championship (September 14 - 17, 1977) held in Chicago, Illinois, USA.  


The founding President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), Dr. Un Yong Kim, asked Mr. Josiah Henson’s assistance in creating an official Pan Am Continental Union (PATU), on behalf of the WTF, with the assistance of pioneering Taekwondo Masters in Pan America.  Mr. Henson organized a first meeting where 18 Taekwondo Masters gathered to form an organization, to be named as Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU).  At the conclusion of the first meeting, Mr. Henson declined Dr. Kim’s offer of the PATU President position as he was already a candidate for the President position in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).  Mr. Henson recommended Mr. Don Morrow, a student of Mr. Kyung Sun Shin, the Chairmen of the Organizing Committee for the third World Takewondo Championship, to be the first President of PATU.  Mr. Shin worked with Mr. Morrow to create the organizational details of the PATU as Dr. Min prepared the first draft of the PATU Statutes to conform to the basic structure of the new Organization.


According to the first PATU Statutes that was adopted in Chicago in 1977, the Pan American Championships was to be organized amongst three Pan Am Sub-regions:  North America, Central America, and South America.  The first Pan Am Championships was held the following year in Mexico City, Mexico, on Sept. 17~22, 1978, with ten participating countries within its region, including 152 competitors and delegations. 


The second Pan Am Championships was held in Houston, Texas, USA on Jan. 17~18, 1981.  Prior to this event, Dr. Min was unanimously elected as the President.  Dr. Min was only able to serve for three months as the President of PATU before he passed on the presidency to Mr. David Revense.  The President of the WTF, Dr. Kim, requested for this early transfer in an effort to include Taekwondo in Pan Am Games as an official sport.  Mr. Revense was strongly recommended by Dr. Kim in recognition of his efforts to include Taekwondo in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in the U.S.A.  Ultimate, a new PATU President, Mr. Revense, was found, along with Mr. Daiwon Moon from Mexico, who was selected as the Secretary General, while Dr. Min took the position of Technical Committee Chairman.


In 1996 Dr. Cha Sok Park was elected as the fifth President of PATU in Havana, Cuba.  Dr. Park was supported by the Council Members, in recognition for his years of services as the Technical Chairman of the PATU.  Dr. Park, the integral part to conforming new national associations within the Caribbean region, was highly respected for his strong leadership, especially amongst the Caribbean Region member nations.  As a result, PATU’s membership reached to 42 Member National Associations (MNA). 


In 2000, Dr. Park was re-elected for his second term to serve the 2001~2004 period within PATU. He was then re-elected to serve his third term in 2005~2008.  Unfortunately, Dr. Park passed away suddenly on March of 2007, from a massive heart attack, during his third term in serving PATU; which abruptly ended his legacy as the most respected President of the PATU to date.  For Dr. Park’s remaining term, one of the Vice Presidents, Dr. Varo Barragan of Panama, was selected as the Interim President of PATU against Mr. Ji Ho Choi, who was the Executive Director for Dr. Park during the extraordinary EXCO Meeting held in New Jersey, USA, in April of 2007. 


At the December 2007 PATU General Assembly in Cali, Colombia, Dr. Barragan failed to receive a vote of confidence to continue as the PATU President.  As a result, Dr. Barragan was immediately removed.  An immediate election was held, electing Mr. Choi, as the new PATU President against Mr. Adalberto Escoto of Dominican Republic.  Mr. Choi was to serve the remaining term until the end of 2008.  Mr. Choi then proceeded to win the election by a landslide for his years of service in PATU as the Executive Director.  Mr. Choi was regarded as a highly qualified candidate for the position due to his extensive experiences in all areas of PATU.  Mr. Choi began working for PATU as a Referee, then moved onto serving as the Vice Chairman of the Referee Committee, then acted as the PATU Tournament Director, Technical Director, and ultimately, promoted to the Executive Director position with PATU. 


At the October 2008 PATU General Assembly held on the occasion of the 16th Pan Am Championships in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Mr. Choi was officially elected as the President to serve PATU during the term of 2009~20012.  Mr. Choi was re-elected in 2012 in Sucre, Bolivia, and then re-elected again in 2013 in Queretaro, Mexico, to conform to the latest changes of the WTF Statutes regarding Continental Union elections.  In accordance with the new WTF Statutes, PATU has changed its quadrennial period, which is now identical to the quadrennial period of WTF.   








Ji Ho Choi (USA)
2007 - Current

Cha Sok Park (USA)
1997 - 2007

Adalberto Escoto  (Dominican Republic)
1992 - 1996

Rafi Serrano (Puerto Rico)

Dong Ja Yang  (USA)
1984 - 1991

David Revense  (USA)
1978 - 1984

Dan Morrow (USA)
1977 - 1978

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