First ITF female 9th Dan vs first Kukkiwon female 9th Dan

1:06:00 PM Tkd kwan 0 Comments

Master Linda Low, PhD, a college professor from Australia became the first woman in the world to be promoted to 9th Dan, the highest degree in Taekwon-Do, by the ITF. With this terminal degree comes the prestigious title of Grandmaster.

Grandmaster Low serves as an Executive Board Member of the ITF. She is the Chairperson of the ITF's Women's Committee. In addition to being a certified International Instructor, Class "A" International Umpire and Examiner, she runs the Inspirit Taekwon-Do Academy in Darlington Australia. For her efforts she was awarded the ITF Outstanding Instructor Award in 2014.
The elevation to the highest level was recommended by the ITF Promotion Committee headed by Grandmaster Leong Wai-Meng and approved by the ITF Executive Board at their recent meeting during the ITF World Championships underway in Pyongyang Korea.
Other notable woman leaders of ITF Taekwon-Do have reached this plateau before. They include Grandmasters Rene Sereff, of America, nicknamed the Lady General by Taekwon-Do's Founder, General Choi and Sheena Sutherland from Scotland. Their well deserved promotions were conferred by Grandmaster Charles E. Sereff, a former Chair of the ITF Promotion Committee and certified by his U.S.T.F., an independent ITF style organization.
The USTF served as the USA's NGB from the 1970s until 2002, when General Choi passed away. These three Ladies well represent ITF Taekwon-Do on 3 separate continents, the Americas, Europe and Oceania. 
The source is from Facebook page: Original Taekwon-do Itf. 


GM Myong Sok Namkung-Mayes
When Taekwondo was established in Korea during fifties , 
the women had less opportunity to practice this martial art because the access to it was limited for the military males.
GM Myong Sok Namkung-Mayes was one of the first Korean females who practiced Taekwondo, she was a student of Great Grand master Lee Chong Woo who was a student of the Jidokwan Taekwondo founder (Jidokwan was founded in March 3rd of  1946).

GM Mayes earned her first Dan black belt in February of 1964, and was one of the first Korean women to reach that level in the early days of Taekwondo.
When Grand master Mayes was still in Korea, she was the only woman who was accepted in both Korean National kyorugi team and Korean National demonstration team, which says a lot about this great woman and her achievement in taekwondo. 
We know that is hard to find Taekwondo practitioners whom are good in both demonstration & kyorugi. Most of the time the athletes who do demonstrations are not good in Kyorugi, and those who do kyorugi are not good in demonstration. it mean that being good in both of them would be an exception as it was for Grand master mayes. Moreover, she was also one of the first females to coach Taekwondo teams.

After retiring from taekwondo competition activities, Grand master Mayes moved to the United States and founded the US Taekwondo center in 1987 in North Carolina.
Her country South Korea classified her as a living legend, which is not within the reach of everyone.
In December of 2007 grand master Myong Sok Namkung-Mayes became the first female to earn a Taekwondo 9th Dan by the World Taekwondo Academy (Kukkiwon).

Taekwondo Retirement!

No, GM Mayes did not retire and according to some of her students (Masters now), she is still teaching Taekwondo and she is a source of inspiration influence for her surrounding in the United States.
Taekwondo is a long Journee and it took grand master Mayes about 43 year to be promoted from her first Dan black belt to the 9th Dan. What a long journey!!  Nowadays, martial artists and taekwondo practitioners are in a rush to get promoted to higher ranks, and they focus on collecting certificates without even having the knowledge and without mastering the techniques of this martial art.