Grandmaster Yong Chin Pak began teaching Judo, Taekwondo, and Hapkido at Iowa State University in 1973, and taught over 24,000 students over the course of 40 years.
The Cyclone Martial Arts Club continues under his guidance and tradition, as we train in the martial arts and never forgetting the five tenets.
Cyclone Martial Arts welcomes all students regardless of ability. Opportunities for demonstration, community service, and competition occur regularly, and students enjoy a strong, supportive and social bond with one another.
Thanks to Jim Pfieler (Judo) for this research.
In March of 1963, Dr. Jack King and Mr. Hong Sik Park founded the ISU Judo Club. This was the first appearance of martial arts at Iowa State University (ISU). The club enjoyed immediate success and acceptance on campus with an initial enrollment of over 300 participants. However, due to the rigors of the sport, attendance soon dropped to around 180. The club did so well under the management of Dr. King and the instruction of Hong Sik Park that it won the state team competition in that same year. The Judo Club continued at ISU under various instructors and was one of the founding clubs of the Sports Club Council in October of 1969. In that same year, Mok Tokko, a third degree black belt in Judo, became the head instructor. Mok Tokko was instrumental in the development of a strong Judo Club at ISU and contributed greatly to the Midwest Judo Association. In April of 1970 he began to send competitors to the NCJA Championships. Mok Tokko and ISU are also attributed with writing one of the first instructional booklets for the Midwest Judo Association.
In 1973 the martial arts at ISU took a quantum leap forward when Master Yong Chin Pak came to Ames to be the instructor of the ISU Judo Club. The ISU Hapkido Club was formed and admitted into the Sports Club Council. As a member of the faculty of Health and Human Performance, Grandmaster Pak also began teaching ISU Kinesiology classes in Judo and Hapkido. His Hapkido classes included some elements of Taekwondo. Taekwondo was a sub-group of Hapkido until a third club was formed in March of 1975 – the ISU Taekwondo Club. In 1974 Grandmaster Pak hosted his first Martial Arts Awards Banquet. The Banquet has become a tradition and every year up to 500 alumni return for the event. Judo and Taekwondo continued to send teams to their respective NCJA and NCTA Championships. Also, each club has been actively involved in the Sports Club Council (SCC) with many of our past members from all three clubs serving on the executive council of the SCC.
In 1984 the ISU Collegiate Taekwondo Team began its record of placing in the top three teams at the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) Championships. The team placed first in 1985, 1988, and 1998.
Also in 1984 the ISU Hapkido Club began its tradition of teaching self-defense to sororities and women’s dormitory floors on campus. In this way, ISU Hapkido has reached well over 3000 women with self-defense clinics. Pak family Hapkido members have also conducted many demonstrations and participated in exchange programs throughout the years.
Alumni from the clubs and Pak family martial arts have gone on to represent the United States in several international events. Carol Schied represented the U.S. in Judo for several years. From Iowa and the Pak family, Lance Farrell, Troy Kasma, Tim Weigand, Bonnie Harrison, Miranda Hinrichs, Sam Hill, Trent Tompkins, and Chris Thompson have represented the U.S. in Taekwondo over the past 20 years.
The Pak martial arts family has grown to include over 40 local clubs that operate under the instruction of a Pak family alumni. Grandmaster Pak is still serving the U.S. Taekwondo community as President of the NCTA and the President of the State of Iowa Taekwondo Association (under the USTU). The ISU Martial Arts program has had the opportunity to be involved in the hosting of the 1995 NCTA Championships, the 1998 United States Taekwondo Union Senior Nationals/Golden Seniors/Junior Black Belt Festival, and the 2000 NCTA Championships in Ames, Iowa.
Grandmaster Pak has been regularly recognized for his commitment to the martial arts and the ISU and Ames communities and this recognition reflects back on the clubs and his students. Grandmaster Pak received the Amoco Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from ISU’s College of Education in 1983 and the 1993 Faculty Citation. Grandmaster Pak was also named Advisor of the Year in 1989-90, 1994-95 and 1998-99. He was inducted into the Ames Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Hall of Fame in 1997. Grandmaster Pak’s impact has been tremendous and under his direction the tradition of martial arts at ISU continues to flourish and will do so for years to come.
In 2011, the three martial arts clubs were combined into a single organization known as the Cyclone Martial Arts Club.
The martial arts at ISU remains a strong entity on campus and, with the three styles available to offer diversity, we have something to offer for everybody. The above history in no way sums up all of the achievements of the past, but has merely been an attempt to enlighten people about the intriguing history of these three great clubs.