Grandmaster Richard Byrne
1950 - 2012
Pin # 14945
Grandmaster Richard Byrne, 9th Dan is the president and founder of the
American Tang Soo Do Association
(ATA) and the United Tang Soo
Do Congress (UTC). The ATA is one of the oldest Tang Soo Do organizations in
the United States.
His martial arts career began in 1969 while he was stationed at Osan Air
Force Base in Korea. His instructor was Grandmaster C. S. Kim. In
addition to Tang Soo Do, Grandmaster Byrne also held Black Belts in Shotokan karate as well as Tae Kwon Do. He
was a world shoot fighting
champion who competed regularly in Japan.
He was recognized worldwide as an expert in board breaking,
holding three world records, including 10 boards with a knife hand chop,
8 boards with an instep round kick, and 15 boards with an elbow strike.
Grandmaster Byrne has shared his expertise with an international
audience through his book "The Complete Art of Breaking" and his video
tape "The Basics of Breaking".
His career also took him into film, where he starred in several
action movies including "When Death Comes Quickly", which also featured
Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and Professor Toru Tanaka, and in "Distant
Justice" with George Kennedy and David Carridine. He has appeared on
local and national television including such shows as Spenser For Hire
and Against the Law.
He has also written for every major martial arts magazine in the country
and appeared on the cover of the premiere issue of Traditional Tang Soo
Do Illustrated. Master Byrne's multi-faceted martial arts background has
established him as one of the most respected men in martial arts today
and one of the major leaders of Tang Soo Do in the country.
As of 2006, Grandmaster Byrne has promoted well over 1000 students to
the rank of Cho-Dan. Many of these students have gone on to achieve the
Master level and spread the art of Tang Soo Do through teaching.
Grandmaster Byrne passed away suddenly and peacefully on September
4th, 2012. Condolences submitted in his memory can be viewed by