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Grandmaster George Tapia

is the senior ranking active Kukkiwon, Kidohae, and USAT member in the State of Nevada. from the Kidohae (Korea Kido Association).


Grandmaster Tapia is certified as a USAT Coach and Class D Referee, designations he has held since 1982 under the old USTU as well as the AAU Taekwondo program. Since prior to 2001 he continues to successfully train and coach numerous World and National Champion athletes.


Nevada State Leadership

Grandmaster Tapia has for many years served as the guiding force for the advancement of the sport of Olympic Taekwondo in Nevada, ever at the vanguard of the endeavor to advance the interests and maximize the potential of the youth athletes he serves. It was the Grandmaster who coined the phrase that defines the sentiment of the state’s 
sport Taekwondo community, “Athletes First”. He was the first in the state to promote and offer subsidized or waived-fee participation in competition for demonstrably indigent youth players.



The Grandmaster is the founder and President of the Global-American International Taekwondo Federation Ltd., a federally registered 501(c)(3) Nevada entity organized for the charitable purpose of serving the needs and advancing the interests of amateur Taekwondo athletes with an emphasis on benefiting youth participants.



Under the auspices of the GAITF the Grandmaster organized and administers the Nevada State Taekwondo Organization, subordinate to USAT/USOC. The state organization he leads plays multiple roles in the growth and advancement of USAT Olympic Taekwondo in Nevada:

NSTO twice yearly sponsors and produces USAT Referee and USAT Coach Seminars for state officials and athletes.

NSTO sponsors and hosts a USAT sanctioned state qualifier tournament.
NSTO produces the annual trademarked, state of the art, Las

Vegas Open Taekwondo Championship that attracts thousands of competitors from around the globe.
NSTO organizes and supports unified state teams to inter-state, national and international competitions.

NSTO works to ensure that the states athletes are able to benefit from the cutting edge tools available from the NGB and other sources.



Also under the auspices of the GAITF the Grandmaster trains athletes at two Kukkiwon/USAT member Olympic Taekwondo academies in Las Vegas, Nevada, that continue to grow as a contributing source of young potential Olympians into the USAT/USOC competitor pipeline. A notable current example is cadet National Team member Anya Sagovnovic. In addition to programs serving both recreational participants and dedicated competitive athletes the before and after school “day camp” Taekwondo “day camp” Taekwondo experiences for younger children.



Grandmaster Tapia’s vision for the amateur athletes he serves is multi-dimensional:


The Grandmaster lives for Taekwondo. He has a simple vision to pass on to a new generation the love for Taekwondo he found as a youth.


The Grandmaster has a heart for the youth of his community. He has a vision to enhance his student’s lives and potential for success by imparting the qualities of respect, discipline, community, self-control, perseverance, commitment, focus, attention to detail, and mind-body coordination that are essential elements in the mastery of Taekwondo. The Grandmaster teaches that these qualities found in Taekwondo are fundamental to success in all areas of the practitioner’s life.


The Grandmaster admires an indomitable spirit. He has a vision to identify those youth athletes who demonstrate the requisite desire and capacity to compete in Olympic Taekwondo at a championship level and to provide those athletes with the tools, guidance, and training to succeed to the maximum of their capacity as potential Olympic athletes.



Taekwondo under Grandmaster Richard Chun, receiving his 1st Dan rank from the Kukkiwon in 1980. Thereafter, he served as Chief Grandmaster Tapia began martial arts training in New York City in 1978 where he fully devoted himself to mastery of Instructor, first under Grandmaster Richard Chun and then under the late Grandmaster Pong Ki Kim who endowed him with an enduring foundation in the Hapkido combat system.


Grandmaster Tapia opened his first Academy of Taekwondo and Hapkido in New York City in 1993, eleven years after devoting himself to Korean Martial Arts. Upon the death of his beloved Grandmaster Pong Ki Kim he became a student of Taekwondo Grandmaster Chung Jong Oh and of Hapkido Grandmaster Kambiz Mofhaddam who remains his mentor today.
The Grandmaster moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1997, serving as a Chief Instructor to Grandmasters D. S. Kim and Byong Kook Oh, prior to founding World Academy of Taekwondo & Hapkido in 2001. He is a past treasurer and 1998 Chief Instructor of the Year of the defunct USTU.


Since 2001 Grandmaster Tapia has worked tirelessly and with devotion to accelerate the individual and collective development of the youth athletes of his community, with genuine concern and care for them and for their families. He has and does substantially contribute to building a program that continues to grow and prosper in the advancement of the sport of Olympic Taekwondo in his community, his state, and in the U.S. He remains the guiding force behind Nevada’s High Performance Athlete Development and Athlete Support initiatives.


Community Affection and Trust

A family-like bond exists between Grandmaster Tapia and many of the families he serves, many of whom have been faithful adherents of the Grandmaster for more than a decade. Since 2001, parents who are unable to travel to out-of-state venues have confidently entrusted their children to the Grandmaster’s care as both coach and chaperon, enabling those young athletes to participate in major competitions they might have otherwise not enjoyed. In his years of service to the Taekwondo community in Nevada he has earned the unqualified affection and trust of the community’s officials and masters, of the many youth athletes who still train with him, of those who have grown to adulthood under his disciplined tutelage, and of the parents and families of his athletes. Grandmaster Tapia is held in the highest regard by his community, both for his skill and capacity as a Taekwondo coach and instructor, and for his beneficent contribution to the good of the community.

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