Our History

(above is our old location from the 1970's, literally down the street at the corner of Lake & Lyndale)

History of the World Martial Arts Center

The Center was originally founded as the 'Karate Center' by Grandmaster Jay Hyon, one of the original pioneers to bring Taekwondo to the US.

Since our humble beginning in 1965, the World Martial Arts Center has promoted hundreds of men and women to the rank of Black Belt, and has been the source of more Instructors and Martial Arts schools in the Midwest than any other school.

In 1976, Grandmaster Hee Ro took over the operation of the school from Grandmaster Hyon, who decided to pursue his love golf, becoming a golf pro in Southern California.


Modern Standards with an Eye of Tradition

In 2005, Masters Pat Carey and Steve Wankewycz took over the day-to-day in the operation of the school, kicking off with a major remodeling and expansion of the facility, converting from a classic "dungeon dojang" to a bright, clean modern facility. They also added the popular "Juniors" Taekwondo program and expanded the Shaolin Kung Fu program based on their extensive training in China.

For over 50 years, our consistent mission has been to provide the highest caliber of traditional martial arts training to our students, mindful of the vision, spirit and integrity of the founder of Song Moo Kwan, Byung Jick Ro.