Instructor Biography: Grand Master Winegar

Grand Master Mike Winegar, IX Dan

I began my Taekwon-Do training in 1970. Initially, my instructors were Mike Joy and Dick Page, both 1st Degree Black Belts of Mr. C.E. Sereff, then a 4th Degree.

After only a few weeks of practicing, I began training under Mr. Sereff himself. I earned my 1st Degree in 1972 and Mr. Sereff appointed me the head instructor of Greeley at UNC.

I then began an intensive training regime (7 days week) for the next two years under Mr. Ra Yung Chul, 5th Dan, under Mr. Sereff's orders. According to Gen. Choi Hong Hi, Founder and Father of the Art of Taekwon-Do, Mr. Ra was his best instructor at the time!

I made the USA team for the First International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) World Championships that the General put on in 1974 in Montreal, Canada. Our team, USA, took first in the world with 29 countries competing. I personally won one gold and two silver medals.

I was promoted to 2nd Degree in 1975. Mr. Ra then left the Denver area and I once again began training under Mr. Sereff (at the time a 5th Dan).

I was promoted to 3rd Degree in 1977. In 1980 I was promoted to 4th Degree and became an International Instructor for the ITF. I was made Colorado Quadrant Director for the United States Taekwon-Do Federation (USTF), and then the Colorado State Director. Later I was promoted to the Region I USTF Director (CO, WY, UT, NV, CA, AK, HI). I was made Director of Instructors for the USTF and then later, the Director of Technique, titles that I still hold today. Finally, I was appointed Vice President of the USTF and was Master Sereff's (7th Dan at that time) right hand man. I was honored as Male Competitor of the Year in Taekwon-Do Times magazine.

As a 4th Degree in 1984, I made the USA team once again to compete in the 4th ITF World championships in Glascow, Scotland. I was the captain of the team, and we took 2nd in the world, again with 29 countries competing. Personally, I again took one gold and two silver World Champion medals. I retired from competition after that championship in July. In October, Master Sereff put on the First USTF National Championship and pulled me out of retirement. I took two gold and one silver medals and also the Overall Grand Champion. That was truly my last entry into competition, because I was promoted to 5th Degree in 1986, and the ITF did not allow 5th Dans and higher to compete anymore. Our job now was to instruct and produce more champions.

Three of my students made it on future USA teams for the ITF World Championships; Gary Colley (4th Dan), Robert Morrison (3rd Dan) and Amber Danielson (1st Dan).

I was promoted to 6th Degree in 1990 and was given my own personal calligraphy from the General himself. I was asked by the General to come to Canada to his house to train with him as preparation to be his assistant in the US when he came to give seminars.

I was promoted to 7th Degree Master in 1996. Next came 8th Degree in 2002, and I was honored by my instructor, Sr. Grand Master Sereff (9th Dan) to be his first student to make it to 9th Dan, Grand Master in 2007. I was given his own personal 9th Dan Black Belt (the highest honor a Taekwon-Do student can receive) and his personal Taekwon-Do ring. Above all competition, trophies and medals, I value my instructor's belts over all other accolades. He has given me his 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Dan Black Belts.

I have a BA in Mathematic and an MA in Math Ed. from UNC, plus 80 additional hours beyond the MA. I taught mathematics for 32 years in Greeley School District 6 at Heath Jr. High and Greeley Central H.S. I have been blessed to have all of my hopes, dreams and aspirations come true for me in Taekwon-Do. I have only one goal left; to help all of my students to become the best that THEY can become.