Grand Master Tom Sullivan [formerly "Professor of Karate" at the University of Minnesota-Duluth] founded Karate North Tae Kwon Do in September of 1973, as a branch of Jay Hyon's Karate Center, Inc., of Minneapolis, Minn. Jay Hyon quit his engineering career in 1968, and devoted all of his time to building his Tae Kwon Do schools and developing the Chung Bong Poomse used by Karate North dojos today. Hyon's style lineage can be traced back directly to Song Moo Kwan. NOTE: In January 1977, nine of the largest martial arts kwans [schools] were unified 1) Song Moo Kwan, 2) Han Moo Kwan, 3) Chang Moo Kwan, 4) Mo Duk Kwan, 5) O Do Kwan, 6) Kang Du Kwan, 7) Jung Do Kwan, 8) Ji Do Kwan, and 9) Chung Do Kwan.
One element that sets Karate North Tae Kwon Do apart from other schools is its emphasis and use of the hips in throwing all kicks, punches, and many blocks, as well as using longer, deeper stances seen in many Japanese martial arts. In addition, Karate North schools introduce techniques to students earlier in training than other schools. For example, Chung Bong 1 challenges the student from the start by utilizing the four basic kicks: thrust, snap, round, and side.
The Chung Bong forms created by Mr. Hyon which are different then traditional Tae Kwon Do forms, are quite common and recognizable in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas where many of Mr. Hyon's students started schools of their own.
All Grand Rapids Karate North Tae Kwon Do instructors have studied Tae Kwon Do under Grand Master Tom Sullivan.