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The Grinch Who Stole Taekwondo!


A parody of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! a children's story by Dr. Seuss. It was written in rhymed verse with illustrations by the author. It was published as a book by Random House in 1957, and at approximately the same time in an issue of Redbook.

How the Grinch Stole Taekwondo!

Once upon a time in Who-ville, the home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos, the ancient martial art of taekkyon was developed as a method of protecting the Whos from invaders, including the Whats, a radical group that believed it should rule Who-ville and the world. Over the centuries, the art was refined until it became known as taekwondo. Who warriors trained in taekwondo and it became their primary method of hand-to-hand combat. Taekwondo became known as the way of the warrior, and the warriors were highly respected by all Whos.

Every Who down in Who-ville liked taekwondo a lot, but the Grinch, greedy and green with a heart "two sizes too small," who lived on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep, high mountain just north of Who-ville, did not. As he looked down on Who-ville, he grew greener with envy of the success of taekwondo and he wondered how he could capitalize on its success and make himself even more greenback dollars.
The Grinch saw that the Whos were fascinated by the martial arts; they seemed spellbound by martial arts exploits they were seeing in movies and reading about in magazines. The more the Grinch thought about the success of taekwondo, the more he thought, "I must control this whole thing!” I have watched it grow for many years now! I MUST take control of taekwondo! But HOW?"

Then he got an idea! An awful idea! THE GRINCH GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA! He noticed that the few civilian Whos that were training in taekwondo were making lifetime commitments to the art. Recognizing that money could be made from such commitments, the Grinch made plans to capitalize on the situation by stealing control of taekwondo; however, he needed to do it without the Whos becoming aware of what was happening.

"I know just what to do!" The Grinch laughed in his throat and he made a many-striped black belt and gloriously gaudy uniform for himself. And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great Grinchy trick! "With this clothing, I'll look just like a taekwondo grandmaster!"

The Grinch crept into Who-ville unnoticed, started a few taekwondo schools, made himself the ethereal supreme grandmaster of taekwondo, gradually took control of the taekwondo organizational structure, and moved the organization headquarters to the top of Mount Crumpi. By requiring that each taekwondo school be registered with Mount Crumpi, he ensured that all the schools would have to obey his commands if they wanted to register and certify their student black belts. The Grinch required all the schools to send him a portion of their student fees and he sat back with his faithful, but dim, dog Max and enjoyed all the riches.

Being green, greedy, and egotistical, the Grinch soon wanted even more money. One way to get more money was to increase the enrollment in his taekwondo schools; but, since taekwondo was a traditional martial art, it meant that the schools were tough on their students and their rank requirements so high that few students could ever become black belts. The Grinch found that by changing taekwondo from a martial art to a martial sport that everyone could play the sport, and, by lowering rank requirements until anyone of any age could become a black belt, he could increase student enrollment and greatly increase his coffers.

Then the Grinch realized the potential of the Who children. If he started them young enough, enticed them with easy to attain black belts, and made them indentured instructors, he could open more schools, enroll more students, make more money, and gain more power in the taekwondo community. 

Over time, taekwondo became known as a children’s sport that helped build confidence and character in children without the aggressive behavior and injuries of other sports. As the Whos lived in peace and ignorant bliss, the taekwondo warrior became a relic of the past and was frowned upon.

Everything seemed rosy for the Grinch, but then he found that he had not killed the spirit of taekwondo after all. As he stared down at Who-ville, the Grinch popped his eyes and shook, for what he saw was a shocking surprise! After all his efforts to change taekwondo into a sport, there were still a few traditional taekwondo believers in Who-ville who were teaching the traditional martial art of taekwondo. Although these traditionalists were a pain in his pocketbook, the Grinch continued to spread his sport throughout the land, even into the Olympics.

Then, on a clear September day, the Whats attacked and killed thousands of the Whos and threatened to kill them all. In fear, the Whos turned to the Grinch’s taekwondo athletes for help, but regrettably, the athletes only knew how to score points, not how to kill Whats.

Then someone remembered when there used to be taekwondo warriors in Whoville. The Whos sought the help of the few remaining traditional taekwondo warriors who came to their aid and fought the evil Whats. The taekwondo athletes liked to take some credit for beating back the Whats, but the Whos were not fooled. They once again realized the need for taekwondo warriors, and they respected and appreciated them.

Now a dream for the future of Who-ville, the Who, and taekwondo.

After seeing the success of the traditional taekwondo warriors in their defeat of the Whats, the Grinch stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so? They did it without uniform decorations, fancy patches, or tournaments! He puzzled for hours until his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he had not thought before! “Maybe taekwondo doesn't come from a store. Maybe taekwondo...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

The Grinch realized the error of his ways and returned his taekwondo organization to its roots and began to train taekwondo warriors to help protect the Whos and Who-ville. And what happened then...? Who-ville they say, that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day

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