Interview by Steph Greegor
Name: Andy Choi
Profession: COO, Oriental Martial Arts College and CEO/Founder, of Andy Choi, Inc.
Neighborhood: Short North
One-word description: Indomitable
Quote: “The construction! (Not really).” — On what the best part of his neighborhood (Short North) is.
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook
With wickedly divine hair and a whip-smart sense of humor, Master Andy Moo-Hyun Choi, 30, is raising the cool vibe of the Short North and teaching hundreds of Central Ohioans how to kick it in martial arts on the regular.
“[I head up] day-to-day and company operational standards for nine martial arts schools in the Central Ohio area and 33 martial arts schools worldwide under the Oriental Martial Arts College network,” said Choi, the COO of the Oriental Martial Arts College and CEO/Founder of Andy Choi, Inc. “The Oriental Martial Arts College is a worldwide school of martial arts founded by my father, Supreme Grandmaster Joon Pyo Choi, in 1963 in Korea, brought over to the USA in 1971, and has since spread throughout the world in the U.S., Canada. Germany, the UK, and Korea.”
Choi also provides applicable and approachable self-defense instruction for individuals and organizations throughout Central Ohio, as well as leading martial arts seminars teaching a multitude of martial arts subjects/topics throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
“More importantly than anything else, my position allows me to mentor and mold the lives of students around the world from age 3 all the way up to age 83,” said Choi. He jokingly said he suspects his love for martial arts started before he could walk (or well before!). “Our studies teach us to train our minds as well as our bodies, and it is incredibly rewarding to be able to better the lives of all our students.”
Choi, who grew up in New Albany and graduated from New Albany High School as well as The Ohio State University, also chairs the martial arts festivals for the Arnold Sports Festival and the Asian Festival. In his spare time, he serves as the AAC director for the Ohio State Taekwondo Association and head coach for the Ohio State University Taekwondo Club.
When he’s not working, Choi is enjoying the vibes of his Short North neighborhood.
“The Short North Arts District has always been a haven for creativity, open expression, inclusiveness, and diversity,” said Choi. “From the seemingly limitless options for delicious food to small, locally-owned shops and various businesses, the Short North has it all, and I truly believe it is THE best neighborhood among all the great neighborhoods in Columbus.”
Even though Choi is partial to the Short North and takes his guests there, he has an affinity for other neighborhoods with great food.
“Other neighborhoods to check out for food and fun and adventure include German Village, the Brewery District, Olde Towne East, Clintonville, Old North, a growing downtown entertainment scene, and more,” said Choi. “Also, Columbus has a thriving festival lineup year-round with some of the major festivals spanning from May through October.”
Choi said his favorites are the Arnold Sports Festival, the Central Ohio Asian Festival, ComFest (Community Festival), Columbus PRIDE, Urban Scrawl, Greek Festival and Italian Festival.
And where is his favorite place to eat when he’s out?
“I love way too many places to list,” he said, adding some of his frequent haunts are the Short North Tavern, the Grass Skirt Tiki Lounge, Macs, Local Bar Short North, Three Sheets, Zeno’s, Union, the Guild House, Lemongrass, Hyde Park, Marcella’s, Giuseppe’s, “and the list goes on and on…and on…”.
Andy was named to our annual list of 52 Young Professionals You Should Know in Columbus – one for every week in the year!
Meet the entire “Class of 2018” »