Jhoon Rhee is a Southern Korean master of Taekwondo and is widely recognized as the “Father of American Taekwondo”. He is solely credited for bringing Taekwondo to America back in the 1950s. He bears a 10th Degree Black Belt in the Korean art.
Master Rhee was born in Korea on January 7, 1932 during the period of the Japanese occupation. Without his father’s knowledge, Rhee started training at the age of 13 under the tutelage of Master Nam Tae Hi in the style of Chung Do Kwan. During the 1960′s, he became friends with martial arts superstar Bruce Lee and established a friendship which benfitted both of them as martial artists.
Master Rhee is based out of Washington, D.C. but his Jhoon Rhee Institute of Taekwondo has locations globally. For many Taekwondo practitioners in the United States, Jhoon Rhee serves as the main root to the lineage tree and it is through his contribution that the the Art is widely recognized. ’Martial ballet’ is a martial art form Master Rhee created by synchronizing martial arts movements to music. Not only are his forms integrated into his Taekwondo curriculum, they also set the standard for Musical Forms competition in the Sport Martial Arts arena.
Master Rhee has many famous students including World Boxing Champion, Muhammad Ali and over 300 U.S. Senators and House Representatives also hold ranks directly under Master Rhee. His contribution was recognized by President George Bush in 1992 when he was selected to be the 721st “Daily Point of Light”. It’s also important to note that National Teacher Appreciation Day was created by him and signed by President Reagan in 1986.