The following is a post by Master Chun Rhee, Grandmaster Rhee’s son:
One year ago today, we lost Grandmaster Rhee, my father. Its amazing how fast a year creeps up on you, especially as we get older. I physically miss him but he had such a great spirit that it honestly never feels like he’s gone. Every day I go to work I hear his voice as we play the musical forms, I see him in all our students especially our Black Belts and how they perform, I see him in all that I do and who he molded me to be. I wrote the following post on the Jhoon Rhee TKD Facebook page on what would have been his 87th Birthday. It basically sums up what would have been his perfect day in perfect health:
Jump out of bed at 5 am and immediately crank out 100 push ups. The Daily Dozen would follow and maybe a couple more sets of push ups….today was a full schedule; he MUST do 1000 for the day. His cool down would be sitting doing a full split while watching the morning news and eating his breakfast which consisted of a banana, cut apples (no skin) and some strawberries.
At 6 am he would hop into his car and head to the Rayburn House Gymnasium for the Congressional class. The voice of Tony Robbins or Zig Zigler would accompany him in his drive. Roughly 20 Congressman (Congresswoman) and Senators would be lined up ready for their workout. 100 more push ups to start the class.
After his class it was time to head to the Falls Church studio for the weekly JRI Staff meeting at 10 am. He would ask each of the school owners how business was and propose a drastic change to the curriculum. A change that we all complied with. The business portion of the meeting would break for the workout…..1 hour of Kamsah Form and Basics, 100 more push ups. “Basics are Everything!” was his favorite quote.
After the meeting, the staff would take him out to a Korean restaurant for his Birthday lunch; Hot Korean spicy beef soup, rice and kimchee. A speech about Truth, Beauty and Love would end lunch. An hour into his speech we would remind him that we had to get back to the studios. The meeting would adjourn with an announcement that on his 136 birthday, he would rent out RFK (old Redskins stadium) for a show where he would perform his 100 push ups and he expects all of us to join him…..since we are on the subject…..the staff joins him for another set of 100 push ups…. The waiters and waitresses too.
He would be home by 1 pm and check his emails and individually call all his well wishers to thank them for thinking about him. A call to Tom Callos, Dave Kovar, Ernie Reyes Sr. and Master Alexander Korobov (Ukraine) would also include a discussion of dates for his Philosphy seminar at their studios.
4 pm now and he has an hour until his next appointment. Time for a nap? Absolutely not. 1 more set of pushups. This was also a perfect time for him to practice his favorite classical tune on his harmonicas.
Back on the road at 5 pm to 2 of his studios to conduct the graduation ceremonies at 5:30 and 7:00 pm. “Is drinking and smoking good for kids?” He would ask. “No Sir!” “Then is it good for parents?” “No Sir!” He would individually tie the belts of all who received outstanding recognition. Everybody would bow perfectly…..charyo 3 seconds……kyung ne 3 seconds…..back to charyo 3 seconds…..shio. 2 more sets of 100 at both schools and he would show off his harmonica skills…….3 harmonicas at one time.
Back home by 9 pm for a late dinner (Spicy Codfish soup) and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. It’s his birthday…2 scoops today. A call from my siblings Jimmy, Joanne and Meme to wish him a happy birthday would end his day. At midnight he would be in bed to get ready for another day… he couldn’t remember if he had to do 1 or 2 sets to complete his 1000. He would settle it by doing 3 sets. Greatness is never achieved by doing the minimum he would tell himself.
This was the typical day my father lived prior to the 6 hard years he suffered with shingles/post herpetic neuralgia. He yearned to have days like this when he was ill. Happy Birthday Dad. Wishing you your perfect day every day in Heaven.
January 7, 1932 – April 30, 2018