Our Approach

A Long History, A Proven Approach.

Based on the unique martial arts style and teaching strategies of Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, the Father of American Tae Kwon Do, our instructional approach is the culmination of half a century of ongoing development and refinement. As a result, ours is a truly proven system, a martial arts experience that provides fun, fitness, and self-defense ability. What’s more, we believe our system helps build life skills—such as confidence, focus, and discipline—that are important at any age, in any endeavor, for all aspects of life.

Since the founding of the Jhoon Rhee Institute in 1962, more than 80,000 people in the Washington, D.C., area have taken our classes, including over 100 U.S. Congressmen and Senators, as well as famous figures like Muhammad Ali, George Allen, Jack Anderson, and Bruce Lee. The essence of our approach can be found in our Student Creed, as originally written by Grandmaster Rhee, and still recited today at the beginning of each of our classes.


“To build true confidence, through strength in my body, honesty in my heart, and knowledge in my mind. To keep friendship with one another and to build a strong and happy community. Never fight to achieve selfish ends, but to develop Might For Right!”

Our Owners

The Jhoon Rhee Institute in Arlington, Virginia, is owned and operated by Barry Shackelford and Francis Pineda, who together have more than 60 years of Tae Kwon Do experience. Teaching classes is the favorite part of the job for both Master Shackelford and Master Pineda. In fact, this love of instruction, and a dedication to our students, distinguishes all the members of our staff.