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Our founder: Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee.
Known as “the Father of American Tae Kwon Do,” Jhoon Rhee was the first to teach Tae Kwon Do in the United States, beginning his legendary career here more than 50 years ago. A 1oth-degree Black Belt, Grandmaster Rhee was trained directly by Choi Hong Hi, the South Korean army general who originally developed this modern martial art.
After coming to America in the 1950s, Grandmaster Rhee befriended Bruce Lee and introduced the celebrated martial artist to Tae Kwon Do. Since then, Rhee has also taught Muhammed Ali, Jack Anderson, George Allen, Sr., Bob Livingston, Tony Robbins, Jack Valenti, and more than 300 U.S. Senators and House Representatives.
Today, more than 60 Tae Kwon Do studios in the U.S. bear Jhoon Rhee’s name. Listed below are just a few of his many other accomplishments.
- Appointed to National Council on Vocational Education (1984 – 1988) by President Ronald Reagan.
- Appointed as Special Advisor to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports (1988 – 1991) by President George H. W. Bush.
- Named National Chairman of the Nation’s Birthday Celebration on July 4th, 1983.
- Creator of National Teacher Appreciation Day, January 28, 1986, which was signed by President Ronald Reagan on October 16, 1986.
- Selected as the 721st “Daily Point of Light” by President George Bush on March 17, 1992.
- Received American Immigrants Achievement Award on March 19, 1999.
- Received the National Association of Professional Martial Artists Lifetime Achievement Award on June 10, 1999.
- In January 2000, became the only Korean American to be named one of the 203 most recognized American immigrants by the National Immigrant Forum and the U.S. I.N.S., a list that includes Albert Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell.