Skip to Content


Jhoon Rhee

The Father of American Tae Kwon Do

Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, a 10th Degree Black Belt, is considered the "Father of American Tae Kwon Do." Grandmaster Rhee's first trip to America was on June 1, 1956, for a short military training program soon after the Korean War. In 1957, he returned as a freshman to Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos, Texas with $46 in his pocket. English was his biggest obstacle. It took him half an hour to read a single page. Through perseverance and discipline, Grandmaster Rhee has become one of the most prominent motivational public speakers in the world today, encouraging individuals to achieve self-discipline, self-esteem and self-defense through the development of academic, moral, and physical excellence.

Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee has been involved in every aspect of Tae Kwon Do. He has opened schools in order to teach not only the physical techniques of Tae Kwon Do, but the inseparable mental aspects, as well. His Martial Arts philosophy calls for building true confidence through knowledge in the mind, honesty in the heart, and strength in the body. His philosophy and seminars center around rediscovering the vision of America's Founding Fathers by restoring mental discipline in America and in the world.

Grandmaster Rhee has received a great deal of recognition for his achievements in Tae Kwon Do. He was named the 721st Point of Light by former President George Bush for helping inner-city children with his foundation through the Joy of Discipline program which teaches children self-respect, self discipline and self-motivation. In 1976, he was named "Martial Arts Man of the Century" at the U.S. Bicentennial Sports Awards. In 1975, Grandmaster Rhee was entered in the Professional Karate Magazine Hall of Fame and in 1983 was awarded Black Belt Magazine Man of the Year. Additionally, he was in a feature film, "When Tae Kwon Do Strikes," which is a Hong Kong production shown all over the world.

In addition to training Mohammed Ali and Bruce Lee, Grandmaster Rhee has trained many members of Congress three mornings a week for the past 33 years. Grandmaster Rhee fully expects to continue teaching Tae Kwon Do for another 33 years until he is 100 years old!