Father of British and Irish Taekwondo GM Rhee Ki Ha

1:10:00 PM Tkd kwan 0 Comments


Rhee Ki Ha is a revered figure in the world of Taekwondo, known as the 'Father of British Taekwon-Do' and 'Father of Irish Taekwon-Do'. Born in Seoul, Korea in 1938, Rhee started his martial arts training at a young age, learning judo from his father and later karate from one of his schoolteachers. During his time in the South Korean military, he learned taekwondo and became a key figure in its global spread.

Rhee arrived in the United Kingdom in 1967, at the invitation of some of his students in the Royal Air Force. He founded the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association, Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association, and the All European Taekwon-Do Association. Over the years, he was promoted to higher ranks by Choi Hong-hi, reaching the rank of 9th dan in 1997, making him the "First" Grand Master Rhee.

Rhee's contributions to Taekwon-Do are immense, with his demonstrations and teaching efforts playing a crucial role in popularizing the martial art. He is recognized for his exceptional skill and dedication, with Choi Hong-hi describing him as "the best ever student of Taekwon-Do". Rhee's impact on Taekwon-Do in the UK and Ireland is profound, earning him a place in the Taekwondo Hall of Fame as the "Founder of Taekwon-Do in Great Britain and Ireland".

Currently serving as Vice President of one of the ITF organizations, Rhee continues to be actively involved in promoting and preserving the traditions of Taekwon-Do. He is revered as a pioneer in Europe during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, recognized for his instrumental role in popularizing the martial art in the region.

In his personal life, Rhee married Heather Morris in 1969, and together they have a son, Andrew Kang-hae Rhee, who is also a Senior Master in Taekwon-Do. With a lifelong dedication to Taekwon-Do and a legacy that spans decades, Rhee Ki Ha remains a respected and influential figure in the world of martial arts.


                              BY Master S. Elfdili