Described by the founder of the art, General Choi, as the 'best ever student of Taekwon-Do', Grand Master Ki Ha Rhee is one of the worlds most powerful Taekwon-Do experts. He is also known as the 'Father of Taekwon-Do in Ireland and the U.K.'



Grand Master Ki Ha Rhee 9th Degree Black Belt
Senior Vice President of ITF
The Father of Taekwon-Do in Ireland


Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha 9th Degree Black Belt

He is Senior Vice-President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (I.T.F.) and founder of the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association (1967), the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association (1972) and the All European Taekwon-Do Federation (1979).Grand Master Rhee first became involved in martial arts at the age of 7 or 8 when his father started teaching him Judo. He progressed from Judo when he saw one of his teachers defending himself outside the school one evening. His movements were different from Judo with more striking than grasping techniques. Rhee was impressed and asked his teacher what it was he was doing. His teacher explained that it was Karate and that he had learned it in Japan.

It wasn't until Rhee's service in the military that he became involved with General Choi and Taekwon-Do. Rhee learned Taekwon-Do in the 35th Infantry Division and later became the instructor to the American forces at the 8th Army 1st Corp., Camp William. In 1964 Rhee went to Singapore as a professional instructor. He started teaching at the Changi military station where several R.A.F. personnel trained under him. In 1967 some of his R.A.F. students who had by then returned to Britain invited him over to teach them. Grand Master Rhee agreed but only planned to stay for about 2 years. Luckily for the Taekwon-Do practitioners in the U.K. and Ireland who have benefitted from his expertise, he never left.

Grand Master Rhee 1970 Demonstration in Dublin

In 1967 and 1972 he established the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association (U.K.T.A.) and the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association (R.I.T.A.) respectively. He was also one of the Taekwon-Do delegates who set out in 1973 on a world tour of 23 countries giving demonstrations and promoting the art throughout the world.

Since his arrival in Europe in the 1960's, Grand Master Rhee has been instrumental in the expansion and promotion of the ITF and the original Taekwon-Do across the continent, and in particular in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where thousands of Taekwon-Do practitioners have benefitted from his expertise through countless classes, seminars and courses.

On 1st July 1997, at the ITF Congress in St Petersburg, Russia, an unprecedented promotion within the federation was announced by General Choi; that after sixteen years as an 8th Degree, Master Rhee was promoted to 9th Degree Black Belt and awarded the title of 'Grandmaster'.

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In Memoriam

Gen Choi Hong Hi
Founder of Taekwon-Do
1918 - 2002

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