Chong-chul Rhee

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Rhee Chong-chul
Rhee TKD World Master Chong Chul Rhee.jpg
C. C. Rhee, c. 2021
Bornc. 1935
ResidenceSydney, Australia
Rank10th dan taekwondo
Notable relativesChong-hyup Rhee, Chong-yoon Rhee
Notable school(s)Rhee Taekwon-Do

Rhee Chong-chul (이종철; 李鐘鐵; born c. 1935) is a South Korean master of taekwondo who arrived to Australia in the 1960s.[1] He is the founder of Rhee Taekwon-Do, which is widely publicised as Australia's first and biggest taekwondo school.[2][3][4] Rhee holds the title 'World Master' and the rank of 8th dan in taekwondo.[1][2][3][5] He is one of the twelve original masters of taekwondo of the Korea Taekwon-Do Association (KTA).[6][7][a]

Early life[edit]

Rhee was born in Korea during the period of Japanese occupation from 1910–1945. As a youth, he trained in martial arts, basketball, boxing, gymnastics, and weights.[1] Later, he was an instructor in the Korean Marines for three years, teaching unarmed combat to the Marine Commandoes, Marine Brigade Headquarters, and the Marine 2nd Infantry Division.[1] Under the direction of the KTA, Rhee helped introduce the art of taekwondo to Southeast Asia—most notably in Malaysia and Singapore, but also in Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Brunei.[8]


Rhee was the first taekwondo master sent to Australia by the Republic of Korea, and was ranked around 5th dan at the time.[b] He founded Rhee Taekwon-Do in Adelaide, South Australia, around 1965.[1][9] Two of his brothers later joined him, and assist in managing parts of the school.[c] Rhee was promoted to 8th dan in the early 1980s.[b] He personally conducts Rhee Taekwon-Do grading examinations across most of Australia, visiting every region 4 times each year.

Rhee has worked towards the reunification of Korea,[10] serving as a member during the third through ninth terms—and as Chairman for the eighth term—of the Oceania Division of the Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful Unification.[11] He has also served as Chairman of the Seoul Olympics Supporting Committee and founding President of the Korean Community Hall Construction Supporting Committee.[11] The Republic of Korea awarded Rhee the Dongbaeg Medal (동백장) in 2003 for promoting taekwondo and Korean culture over the past 33 years.[12]

Rhee is listed as a pioneer in Asia (1950s and 1960s) and Australia (1970s) in Choi Chang-keun's list of taekwondo pioneers.[13]

See also[edit]


a. ^ The Korea Taekwon-Do Association (KTA; 1959/1961) predated both the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF; 1966) and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF; 1973).[14][15][16] The modern KTA is closely aligned to the WTF.[17]

b. ^ Rhee's rank at various times is indicated in photographs released by Rhee Taekwon-Do. These photographs appear in Rhee Taekwon-Do membership booklets and in Rhee Taekwondo magazine, which was published internally from January 1980[18] to the 1990s. Rhee also appears in photographs released by former Rhee Taekwon-Do members, such as Hans Fricke and Graham Healy.[19][20][21]

c. ^ Chong-hyup Rhee, 7th dan, and Chong-yoon Rhee, 9th dan,[22] are both masters in Rhee Taekwon-Do. The former is based in Melbourne, Victoria, and the latter is based in Sydney, New South Wales.


  1. ^ a b c d e An interview with World Master Chong-chul Rhee, 8th Dan, the Father of Australian Taekwon-Do Archived 2007-07-03 at the Wayback Machine Australasian Fighting Arts (March 1985). Retrieved on 13 June 2007.
  2. ^ a b See the Martial Arts section of the Yellow Pages telephone directory from any Australian state capital city since at least the 1980s.
  3. ^ a b See the back cover of Australasian Fighting Arts since at least 1995, including volumes 17(6) from 1995, 18(4) from 1996, and 19(1) from 1997.
  4. ^ Rhee Taekwon-Do: Brisbane and Sunshine Coast Regions Archived 2009-09-13 at the Wayback Machine (c. 2009). Retrieved on 1 August 2009.
  5. ^ Rhee Tae Kwon Do: Mildura/Sunraysia Region (c. 2009). Retrieved on 1 August 2009.
  6. ^ Choi, H. H. (1972): Taekwon-Do: The Korean art of self-defence. Mississauga: International Taekwon-Do Federation.
  7. ^ A tribute to the original masters (c. 2007). Retrieved on 13 June 2007; link has expired, as at 1 July 2011. Archived copy retrieved on 7 November 2011.
  8. ^ Rhee Tae Kwon Do: Perth Region – Father of Australian Tae Kwon Do Archived 2009-09-14 at the Wayback Machine (c. 2007). Retrieved on 13 June 2007.
  9. ^ Rhee Taekwondo: South Australia – History of Rhee Taekwondo Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback Machine (c. 2007). Retrieved on 3 November 2007.
  10. ^ Anonymous (2007): 남북정상회담에 대한 평통회장의 견해 Archived 2011-07-12 at the Wayback Machine (in Korean). Hoju Top News (24 August 2007). Retrieved on 5 December 2009.
  11. ^ a b Former Chairmen of the ODCC Archived 2005-02-06 at the Wayback Machine (2003). Retrieved on 24 April 2003; link has expired, as at 15 July 2007.
  12. ^ Chong, S. (2003): '호주 태권도 대부' 이종철씨, 국민훈장 동백장 서훈 Archived September 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine (in Korean). The Sydney Korean Herald (28 January 2003). Retrieved on 15 July 2007; link has expired, as at 30 January 2008. Archived copy Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine retrieved on 24 July 2009.
  13. ^ Choi, C. K. (2007): Tae Kwon Do Pioneers Archived 2008-03-12 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 15 March 2008.
  14. ^ Park, S. H. (1993): "About the author." In H. H. Choi: Taekwon-Do: The Korean art of self-defence, 3rd ed. (Vol. 1, pp. 241–274). Mississauga: International Taekwon-Do Federation.
  15. ^ Korea Taekwondo Association: History Archived 2012-08-05 at (c. 2007). Retrieved on 3 September 2007.
  16. ^ Kim, S. J. (2006): History of Taekwondo Archived 2007-07-03 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 28 July 2007.
  17. ^ Korea Taekwondo Association: Organization Archived 2013-04-15 at (c. 2007). Retrieved on 3 September 2007.
  18. ^ Auld, B. (2004): Sports bibliography: A selected, annotated bibliography of South Australian sporting history Archived 2009-09-12 at the Wayback Machine (p. 239). Retrieved on 28 November 2009.
  19. ^ Fricke, H. J. (2004): 35 years down memory lane … with Rhee International Tae Kwon Do (1970–1979)[permanent dead link] Retrieved on 1 January 2005; link has expired, as at 26 July 2007. New version retrieved on 24 July 2009.
  20. ^ Healy's Video Gallery Archived 1 July 2007 at (c. 2008). Retrieved on 17 April 2008.
  21. ^ Condensed time line history of Master Graham Healy[permanent dead link] (2008). Retrieved on 17 April 2008.
  22. ^ Rhee Taekwondo Sydney: About the Grand Master Archived 20 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine (c. 2011). Retrieved on 1 November 2011.

External links[edit]