Chong Chul Rhee

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Rhee Chong Chul
Rhee TKD World Master Chong Chul Rhee.jpg
C. C. Rhee, c. 2007
Bornc. 1935
ResidenceSydney, Australia
Rank8th 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 and in New Zealand, visiting every region across both countries 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 Chang Keun Choi'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]