RHEE, Chong-chul (이종철; 李鐘鐵; born c. 1935) is a South Korean master of taekwondo who is widely known as the 'Father of Australian Taekwondo' for introducing the martial art to Australia since arriving in the 1960s. He is the founder of Rhee Taekwon-Do, which is widely publicised as Australia's first and biggest taekwondo school. Rhee holds the title 'World Master' and the rank of 8th dan in taekwondo. He is one of the twelve Original Masters of taekwondo of the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA).
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. 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. 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.
Rhee was the first taekwondo master sent to Australia by the Republic of Korea, and was ranked around 5th dan at the time. He founded Rhee Taekwon-Do in Adelaide, South Australia, around 1965. Two of his brothers later joined him, and assist in managing parts of the school. Rhee was promoted to 8th dan in the early 1980s. He personally conducts Rhee Taekwon-Do grading examinations across most of Australia and in New Zealand four times each year. Rhee has worked towards the reunification of Korea,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. He has also served as Chairman of the Seoul Olympics Supporting Committee and founding President of the Korean Community Hall Construction Supporting Committee. The Republic of Korea awarded Rhee the Dongbaeg Medal (동백장) in 2003 for promoting taekwondo and Korean culture over the past 33 years.
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