Jong Hwan Lee, President
"Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo principles have guided me through all my life; it is my life"
The essence of Grandmaster Lee is revealed in this simple statement he says about himself.
He was born in Jan Dan Koon, Kyungkido, Korea on October 10, 1941. At the age of twelve, he decided to learn Taekwondo in order to protect himself and to conquer shyness. He began training six days a week in Yong Do Po, Seoul, Korea under the Moo Duk Kwon Association with Master Myung K. Kang. His first black belt was received in 1956 at age fifteen after which he became an assistand instructor. As quoted, Taekwondo became his life. From a shy bullied boy to instructor, to Master and Grandmaster, Jong Lee never ceased his training.
During this time he also participated on the Korean National Team in fighting competition. He eventually became a Taekwondo Instructor for the Korean Police Department (the U.S. 728th Military Police) and took over the Yong Do Po school in 1963 when Master Kang left for the United States. He later joined the Korean army and taught Taekwondo in the White Horse Division and the Tiger Division in Vietnam.
As a fifth degree black belt, Master Lee and Taekwondo peers Master Byung Yu, Ju Kim, Yung Ahn and Dan Choi came to the United States in 1968 at the request of Master Kang to compete in what was billed as the first USA vs. Korea tournament. The historical significance of this event has it's place in the Taekwondo Museum at Taekwondowon. All but Master Ahn remained to open dojangs across the United States.
In the United States, Master Lee simultaneously attended school, worked a regular job and taught Taekwondo. His Roseville, California Dojang was established in 1969 and has remained open since that time. Today, it serves as the Global Operations hub for the Korea Taekwondo Moo Duk Kwan. Like the original headquarters in Korea it sits directly accorss the street from a major Rail Road Station.
He promoted to 8th Dan in 1981 under the Moo Duk Kwan and 9th Dan in 1990 (30 years ago).
Master Lee refers to himself as a "simple man with simple solutions". This simplicity unfolds as dedication, authenticity and love. He says, "always give people a chance". In all his years of Taekwondo experience, he has never removed himself from people desiring to learn.
He has practiced Taekwondo for over 67 years. In 1992 he co-founded the United World Taekwondo Association in order to further share his knowledge and understanding of Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo.
His dedication to the Moo Duk Kwan began in Korea in 1953 when he began training and has been his Taekwondo root every since. Early in his career he recalls visiting President Chong Soo Hong at MooDukKwan headquarters and was asked to "go out to purchase a couch for guests", which he did.
In 2003 he was appointed by President Jae Kyu Chon as the President of the Pan American Branch of the Korea Taekwondo Moo Duk Kwan Association, second most senior officer position within the Kwan. In 2019, after an exhausting search, he was selected by President Chon to be his successor. In his search he considered many existing senior members and officers; but, decided after much deliberation and discussions with other Taekwondo Kwan leaders that he wanted Grandmaster Lee to succeed him as the President.
"Below President Jong Hwan Lee meets with President H. C. Hwang who leads the original Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do Organization to discuss the Moo Duk Kwan heritage program, collaborate on the 75 year anniversary and to build a bond of friendship between the two branches of the Moo Duk Kwan family"