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In Memory of
Master Renee West
5th Dan  1961- 2003
image10.jpg (33414 bytes)

Our sincere condolences to Master JR West and family...


Chung Do Kwan Founder

GM LEE Won-kuk

04/13/1907 - 02/02/2003



From The Washington Post Company 2003

Won Kuk Lee, 95, the founder and a grandmaster of the Korean martial art of (Chung Do Kwan) Tae Kwon Do, died of pneumonia Feb. 2 at Arlington Hospital.

Mr. Lee had lived in Arlington since 1976, and during his years in this area had given martial arts demonstrations at tae kwon do, karate and other martial arts studios and schools in Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and Washington and at Howard University.

He was born in what now is South Korea and graduated from Central University Law School in Japan. At the time, Korea was ruled by Japan. In Japan, Mr. Lee studied under the martial arts master Gichin Funakoshi. Later he studied other Asian martial arts, including karate in Okinawa and kung fu in Henan and Shanghai. In 1944, he founded what became the first tae kwon do school in Korea.

During the period of the Korean War, Mr. Lee was in Japan, but he returned to Korea when the war ended.

In the 1960s, one of Mr. Lee's tae kwon do students was U.S. Army Gen. William C. Westmoreland, in the period when Westmoreland was commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam. Westmoreland later helped him immigrate to the United States in 1976.

Survivors include his wife, Moon Chong-Kwi of Arlington; a son, Young Kil Lee of Arlington; two grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

From the Modern History of Taekwondo...

Chapter 1: Development of the Korean Kwans
Section 1: Chung Do Kwan

Right after the independence of Korea the Chung Do Kwan, one of the five key dojangs, was founded first. It symbolized the Chung Do Kwan's name, Blue Waves, meaning a youngster's spirit and vitality.

Chung Do Kwan's founder, Lee Won Kuk, moved to Japan when he was 19 years old, in 1926. While in Japan he first attended high school and then entered the law school of Chuo University. Then he joined Japan's Karate-do headquarters, the Song Do Kwan (Shotokan). He received Karate instruction from Karate's father, Funakoshi Sensei. There he learned Karate with the Song Moo Kwan's founder, Ro Byung Jick.

He moved back to Japan and taught Tang Soo Do in the Yong Shin school hall in Suh Dae Moon Gu's Ochun Dong, Seoul because he had a good relationship with Japan's Chosun Governor General Abe in 1944. This led to the rumor that he was pro-Japanese.

Later, Oh Do Kwan's founder, Choi Hong Hi said "After independence Lee Kwan Jang was charged with acts of pro-Japanese and stood in a special civil trial."

Lee Won Kuk was a precise person. He had a strong body of a martial artist and glaringly sharp eyes. His expression was very strict. Right after the independence day he seemed to offset his pro-Japanese deeds by developing a good relationship with people of the National Police Headquarters. He led the efforts to get rid of Seoul gangsters. The Chung Do Kwan was once called the National Police Headquarters dojang.

After the Korean War the Chung Do Kwan members were less than 200. GM Lee Won Kuk visited the school twice and watched the lessons. The primary instructors were Yoo Ung Jun and Son Duk Sung with promotion tests given every six months.

Graduates of the Chung Do Kwan were: (1) Yoo Ung Jun, (2) Son Duk Sung, (3) Uhm Woon Kyu, (4) Hyun Jong Myun, (5) Min Woon Sik, (6) Han In Sook, (7) Jung Young Taek, (8) Kang Suh Chong, (9) Baek Joon Ki, (10) Nam Tae Hi, (11) Ko Jae Chun, (12) Kwak Kuen Sik, (13) Kim Suk Kyu, (14) Han Cha Kyo, (15) Jo Sung Il, (16) Lee Sa Man, (17) Rhee Jhoon Goo (Jhoon Rhee),
and (18) Kim Bong Sik.

>From Inchon, which became the center of the Chung Do Kwan's annex Kwans, more schools were opened. They were: (1) Kang Suh Chong's Kuk Mu Kwan, (2) Lee Yong Woo's Jung Do Kwan in Suh Dae Moon Ku, (3) Ko Jae Chun's Chung Ryong Kwan in Kwang Ju and (4) Choi Hong Hi's Oh Do Kwan. The Oh
Do Kwan especially had active Chung Do Kwan members who were in the military after the Korean War.

The Chung Do Kwan's first Kwan Jang was Lee Won Kuk, the second was Son Duk Sung, and the third was Uhm Woon Kyu. When Son Duk Sung because the Kwan Jang of the Chung Do Kwan, Uhm Woon Kyu, Hyun Jong Myun, and Nam Tae Hi had conflicts with regard to the issue of who should receive the
nomination from Lee Won Kuk and become the next Kwan Jang.


Founder ITF
General Choi Hong Hi

1918 - 2002

It is with great sadness and a feeling of unprecedented personal loss, that I inform all Taekwon-Do practitioners worldwide of the death of my father General Choi Hong Hi, the Founder of Taekwon-Do, on the evening of Saturday the 15th June in the city of Pyong Yang in North Korea.

There are no words of comfort to members of our extended Taekwon-Do family worldwide, which will placate the feelings of utter desolation that his passing has produced.

While we mourn the death of a man whose life spanned two centuries, let us not forget the legacy, nor the indelible impression that he has left in the lives of all who are dedicated to the essence of the beloved art of his invention.

At this time of bereavement, I know my father would commend us all if we continued with the same vigour and zest which personified his life, the promotion of Taekwon-Do worldwide.

Choi Jung Hwa


Link to Taekwondo Times Magazine

A fine tribute by "TaekwondoTimes Magazine" to the many 
Korean Grand Masters and Founders who have recently passed away...