THE 2nd of July 2007 is the 40th anniversary of the entry into Great Britain
of a young Korean who was to change the face of British Martial arts forever.
He brought with him a new martial art that very few people in this country had ever
heard of. That name is now as well known in Great Britain as Karate. The name
of the martial art was Taekwon-do and that then young Korean is Grand Master Rhee Ki Ha, 9th Degree.
The following is an extract from an interview of the then Master Rhee Ki Ha 8th
degree, conducted by Fighters Magazine in July 1992.
"When I was a kiddy there was no Taekwon-do at all. As you know, in Korean history we were all under the Japanese empire for more than 36 yrs. My father did Judo and I followed him, learning the basic Judo movements. I got nicknamed ‘Tdun Tdun Bo’ meaning Double body because Judo people tended to be large.
I did not like being called names, but I still liked to carry on doing some self defence martial art.
"Then one day my primary school teacher showed me something, because he went to Japan to study and he learned some movements. So that is how it started, nothing serious. So rather than follow my father in Judo, I wanted to keep a little slimmer figure than Judo allowed."