Martial Arts Master Jhoon Rhee, the "Father of American Taekwondo" who taught self defense to presidents and gave Muhammad Ali a modified punch, has died at 86 years old in Arlington, Va., per multiple reports. Rhee, a longtime resident of the Washington D.C. area, taught self defense to everyone from George H.W. Bush, Lyndon B. Johnson and Newt Gingrich. He also taught Bruce Lee how to kick properly and helped Ali incorporate martial arts techniques into his already brutally quick jab. He called it the "Accu-Punch."
More than the names, Rhee was a brand of his own. A Korean immigrant, Rhee had a commercial with an astoundingly catchy jingle and a fun little catch-phrase spoken by his children that he wrote. "Nobody bothers me" became a part of D.C. lore, according to Deadspin, as Meme and Chun became TV stars at just 2 and 3 in an ad that had some serious run.
The jingle made USA-1000 a number to remember for politicians and movie stars that wanted to learn to defend themselves.
Rhee also made a kung-fu movie in 1973, "When Taekwondo Strikes." The trailer is just quality, and hails him as the "Father of Taekwondo" in America.
Rhee was inducted into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame in 2007, and he is viewed as a key part of bringing taekwondo to both Russia and the United States. Although his name will always be tied to those he trained, Rhee was undoubtedly a name of his own.