Now that Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee and Kwan Jang Nim Kim Jae Joon (Pin #38) have passed on, the highest ranking, most senior Korean Grand Master from the original Moo Duk Kwan is Kwan Jang Nim Lee Kang Uk (Pin #70). As you can see from pictures and information elsewhere in this web site, members of this club take the opportunity to train with KJN Lee whenever they can. It is such a pleasure to be under his tutilege. He continues (as he has done his entire life) to teach traditional Tang Soo Do, the way he was trained in the Moo Duk Kwan decades ago in Korea. Our philosophy here at FSKK and in the USKKA follows what KJN Hwang Kee stated in his last book; and that is that tradition plays an important role in what Tang Soo Do is and how it came to be under his guidance. He also mentions, however, that this tradition must be balanced with logical change for his art to evolve properly. “Logical change” means that if there is a good common sense, scientific or bio-mechanical reason to change some of the movements or how they are applied. If these logical changes make sense, then they will help the art evolve and grow into something even more effective than it already is for training mind, body and spirit.
Kwan Jang Nim Lee Kang Uk seems to feel the same way. We sense that he teaches traditionally, unless there is a compelling reason not to. He does not teach change for the sake of change. Many of the students of FSKK and the USKKA have asked about learning more about this man. Here is some information on him...
KJN Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea on 24 August, 1936 (He will be 71 this August!). At the age of 13, he began his training (directly under KJN Hwang Kee) by joining the Moo Duk Kwan. Three years later, at the age of 16, he was awarded his First Dan (#70). KJN Lee trained hard and was a dedicated student; he attained the rank of 2nd Dan in less than 2 years and then his 3rd Dan in less than 3 years after that. In 1956 at about 20 years of age, he became MDK-TSD instructor at the Military Police HQ, Ma Po Gymnasium and Kon Gook University in Seoul. From 1957 to 1962, he also taught at the Korean Air Force Academy in Jin Hae City. In 1958, he was awarded his 4th Dan, followed by his 5th Dan in 1961 and his 6th Dan in 1965.
From 1964 to 1972, KJN Lee distinguished himself as one of the true “movers and shakers” of the Moo Duk Kwan by becoming the Chief Instructor at the Choong Ang Toe Chang (the legendary “Central Gymnasium”) in Seoul and also served as the Director of the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association. In 1968, he served as the Chief Judge of the 1st World Tang Soo Do (and 5th Asia Tang Soo Do Championships, in Seoul.
In 1972, KJN Lee received his 7th Dan and also became the Chief Instructor for South East Asia, based in Malaysia. The following year, he founded the Brunei TSD Assn. and the Singapore TSD Assn. In 1974, he went on and founded the Federation of Malaysia TSD Org., as well as the United Kingdom Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Federation, where he was the Chief Instructor (a year later, he also became President of the U.K. TSD Fed.).
In 1976, he founded the European Tang Soo (Soo Bahk)Do Federation and also served as the President and Chief Judge of the 1st European Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Championships. In 1978, he also served as the President and Chief Judge of the 1st International Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Championships, held in the U.K.
In 1979, KJN Lee was awarded his 8th Dan and 10 years after that, he was awarded his 9th Dan. KJN Lee has continued his dedication to his art and to this day, travels all over the world, officiating at TSD tournaments and hosting TSD classes and seminars. He is now a 10th Dan Grand Master and makes a point to visit the Detroit area at least annually. Every 2 years, there is an International Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Championships held somewhere in the world, hosted by one of the member countries. KJN Lee continues his strive for excellence as he continues to serve as President and Chief Judge at these events. KJN Lee still resides in the United Kingdom, as he has for many years.