USA

Jhoon Goo Rhee

Jhoon Rhee, was a student of Lee Won Kuk studying the Chung Do Kwon system. Jhoon Rhee became the first Korean instructor to professionally teach Korean Martial arts in the United States beginning in 1956. When Jhoon Rhee first arrived in the United States, he referred to his style as Tang Soo Do and as karate. Following Choi Hong Hi’s urge to Korean Kwan’s to adopt the term Tae Kwon Do to encompass all Korean styles of martial arts Jhoon Rhee gradually incorporated that term to reference his art officially as Jhoon Rhee's Chung Do Kwan - Tae Kwon Do. He established the Southwest Karate Black Belt Association and in 1959 began to teach Allen Steen.

Allen Steen

Having been taught by Jhoon Rhee, Allen Steen is the man responsible for introducing the art of Chun Do Kwan into Texas. Allen Steen was taught at the Red Bird National Guard Armory in Arlington, Texas, while a business student at the University of Texas. Steen earned his black belt in 1962. He was Jhoon Rhee's first American Black Belt.

Native Texan, Allen Steen built the first real stronghold of Karate in the United States, and is known as the "Father of Tae Kwon Do In Texas" as well as the "Father of Texas Karate". Steen opened his first school in Dallas, Texas in 1962.

Only Mike Stone, Chuck Norris and Joe Lewis rivalled Steen’s reputation as a champion, and instructor of champions in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Steen is one of the few who can honestly say he defeated Mike Stone in competition, but Stone, who was undefeated as a Black Belt competitor, was not a black belt at the time, but still a brown belt. Steen also defeated both Chuck Norris and Joe Lewis on the same day in 1966 to win the International Karate Championships, a major national tournament promoted by U.S. karate pioneer and legend Ed Parker.

Allen Steen Lineage Chart...(see section under Fred Wren reference to Chris Batte many Black Belts in England)

Perhaps what Allen Steen is best remembered for is development of the rough and tough "Texas Blood and Guts" style of Tae Kwon Do. Until Jhoon Rhee invented Safety Gear in the 1970's, Karate tournaments in the U.S. were bare knuckle.

Tournaments in Texas were not only bare knuckle, but involved a high degree of body contact, and a more than moderate degree of head contact. Allen's students were trained from the day they first stepped on the school's training floor to not only take such physical punishment, but to dish it out with the best of them. He filled his students with a "never say quit" attitude.

A Black Belt Test under Allen Steen is the type of thing that gets communicated down to ones great-great-great grandchildren. Many of Steen's students such as Skipper Mullins, Demetrius Havanus, Ronnie Cox, Jim Butin, Roy Kurban and Fred Wren became national karate celebrities in their own right.

Chris Batte

Chris Batte was a member of the Southwest Karate Black Belt Association and an Air Force officer based at USAF Bentwaters, Suffolk, England. Chris Batte was a student of Fred Wren and the first American instructor to teach Korean Karate in the East of England. Chris Batte’s technical ability was superb and his strength and fighting spirit second to none. In 1973 Chris Batte opened a professional Karate School in Ipswich.