“With mission, courage and action”
Texas Grand Master Kangil Lee

Lee Kang-il, president of the Texas Taekwondo Association, has been involved in taekwondo for more than half a century. Grandmaster Lee Kang-il Day (every August 1st) was established in Killeen, Texas, and as the chairman of the Taekwondo Special Promotion Committee of the 2.7 million Korean American Associations, he was awarded a national cultural development award by the President of the Republic of Korea. He received personal recognition as a coach of the U.S. Taekwondo national team, an advisory committee member for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and president of the Korean American Association. He continues to be an active businessman in the community.

-Introduction to Taekwondo-
When I was in the 3rd grade of elementary school, I moved from the countryside to Seoul. At the recommendation of my late father, I received instruction (lessons) from instructor Hong Won-ki (currently living in LA) of Nambu Taekwondo Center in Yaksu-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul in 1972, and in 1973, I was promoted to Kukkiwon 1st Dan and began my career as a Gyeonggi Taekwondo athlete.
He worked at Songgok High School (formerly Seongdong Sangjeon), Hanyang University, the Republic of Korea Marine Corps Taekwondo National Team, a founding member of the Sangmu Team, and a founding member of the Seoul Subway Corporation business team, leading Taekwondo competitions as a champion in Korea several times until 1988.

-Leader’s dream of entering the United States-
In March 1989, with the dream of becoming a university professor, he went to study abroad in the United States and studied at Tennessee State University. He formed a Taekwondo club and began teaching. In 1990, he moved to California and opened US Taekwondo College in Orange County in May 1990. In 1992, for the first time in the history of Taekwondo, we held a joint demonstration of Taekwondo in front of 40,000 spectators at the Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium, which made us proud as Taekwondo people. At that time, we could not forget the moment and time of history that was more touching than expected.

-Move to Texas-
He married his wife (Lee Kyung-mi) in September 1990 and has two daughters and one son. When his twin daughters (Gloria and Diana) were 5 years old, his wife enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, and settled in Killeen, Texas, in 1996. He opened the United States Taekwondo College (USTaekwondo College) and began his journey as the second Taekwondo instructor in Texas.

While settling in Texas, he taught Taekwondo to the soldiers of the 3rd Corps of Fort Hood, which boasts the largest military force in the United States, hosted the Texas Open Taekwondo Competition, and focused on discovering athletes scheduled to participate in the Olympic Games (he served as coach of the U.S. University Taekwondo National Team in 1993). By producing players, it played a major role in helping Texas players become the strongest team at the National Championships, World Championships, and the Olympics.

In addition, through Taekwondo, in conjunction with the Killeen City Council, police department, and fire department, since 1998, a charity demonstration competition to raise funds for pediatric cancer has been held, and in recognition of his contribution to the development of mainstream society, he was made an honorary citizen of the City of Killeen and Koperuskop City and Taekwondo Instructor Kang-il Lee on August 1st. It was established as a day of righteousness.

-2014,2016 Texas Rangers Baseball Stadium Opening Ceremony Taekwondo Instructor-

Grandmaster Lee Kang-il and members of the Texas Taekwondo Association experienced a demonstration at the LA Dodgers’ baseball stadium in 1992, and in 2014, they held an opening ceremony taekwondo demonstration for the first time in the stadium’s history at the Texas Rangers’ baseball stadium, Globe Life Park, and were introduced to over 50,000 Texas fans on FOX TV broadcast. He remembers the glorious moments of announcing the status of Taekwondo throughout the country and holding an encore Taekwondo demonstration at the request of the club in 2016.

-As an icon of Taekwondo reform-
As the Secretary General of America Taekwondo United and the President of Texas Taekwondo United, He is requesting common programs, administration, and fairness in single examinations from Kukkiwon, the headquarters of over 100 million Taekwondo families around the world, and instructors around the world. While joining forces and calling for reform, an unprecedented situation occurred in Kukkiwon, the world Taekwondo headquarters, where Taekwondo instructors were deprived of their qualifications in 2016 and their qualifications were suspended indefinitely in 2017. In March 2018, the U.S. Taekwondo College was closed and the pain of parting with students was felt.

Undaunted by this, he fought with the executive branch and suffered the misfortune of Taekwondo history, with the former Kukkiwon President (Oh Hyeon-deuk) and Secretary-General (Oh Dae-young) being arrested, and the Kukkiwon Board of Directors held a meeting in September 2019 to fully reinstate Master Lee Kang-il of the United States. It was passed.

– Restoration of Taekwondo instructor’s honor –
Grandmaster Lee Kang-il requested the Kukkiwon to restore the fair and fair reputation of grassroots instructors and to create an era of civilian-elected directors and achieved the era of civilian-elected directors in January 2021. Director Lee Dong-seop visited Texas in April 2023 and met with many leaders. An apology was made to Master Lee Kang-il, who suffered difficulties during the Taekwondo reform movement in the past, and a promise was made to officially restore his honor.

-Taekwondo life running endlessly-
Now, 35 years into my life in the country, I have overcome the difficulties of my early life in the United States, and as the head of a family of two daughters and one son, I love and am proud of Taekwondo as a social leader. I have learned and practiced Taekwondo, sharing my experience and life philosophy with society, and today I am doing my best and proud of being a Taekwondo person. I believe that everyone can succeed in life if they take one step at a time and put it into action.

PS – I would like to thank my wife (Lee Kyung-mi), twin daughters (Gloria and Diana) and son (Alex) for giving me the strength to come this far, and I would also like to thank all my Taekwondo family and acquaintances.

January 16, 2024
The dream of Master Lee Kang-il, the eternal Taekwondo master🥋

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