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Grandmaster Sang Chul Lee is the founder and Chairman of the U.S. Taekwondo Center. He is living legend and authentic Grandmaster from South Korea. During his competition career in Korea in the 1960s he was a 13-time undefeated National Champion and is the creator of the Ax Kick in Taekwondo. After his retirement from competition he was inducted into the Korean Sports Hall of Fame in 1970.



As a child in Korea he learned about American history and dreamed of moving to the United States to spead and grow Taekwondo. In 1975 he and his wife moved to New York City with only $800 of cash and unable to speak English. As an immigrant there were very few job opportunities and his first job was as a janitor in Staten Island.



Grandmaster Lee’s first Taekwondo School (Dojang) was in Binhamton, NY. In 1979 he was selected as the U.S. National Team Head Coach. He served as the U.S. National Team Head Coach from 1979-1988. In 1986 he was selected by the National Governing Body of Taekwondo (USTU) to be the 1st Olympic Head Coach in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He coached the team to an incredible 2nd overall finish in the world – the women’s team placed 1st and the men’s team was 2nd.



Grandmaster Lee retired from coaching in 1988 as the most successful coach in United States Taekwondo history. After his retirement he focused on growing the Olympic Taekwondo movement in the United States and world. He served as the President of USA Taekwondo (Formerly known as U.S. Taekwondo Union – USTU) from 1997-2004. He also served on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Olympic Committee and Vice President of The World Taekwondo. He is currently the President of the U.S. Taekwondo Committee, U.S. Kukkiwon, and Chairman of the U.S. Taekwondo Center. Grandmaster Lee is the Founder of the U.S. Open Taekwondo Championship and the U.S. Open Taekwondo Hanmadang.


1971: BS in Law from Korea University
1986: Graduated from US Olympic Academy



2007-Current: President of U.S. Taekwondo Committee
2002-2005: Vice President of World Taekwondo Federation, the International Governing body of Taekwondo in the world as recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
1998-2001: Executive Council Member of World Taekwondo Federation
1997-2004: President of United States Taekwondo Union, the National Governing body of Taekwondo in the United States as recognized by the US Olympic Committee (USOC)
1997-2003: Board of Directors of United States Olympic Committee (USOC)
1997-1998: Member of International Relations Committee of US Olympic Committee



1995: Head of US Taekwondo Team at Pan American Games
1993-1995: Commissioner of Taekwondo at US Olympic Festival
1988: First ever Head Coach of US Olympic Taekwondo Team in Seoul, Korea
1987: Head Coach of US Taekwondo Team at Pan American Games
1987: Head Coach of US Taekwondo Team at 8th World Taekwondo Championships
1985: Head Coach of US Taekwondo Team at 7th World Taekwondo Championships
1983: Head Coach of US Taekwondo Team at 6th World Taekwondo Championships
1981: Head Coach of US Taekwondo Team at 5th World Taekwondo Championships
1979: Head Coach of US Taekwondo Team at 4th World Taekwondo Championships



1970: Inducted into Korean Taekwondo Hall of Fame by Korean Olympic Committee
1960-1970: 13-Time Gold Medalist (Both Intercollegiate and National) in Korea



1992: Founder of US Open Taekwondo Championships
1988: Innovator and Producer of First Olympic Taekwondo Training Videos: “Get Ready for the Gold” Parts I & II
1987: Developed program for human adjustment to international travel for competitions with Dr. Jackie Paul of the US Olympic Sports Science Department
1986: Created for the first time a Taekwondo Resident Athlete Training Program at the US Olympic Training Center