Articles

UKTA Presidents

Senior Master John Williamson 8th Degree 2012 — present

SM Williamson was unanimously elected 4th President of UKTA at the AGM of November 2011, having held the position of Acting President following the resignation of SM Paul Cutler in May 2011.

Senior Master Paul Cutler 8th Degree 20102012

SM Cutler became the 3rd UKTA President following the re-​structure of the Association in 2010.

He started training in TKD under Mr. Ted Hopwood in 1973 at the UKTA class in Oxford Polytechnic. In 1981 he took over as Instructor at Abingdon from the retiring Phil Holmes, before opening the first TKDSchool in Reading, Berkshire in 1982.

SM Cutler held the role of UKTA National Secretary for many years before working abroad teaching TKD in Australia. Prior to his promotion to Master on 11th September 1998 he relocated back to the UK, after which he settled in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Promotion to 8th Dan followed in 2004.

Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha 9th Degree 19752010

Grandmaster Rhee is the Founder of UKTA and became its second President in 1975, holding the position until 2010.

Grandmaster Rhee was born on 20th March 1938 in Seoul, Korea, the eldest of seven children of Rhee Yung Ei and Ahn Soon Rae. His martial arts training began when he learned Judo from his father at around 8 years of age, and he was the only one of his siblings to pursue the martial arts. He later learned karate from one of his schoolteachers.

While serving in the South Korean military forces, he came into contact with Gen. Choi Hong Hi and learned Taekwon-​Do in the 35th Infantry Division. Grandmaster Rhee, as a TKD Pioneer, was a key figure in the introduction of Taekwon-​Do around the world, performing demonstrations in many different countries. He taught Taekwon-​Do to the US 8th Army and in 1964 travelled to Singapore, where he trained Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel. Through the late 1960s and 1970s, Grandmaster Rhee was a key member of the ITF Demonstration teams that accompanied Gen. Choi around the world.

In 1967, some of his students from RAF Changi, who had returned home to the United Kingdom, invited him to teach them in the UK. He arrived on 2 July 1967, ranked 5thDan, reportedly only planning to stay for two years. GMR founded the United Kingdom Taekwon-​Do Association (UKTA) in 1967, the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-​Do Association (RITA) in 1972, and the All Europe Taekwon-​Do Federation (AETF) in 1979. He was promoted to 7th Dan in 1974, followed by 8th Dan in 1981. Gen Choi then made TKD history by promoting GMR to 9th Dan on 2nd July 1997 at the ITF Congress in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Sir Luke William Burke Teeling 19671975

The first President of UKTA was Sir Luke William Burke Teeling. Having finished a career in the RAF he then became Member of Parliament for Brighton until retiring in 1969. He was born on 5th Feb 1903 and died on 26th October 1975, after which GM Rhee Ki Ha became President.

Throughout his Parliamentary career Sir Luke remained on the backbenches, but his expertise on foreign affairs was acknowledged. He was a Freeman of the city of Seoul in Korea.