WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — Beloved D.C. area Tae Kwon Do grandmaster Jhoon Rhee has passed away.
Diana Hawk, a manager at Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do in Arlington, Va., confirmed Mr. Rhee passed away Monday at the age of 86.
One of his children shared a similar message on the Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee Fan Page on Facebook.
“With a heavy heart I want to announce the passing of my father, Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, this morning at 7:25 am. He was with his wife Theresa and daughter Meme. Information about his Memorial service will be posted later this week,” the post read.
Mr. Rhee is credited with bringing Tae Kwon Do to America in 1956, and according to his website, he was also recognized as one of the 200 most famous U.S. immigrants of all time by the National Immigration Forum.
Rhee even worked with the likes of Bruce Lee, whose daughter tweeted photos of the two together, along with a message about their friendship:
"It is with sadness that we say goodbye to my father’s good friend and fellow martial artist, Jhoon Rhee. Your accomplishments have been many, your life has been full, and the lives you’ve touched have been numerous. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself."
While Mr. Rhee accumulated many accolades over the years, DMV residents most fondly remember him for his commercials—and the jingle that could play on repeat in your head.
“When you take Jhoon Rhee self defense then you too can say, 'Nobody bothers me, nobody bothers me.' Call USA-1000. Jhoon Rhee means might for right.”
(Note: Don't try calling that number now. It's no longer connected to the business.)
The ads always ended with his own young children saying “nobody bothers me.”
WUSA9 caught up with Rhee and his children in 1993—decades after the famous commercial first hit airwaves. You can watch that story below.
The Rhee family is asking that in lieu of flowers to send donations to Capital Caring Hospice and Powhatan Nursing Home “for their amazing care of Grandmaster Rhee.”
Powhatan Nursing Home
2100 Powhatan St.
Falls Church, VA 22043
Capital Caring Hospice
4715 15th St. N
Arlington, VA 22205