Grandmaster Kang Uk Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea on August 24, 1936. At the age of 12, he became a member of the Moo Duk Kwan and began his training directly under Grandmaster Hwang Kee. Three years later, at the age of 16, he was awarded his First Dan (#70).
Grandmaster Lee trained hard and was a dedicated student, attaining the rank of 2nd Dan in less than two years, and his 3rd Dan less than three years after that. In 1956, at about 20 years of age, he became the Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do instructor at the Military Police HQ, Ma Po Gymnasium and Kon Gook University in Seoul. From 1957 to 1962, he also taught at the Korean Air Force Academy in Jin Hae City.
From 1964 to 1972, he distinguished himself as one of the true “movers and shakers” of the Moo Duk Kwan by becoming the Chief Instructor at the Choong Ang Dojang (the legendary “Central Gymnasium”) in Seoul and also served as the Director of the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association. In 1968, he served as the Chief Judge of the 1st World Tang Soo Do and 5th Asia Tang Soo Do Championships, in Seoul.
In 1972, Grandmaster Lee received his 7th Dan and also became the Chief Instructor for South East Asia, based in Malaysia. The following year, he founded the Brunei Tang Soo Do Association and the Singapore Tang Soo Do Association.
In 1974, he went on to found the Federation of Malaysia Tang Soo Do Organization, as well as the United Kingdom Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Federation, where he continues as President.
In 1976, he founded the European Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Federation and also served as the President and Chief Judge of the 1st European Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Championships. In 1978, he also served as the President and Chief Judge of the 1st International Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Championships, held in the U.K.
Now a 10th Dan, Grandmaster Lee continues to travel the world, officiating at Tang Soo Do tournaments and hosting classes and seminars. He makes a point to visit the Detroit area at least annually, and every two years there is an International Tang Soo Do Championships held somewhere in the world, hosted by one of the member countries. Grandmaster Lee still resides in the United Kingdom.