How Jeff Smith Became a Kickboxing Champion —and One of the Most Respected Instructors in the World!
In the early 1960s, when Americans were first hearing about The Beatles, Jhoon Rhee operated four martial arts schools in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The man who would become known as the father of taekwondo in America also regularly traveled around the country to a dozen clubs, where he tested students trained by his black belts. One such club was located on the campus of Texas A&M University, where Jeff Smith's mother worked and Jeff, then a teenager, delivered newspapers.
"One day on my route, I noticed a sign for a karate demonstration at the student-union ballroom," Smith recalls. "I went and wanted to enroll [in the club], but it was for college students only. I talked to my mother, she talked to the dean, and they decided to let me and several other of the faculty kids in.