Master Jung Oh Lee

  • Born: February 20, 1933
  • Died: January 31, 2012
  • Location: San Francisco, California

Neptune Society of Northern California - San Francisco

One Loraine Court
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel. (415) 771-0717

Tribute & Message From The Family

Message From The Family

Thank you very much for remembering Master Lee. Please enhance this memorial site by signing the guest book, sharing your memories and photos.

* Links to tribute videos on YouTube and photo albums on Facebook have been posted under the 'Life Images' slide show/photo gallery.

* Master Jung Oh Lee was cremated on February 13, 2012 and his remains are kept in an urn at Neptune Society Columbarium (1 Loraine Court, San Francisco, CA 94118) where the memorial service was held on February 14, 2012.

* Master Lee's niche is located in a sunny room (the only room) on the top level of the Columbarium. The niche is on the west wall, 2nd row from the floor.
- Open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 5:00PM
- Saturday and Sunday from 10:00AM to 3:00PM.
- Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day


Master Lee's Profile

1933 - Born in Osaka, Japan to Korean immigrants
1945 - Immigrated to Korea with his family
1949 - Began training in body-building and Japanese arts of self-defense (goshindo and yawara) in Kobe, Japan

1960s ~ 1970s - Toured Korea, giving Kuk Sool seminars and demonstrations
1961 - Joined the first Kuk Sool Won school in Busan, Korea
1965 ~ 1973 - Opened several Kuk Sool Won schools in Korea
1970 - Appointed Technical Master in charge of maintaining technique standards of Kuk Sool Won
1974 ~ 1975 - Toured Japan, giving Kuk Sool seminars and demonstrations

1980s ~ 2000s - Participated in World Kuk Sool Championships and Masters' Exhibitions
1980 - Awarded the 8th degree black belt in Kuk Sool
1982 ~ 1983 - Toured the United States and Mexico, giving Kuk Sool seminars and demonstrations
1984 - Immigrated to the United States with his family
1985 - Featured in the May issue of Inside Kung-Fu Magazine (Chi Power edition)
1988 - Featured in the October issue of Kakutogi Tsushin (martial arts magazine published in Japan)
1993 - Presented with the commander's sword by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
1994 - Graced the cover of Inside Karate Magazine (September issue)
1998 ~ 2001 - Sponsored the Kuk Sool resource website at
2005 - Awarded the 9th degree black belt by the World Kuk Sool Association
2012 - Passed away in San Francisco on January 31, as the oldest and longest-practicing Kuk Sool master


Condolence & Memory Journal

The world was a little bit brighter when Master Lee was here. I was very privileged to train under him for a short time in Orangeburg, S. C. UhDV3

Posted by Gary Bowers - Norway, SC - Student   January 28, 2018

Senior Master Lee will live through those whom he taught, and he taught all of us. I remember him in the San Francisco Do Jang while I was training for my black belt. He was one of the several masters who would be in the gym while we trained, but Kuk Sa Nim had a special deference for him, mentioning to me one time before a class how strong he was--that was before I ever saw him do a demonstration. I had no idea at that time what was meant by "strong."

When I finally saw one of his demonstrations, I realized then that there were levels upon levels of mastery that were beyond my reach; his expertise was at once both inspirational and humbling--downright frightening. I knew he was a senior master and was vaguely aware that he was one of Kuk Sa Nim's original students, but at that time those of us in training had no idea how anyone progressed beyond 1st Degree Black Belt, if they could ever get that far.

I always loved his demos, always being a bit beyond explanation, even being both an engineer and a philosopher--they were a bit magical. But it was Senior Master Lee's completely calm disposition that was so impressive. He made the most difficult kinds of things look so easy--his demos exemplified the principle of efficacy, which is bringing about the greatest effect from the least effort.

I've watched his tributes many times, and I am greatly saddened that he is gone. The pictures of him doing demos are impressive, but the pictures of him with his family are equally touching. It is equally impressive that he had such a beautiful family that obviously meant so much to him. As martial artists, we often don't think of the human and social side of our teachers, but it is heart-warming to be able to catch such a glimpse.

My favorite picture of him, though, is of him sitting on the beach, looking at the ocean. I don't know when it was taken, but he is middle-aged, and yet he has the posture of a youth with eyes that displayed the wisdom of a lifetime.

Posted by Tim Challans PKJN - Washington, DC - Kuk Sool Won member   April 06, 2012

Master Lee is a true master, he will be missed. Our prayers are with the Lee family. Austin, TX

Posted by Kevin Anderson    March 19, 2012


The Kuk Sool Won of Jacksonville sends their prayers to the family of Senior Master Lee.

Posted by John Blankenship PSBN - North Little Rock, AR - Kuk Sool Family   March 08, 2012

Master Lee will be sadly missed worldwide - deepest sympathies and condolences from my family, myself and everyone in the United Kingdom.

Posted by Martin Ducker - United Kingdom - Kuk Sool Won   February 20, 2012

True masters never been forgotten. You are alive in our heart and your memories will live on. You will be graetly missed.
From Kuk Sool Won of Toronto

Posted by Farshid Shabafroozan, PKJN - Toronto - Kuk Sool Won of North York Toron   February 19, 2012


He was a true master. He always stayed true to his principals.

Posted by Hagez Adle - Redwood city ca, CA - He was my Master's master   February 16, 2012

My condolences to Master Jungoh Lee's family. I appreciate the part Master Lee has played in Kuk Sool Won. I understand that his dedication is part of the reason we are able to practice Kuk Sool Won.

Posted by Karl Stolt PKJN - Sault Ste. Marie, MI - Kuk Sool Won student   February 15, 2012


The reason for this post is to express my deepest condolences on the death of Master Jungoh Lee. I want your soul to rest in peace and soon find resignation by such a huge loss.

Posted by Hiram Quiles - Luquillo   February 15, 2012

I've never had the honor of meeting, because I'm overseas. But I know he has touched many Martial Artists with his teachings and Martial Arts skills.I know in my hear that Master Lee his teachings will continue with legacy he left behind.

Posted by KSN Orfeo Sprang - Rotterdam, The Netherlands   February 15, 2012

My condolenses to all of Master Lee's Family and friends. Master Lee is a true Master in life as well as the martial arts. I will miss him.

Posted by Chuck Voutselas - Novato, CA - Old friend and student   February 14, 2012

With deepest sympathy to the lee family.
We are all only here on this earth for a very short time, what we do with that time and how we spend that time can influence the lives of many.

I only met Master Lee on two occasions while in Canada. He was a great inspiration to our school and all who watched his demonstrations.
I remember him as a very humble, kind, and honerable man who held the utmost respect for everyone around him. I remember him giving my instructor an old pair of leather gloves as it was quite cold out, this was his gift, and it came from his heart.

Master Lee will be missed by all.

Monty & Kathy Pinder

Posted by PKJN Monty Pinder - Sault Ste Marie - Kuk Sool Won   February 14, 2012

I'll never forget his demo at the 2000 WSKA championships. A real Master and remarkable individual. May we all live long enough to be so skilled.

Posted by KJn Terry Heaps - TX   February 14, 2012

Master Lee was an amazing martial artist and ambassador of Kuk Sool. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy lives on...

Posted by PKJN Philip Sage - Abilene, TX   February 13, 2012


We will always continue to be inspired by Sr. Master Jung Oh Lee

Life is an amazing journey and those who pass on, leave an endearing mark. For us at Kuk Sool Won of Rohnert Park, we will always be inspired by Sr. Master Jung Oh Lee. He was like family to us, as the step father of one of our past instructors at Kuk Sool Won in Petaluma; SBN Byung Wook Lee; (Sr. Master was Sa Mo Nim Sarah Lee's father), was always at special school functions and we were very fortunate to attend Lee family special celebrations and birthday parties at SBN Lee's house.

Sr. Master was always very kind to us and always made it a point to come and greet us at WKSA events and very fond of and always remembered our children and the times we shared at these past events.

A kind and very talented martial artists. He was always seen at all the bay area tournaments and very fond of my children. You will be missed Sir, but never forgotten as we conntinue to pratice in your memory. Kuk Sool!

Posted by SBN Debra & PSBN Jeremy Taylor - Kuk Sool Won Rohnert Park - Rohnert Park, CA - SBN Byung Wook Lee's Students   February 13, 2012

Our Prayers will accompany him to his everlasting resting place.
Master Lee was an excellent and exemplary practicioner of Kuk Sool Won.
He will always be remembered as on of the great masters of Kuk Sool.

Our deepest condolances go to his nearest family and students.
Kuk Sool Won The Netherlands
Master RobBin Baly

Posted by KJN Robbin Baly - Amsterdam - Kuk Sool Won Student Europe   February 13, 2012

My wife Sandra and I used to take private lessons with Master Sung Jin Suh in the San Francisco studio every week, sometimes as much as 3 times per week. Master Jung Oh Lee was always there. He would hang out with friends in the waiting area drinking tea and coffee.Every time we saw him, he greeted us like an old friend. He had such warmth. Our daughter always came with us even though she was very young at the time. He would always play with her. I only remember one time when he didn't have a smile on his face. He brought donuts one sunday morning for everyone to share after practice. A student of the stuio happened to be there and he took 2 doughnuts. Master Lee didn't think that was right. I could see the fire in his eyes. I thought it was cool. Gentle older man, yet still had the heart of a warrior.

Watching Master Lee's demonstrations has inspired me to pursue many goals that I never considered possibly for me to do. Thanks to this inspiration, I can bend a medium hard 60 penny nail now. I am working on a hard 60 penny nail now. In some small way, I would like to carry on part of his tradition.

SBN Jeff Gullicksen
Kuk Sool Won of Mountain View

Posted by Jeff Gullicksen - Mountain View, CA - Kuk Sool Won   February 13, 2012

Father used to read newspapers and listen to the radio news every single day.
When I visited him, he would tell me what's going on in the world.
He knew every detail of the news around the world more than I did.

Posted by Sarah Lee - San Francisco, CA - Daughter   February 12, 2012

Thank You Sir for your Demos. RIP. A Great Master. It was Good to have Know You. You will be Missed.

Posted by Jerry Sallee - Ft. Smith, AR - study the same Martial Art   February 11, 2012

I remember master Lee just like KJN Arby. I remember seeing him in the early 80"s in Brownsville Tx. and two years ago while on seminar tour with Kuk Sa Nim in California. We hand lunch with him in china town, RIP Master Lee.

Posted by Raul Sosa - Brownsville, TX - student   February 11, 2012

I can remember watching Senior Master Lee do his amazing demos and thinking, "wow, I don't think I will ever be at his level!" He was just an amazing martial artist to watch.

Senior Master Lee, you will always be an inspiration to us and you will never be forgotten. I ask that you continue to watch over us in spirit and guide us when we get frustrated, because it's Masters like yourself that exuded the true essence of martial arts.

Posted by Lawson Plummer - San Antonio, TX   February 11, 2012

RIP Sir! You will be missed by the World!

Posted by Jon Tulsa Maas - broken arrow, OK   February 10, 2012

I can remember watching Senior Master Lee's demos when I was child in Brownsville, TX and being in awe of his power. A true inspiration for training hard.

Thank you sir.

- Arby Hinojosa

Posted by Arby Hinojosa - Austin, TX   February 10, 2012

He will be missed but always remembered.

Posted by Jim Staley - San Bruno, CA - Friend   February 10, 2012

I remember with much fondness his last demonstration during his visit to Canada, and I cherish the set of autographed fans he gave me as a token of his friendship. He was an inspiration and role model to me.
Rudy W. Timmerman

Posted by Rudy W. Timmerman - Sault Ste Marie, MI - Admirer   February 10, 2012


Senior Master Lee was an amazing man and a great martial artist. I only knew him from a distance, but his smile will always light my memory.

Posted by Kristin Cagan Quintana - Menlo Park, CA   February 10, 2012

He once told Master Sung Jin that Kuk Sool has made my body smooth and flexible. It was such a small statement, but it seemed to guide my training making me want to be smoother and more flexible. And, I cannot count how many times he enjoyed handing out the medals to the students at tournaments and the joy that he shared while doing so. I want to be like him.

Posted by Paul Carmody - Half Moon Bay, CA - student   February 10, 2012

Loving memory of a kind gentleman and a "true" martial artist with a sense of virtue, loyalty, and respect for Kuk Sool Won and Kuk Sa Nim...
He didn't speak much but showed how to follow, lead, and just simply be there for anyone and everyone.
Senior Master Lee, you will always remain in our hearts!

World Kuk Sool Association

Posted by World Kuk Sool Association - Houston, TX   February 10, 2012


My deepest sympathy to the Lee family from Manuel and Chuy Lozano and Atty. Ben Neece families. Jung Oh Lee spent three months with me in Brownsville while sponsoring him and his family to come live in the US. He was one of my best friends. He taught me alot. I'm grateful. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Mr. Manuel Lozano - Brownsville, TX - Student/Friend   February 09, 2012

Photos from visitors

Family picture when he was in middle school (front row, 5th from right)
age 20s
age 30s
age 40s
age 50s

Photos from visitors

age 60s
age 70s

Photos from visitors

Photos from visitors

Photos from visitors

Photos from visitors

Photos from visitors

Master Jungoh Lee and Kuk Sa Nim in early 1960s in Korea
Kuk Sa Nim and Senior Master Jungoh Lee and Senior Master Jongwon Pyon in 1998
another picture during Kuk Sool Won's 40th Anniversary in Houston, Texas

Photos from visitors

Senior Master Lee's stance appeared on the original Kuk Sool Won textbook
picture from early 1960's
Kuk Sool family picture from the early years in Korea
Kuk Sool picture - Korea 1974
Master Jungoh Lee with Master Eung Koo Lee
Master Jungoh Lee with Master Eung Koo Lee

Photos from visitors

front cover of "Inside Karate" September 1994 issue

Life Stories

Master Lee was taken to the emergency room when he experienced severe shortness of breath, the night of January 28, 2012. While being treated under sedation, he entered into a coma for 2 days, during which his pulse was slowing down. His system was shuting down, as if his time had come. His heart beat came to a full and complete stop at 4:45PM on January 31, 2012, just 3 weeks shy of his 79th birthday.

He used to say, "Ashes to ashes."

The last thing he said to me was this.
"Make a full and complete stop at every stop sign."

When he passed away, he looked very peaceful, as though he were in deep sleep.