A ninth-degree black belt, Choon Soo Lee grew up in Pusan, South Korea, and served in his country's army. After his discharge, he decided to teach tae kwon do, eventually emigrating to the United States in the mid-1960s. Now 66 years old, Lee is a colossal figure on the Kansas City martial-arts scene. The academies under Lee's supervision draw a nearly equal mix of adults and children, males and females. He's also worked with college and professional athletes, including the Chiefs defensive line when Gunther Cunningham was head coach. "He's a great man -- a great teacher with great integrity," says Reggie Montgomery, an instructor at Lee's Academy in Kansas City, Kansas. (The others are in Shawnee, Overland Park and Gladstone.) "Over the years I've worked with him, he's like a father to all of his students. To learn from a legend is something special."