Awarded his 10th-degree black belt in 2014, Grandmaster John Worley began his martial arts career in Fort Worth, Texas in the late 1960s, alongside his brother Pat Worley, one of the top karate competitors in the nation. Grandmaster Worley earned his 1st-degree black belt under legendary instructors J. Pat Burleson and Allen Steen, both students of Jhoon Rhee, the “Father of American Tae Kwon Do.” He followed his brother to Washington, D.C. in 1970 to run a Jhoon Rhee Institute school in Annandale, Virginia, training directly under Grandmaster Rhee as an instructor and going on to found National Karate in Minnesota.
National Karate now has schools across the country, continuing to teach and adapt the traditional Jhoon Rhee curriculum in the modern era of martial arts. Grandmaster Worley’s stories span his early days competing bare knuckle on concrete floors; the development of gloves, helmets and pads for greater safety in sparring; as well as his training under martial arts icons Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee. Thank you Grandmaster Worley for reliving your amazing milestones in the martial arts!