Dr. Sabree Salleh, is one of a few non-Korean who was personally trained by the late General Choi Hong Hi (The Founder of Taekwon-Do, and Past-President of International Taekwon-Do Federation). Sabree was born on June 10, 1950 in Kangar, Perlis, Northern Malaysia. He started training in martial arts at the age of seven in the traditional Silat Kuntau Melaka, Silat Sending, Silat Gayung, and Thai Boxing.
In the early 60s, Sabree began to learn Taekwon-Do from the Korean instructor C.K Choi. He also studied under J.C. Kim Choi Kwang Jo & Choi Yik Seong.
In 1970 Sabree further his education at MARA Institute of Technology (ITM) Petaling Jaya, Selangor. There he established ITM Taekwon-Do Club and the Kuala Lumpur Taekwon-Do Association. He taught Taekwon-Do to the FELDA Club, The Eurosian Club, Malayan Banking Club, the Sultan Idris Teachers Training College Club, MARDI Club and the Tun Abdul Razak School (SDAR) Club in Seremban.
Sabree formed the Malaysian Taekwon-Do Federation (MTF) and became its first Secretary General. While in Kuala Lumpur Sabree also trained under Lee Byong Moo, Low Koon Lin. He was then hand-picked by General Choi Hong Hi to be his student.
While at ITM, Sabree represented MTF demonstration team to Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand and Philippines. In 1973, he represented ITF to demonstrate along with the elite members of South Korean Navy Taekwon-Do experts.
He continued his education at Glasgow College, Scotland. He became the instructor for Rhee Ki Ha Taekwon-Do Academy and also the instructor for the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association (UKTA). He continued his Taekwon-Do training under Gen Choi Hong Hi and Master Park Jung Tae in Toronto, Canada
With ITF instructors, he conducted training in Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and El Salvador. He also gave demonstration in Northern Ireland, Poland, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
In 1979, Sabree continued his education at Brooks Institute, Santa Barbara California. He founded the Sabree?s Taekwon-Do Academy in Goleta, California and in Tjuana, Mexico. He was the Director for the United States Taekwon-Do Federation (USTF) Western Zone. He was also ITF, Under-Secretary General, Chairman of Public Relation and Executive Director. He was also the council member of North American Taekwon-Do Federation (NATF).
He continued his training under Master Han Cha Kyo in Chicago, Lee Suk Ki of Edminton , Canada. With ITF instructors he conducted training and seminars in Puerto Rico, Greece, Italy, Austria, East Germany, Romania, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Russia and Jamaica. In 1982, he was the instructor for USTF team for the ITF Inter-Continental Championships in St. Foy Canada. In 1983 he was an instructor of the ITF Summer Camp held in Montreal, Canada and Vermont, USA. Sabree was the instructor for USTF team at the 4th World ITF Championship in Glasgow Scotland. He was the Chief Referee for the All Europe Taekwon-Do Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
In 1984, Sabree was featured in ‘Who’s who in American Martial Arts’ The complete USA Martial Arts Instructor’s Bible. He completed taking 20,000 photographs for General Choi Hong Hi 15 volumes of Taekwon-Do Encyclopedia.
Sabree returned to Malaysia in the early 1985 where he worked full time as a Lecturer, Professor and Dean of University Technology MARA University (UiTM) for 17 years. In 1986, he founded the Malaysian International Taekwon-Do Federation (MITF) and was MITF President and Chief Instructor (1986-1998). He was promoted to 7th Degree Blackbelt in 1989. In 1991 he became the Secretary General of the Asia Pacific Taekwon-Do Federation (APTF).
Sabree headed the Malaysian National Team to the ITF World Championships. The 5th in Athens Greece in 1987, the 6th at Budapest, Hungary in 1988, the 7th at Montreal, Canada in 1990 and the 8th at Pyongyang, North Korea in 1992. In 1990 he also headed Malaysian National team to ITF 1st Children Championship in Moscow, Russia and in 1991 at the Asia Pacific (APTF) Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In 1995 and 1997 to APTF Championships in Tokyo Japan.
Sabree conducted seminars/demonstration with Gen Choi to New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Uzbekistan and Russia. In 1994 he represented ITF in the Asia Olympic Council Conference in Bangkok Thailand.
In 1994, Sabree organized the 9th World ITF Taekwon-Do Championship in Terengganu, Malaysia with 86 countries National teams participated. Malaysia succeeded to attain the 4th place. It was officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. He received ‘ Bronze Statue ‘Loyalty Award’ (bestowed to only 9 Instructors in the world), The ITF ‘Distinguish Service Medal’ (DSM) and The ITF ‘Outstanding Instructor Medal’ by The Founder Of Taekwon-Do and President of ITF, General Choi Hong Hi.
Sabree received many awards and medals from the Malaysian Government for his contribution to the Martial Arts. This include two ?Knighthood? (Dato?), DPMT in 1994 and DSSA in 1999. He also received the ?Order of Friendship 2nd Class? from President of DPR Korea in 1994. He is the first Non-Korean to receive this award for his contribution in promoting of Taekwon-Do worldwide. He was promoted to 8th Degree Blackbelt by ITF and 7th Degree Hapkido by Korean Hapkido Association, Seoul, Korea.
Sabree founded The Malaysian Global Taekwon-Do Federation (MGTF) in 1999 and become MGTF President & Chief Instructor from 1999-2005. MGTF is a National Taekwon-Do Organization registered and recognized by Malaysian Government. He was also The Senior Vice-President of The Global Taekwon-Do Federation (GTF) from 1999-2005
In 2001, after over 45 years involment in Taekwon-Do, Sabree Salleh was promoted to 9th Degree Black Belt by The Global Taekwon-Do Federation (GTF) , 9th Degree Black Belt by The Korean Pro Taekwon-Do Federation (KPTF), 9th Degree Black Belt by The International Taekwon-Do Union (ITF), 9th Degree Black Belt by Advanced Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), 9th Degree Black Belt by Royal Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), 9th Degree Black Belt by The World Organizer of Martial Arts (WOMA) Saudi Arabia, 9th Degree Black Belt by The Korean Hapkido Federation, 9th Degree Black Belt by Martial Arts, Health & Fitness Association E.V. Germany, 9th Degree Black Belt by Wakazamurai Martial Arts Organization,Turkey, 9th Degree Blackbelt by International Lu Tran Kung Fu Association, 9th Degree Black Belt by World Blackbelt Club Council of US International Grandmasters Sokeship Union. Sabree also received 9th Degree Black Belt from the World All style Combat Organization (WASCO). Currently he is also WASCO Vice – President. He also received his ‘Grandmaster’ Degree from MUDO National College Of Martial Arts and ‘Honorable Grandmaster’ title from Martial Arts Association, Germany and is registered in Who is Who Encylopedia of Martial Arts.
In 2002, Sabree received ‘The Ambassador For Peace Award’ award from Universal Peace Federation and World Association of Non-Government Organization (WANGO) Headuarters, United Nation, New York. In 2005, he received his Doctorate and Professorship in Martial Arts from International University of Sports and Martial Arts,(IUSMA) and in 2006 the Doctorate in Martial Arts History from The World Academy Of Marrtial Arts Philosophy and Science (WAMAPS).
In 2005, Sabree with other Malaysian Martial arts senior instructors formed The Malaysian Martial Arts Grand Masters Martial Association (MAGMA). He is now an Advisor/Founder member to MAGMA. As a Sport Scientist/Martial Artist, he established The Global Martial Arts and Science Academy (GMASA) and The World Academy of Martial Arts Philosophy and Science (WAMAPS), inorder to provide professional recognition to all Martial artist regardless of their systems, to give due recognition to outstanding martial artists on their respective art and to conduct research on the various forms of martial arts which have been developed by different grandmasters.
In 2006, with 32 countries member, Sabree founded The Global Taekwon-Do Federation International (GTFi) and remain as its Founder and President.
Sabree?s was admitted to be a member of WHFSC ?THE WORLD HEAD OF FAMILY SOKESHIP COUNCIL (The most prestegious World Grand Master Council) in 2007. In 2008, he was appointed by Grandmaster Soke Frank Sanchez, President Of WHFSC as a Laison Official between WHFSC and MAGMA.
He was inducted in WHFSC INTERNATIONAL HALL OF FAME AWARD 2008, at WHFSC 16th Annual International Award and Symposium in San Antonio, Texas, USA in May 2008. He was inducted as a WARRIOR OF THE YEAR 2008 by The Combat Warrior Association Hall of Fame, YING AND YANG AWARD and MARTIAL ARTS LEGEND AWARD by The International Lu Tran Kung Fu Association USA and inducted in The HALL OF FAME by The International Tinh Vo Dao Federation. Sabree was also inducted in the Hall of Fame by The Malaysian Martial Arts Association in 2008.
In 2009, he was appointed as a Vice-President of The Royal Taekwon-Do Federation (RTF) by Grandmaster Son Myung Soo. In June 2009, he was bestowed his ‘Professorship’ and ‘Black belt 10th Dan’ by Grand Master Dan McEddy of The Circle Of Masters, USA. He was also appointed to be a Director of ‘Combat Sense’ for Asia. In july he was appointed as an advisor to The Institute of Martial Arts Research Institute (IMARI) and received his Hon. Doctorate of Martial Arts (DMA) from IMARI. Sabree was featured in 2009, WORLD HEAD OF FAMILY SOKESHIP COUNCIL’WHFSC) Alumni/Directory book.
In December, Sabree was appointed as one of the four Advisors for WORLD ORGANIZER OF MARTIAL ARTS (WOMA) by GM Professor Dr. M. I. Tianero of The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia. He is also appointed as a Council member to U.S. INTERNATIONAL GRANDMASTER COUNCIL (US IGMSU) by its President/Founder, Dr. Darrell R. Smith. He received 10th Degree Blackbelt from The International Mu Sool Taekwondo Federation.
In January 2010, Sabree was bestowed 10th Degree Black belt and the title’ CHONG KWAN JANG NIM Grandmaster (Master of Masters) from Song Do Kwan Kong Soo Do Federation, Universal Song Do Kwan Alliance. He also received his Professorship Degree from The International Professor Of Martial Arts Science and Educators, Martial Arts University Indiana, USA and World University Of Martial Arts of Higher Education, USA. He also received his Professorship and Doctorate in Asian Martial Arts & Self Defense from Woma International Council For Higher Martial Arts Science Education Inc., USA