Mrs. Kim Soo and Grandmaster Kim Soo with Mayor Bill White.
Mayor Bill White Proclaims "Grandmaster Kim Soo Day"
By Darlene Vaughan Saunders, 3rd Dan


  On February 3, 2004, Houston Mayor Bill White proclaimed February 7 as "Grandmaster Kim Soo Day," honoring Grandmaster Kim with a 36th Anniversary Proclamation of Excellence.


Accompanied by his wife and son, Master Sean Kim, Grandmaster Kim Soo and a large group of his students, including many high-ranking Black Belts, greeted Mayor White at City Hall. The newly elected mayor read aloud from the proclamation about Grandmaster Kim's accomplishments as founder of ChaYon-Ryu International Martial Arts Association and martial arts educator in Houston for the past 36 years.

Grandmaster Kim graciously accepted the Proclamation and then presented Mayor White with an Honorary Black Belt, certificate, and uniform, complete with patches and monogrammed name. Acknowledging that he has not done the work required to earn a Black Belt, Mayor White nevertheless felt somewhat qualified to accept such a gift from Grandmaster Kim Soo, in light of his recently hard-fought mayoral campaign. Afterward, Mayor White and Grandmaster Kim greeted people and posed for photographs.

Since Houston Mayor Kathryn J. Whitmire first declared January 16 as "Grandmaster Kim Soo Day" back in 1986, each successive mayor has recognized Grandmaster Kim's contributions to the city and honored him with their own Proclamation.

In 1996, Mayor Bob Lanier proclaimed November 6 as "Chayon-Ryu International Martial Arts Association Silver Anniversary Day" in Houston. In December of the same year, Mayor Lanier appointed Grandmaster Kim as an official Goodwill Ambassador to Russia. In March of 1996, Grandmaster Kim was honored again by Mayor Bob Lanier for hosting the first training retreat of the Byung-In Martial Arts Friendship Association. In February of 2003, Grandmaster Kim received a 35th Anniversary Proclamation of Excellence from Mayor Lee Brown and City Council members Mark Goldberg and Michael Berry.

As students of Grandmaster Kim Soo, we take pride in the rich history of ChaYon-Ryu and feel privileged for the opportunity to learn from an authentic Grandmaster who gives so generously of his time and talent.