By Darlene Vaughan Saunders, 3rd Dan
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.