Kim Soo
Grandmaster with his Jang Bong (long stick). Chayon-Ryu students learn Bong Hyung (stick forms) and Bong Sul (stick techniques).

 

"Grandmaster Kim Soo has, since his arrival in the U. S., welcomed students of all backgrounds, ages, races, colors, religions, and both sexes -- an unusual posture indeed for a martial arts instructor in the 1960s."

Introduction to Grandmaster Kim Soo
10th Dan Black Belt and Founder of Chayon-Ryu

A very special man designed Chayon-Ryu Martial Arts. Grandmaster Kim Soo began his martial arts training as a child in Korea. He was promoted to 1st-Degree Black Belt when he was 13 years old. During high school, he began teaching and dedicated his life to spreading martial arts throughout the world. While in college he founded Kwon Bop Martial Arts club at Han Kuk University of Foreign Studies.

Since earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Languages and Literature, Grandmaster Kim founded the karate club at Kon Kuk University and the Korean Taekwon Karate Academy in Seoul, Korea; taught the bodyguards of former Republic of Korea President Syng Man Rhee, members of the Korean Military Intelligence Agency, and personnel of the U. S. Armed Forces.

He also served as the first Korean correspondent for BLACK BELT MAGAZINE, authored three best-selling books, and promoted more than 600 Black Belts.

The youngest 10th-degree Black Belt in the world (10th-degree is the highest rank), Grandmaster Kim began teaching at both Rice University and the University of Houston in l968. In addition to founding his schools in Houston (the World Headquarters of Chayon-Ryu in Spring Branch, plus his Katy school), he oversees the Chayon-Ryu International Martial Arts Association, which now includes 26 additional locations in Texas, 24 in 20 other states, and one each in Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Chayon-Ryu is now the largest martial arts system of any style in the Southwestern United States.

In 2008, Grandmaster Kim celebrates his Ruby Anniversary, marking 40 years since he briefly left his wife and young son in Korea to "teach martial arts teachers," as his rare visa of the time read.

Grandmaster Kim has received many honors over the last 40 years. He was selected to be the Taekwondo Coordinator for the l986 Olympic Festival in Houston. In 1990, he was named "Best Karate Instructor" in Houston in a three-county Reader's Poll in THE HOUSTON PRESS. He has repeatedly been named Summa Cum Laude Professor by the students at Rice University, an honor presented to outstanding faculty members at that prestigious school.

The South Korean Presidents Chun, Du Hwan and Roh, Tai Woo appointed Grandmaster Kim to serve on the National Korean Reunification Committee from 1986-1993. On the 20th Anniversary of his arrival in America, Houston Mayor Kathryn J. Whitmire proclaimed January 16, 1988, as "Grandmaster Kim Soo Day" in recognition of his service as an outstanding teacher, community leader, and businessman.

His Silver Anniversary year started with Houston Mayor Bob Lanier proclaiming January 16, l993, as "Grandmaster Kim Soo Silver Anniversary Day," for his 25 years of ongoing contributions to the martial arts, educational, and business communities. In July 1993, Texas Governor Ann Richards issued a Gubernatorial Commendation to Grandmaster Kim, and in August, U. S. President Bill Clinton sent a personal letter from the White House commending Chayon-Ryu and its founder.

A man of great wisdom, strength, and integrity, Grandmaster Kim Soo has, since his arrival in the U. S., welcomed students of all backgrounds, ages, races, colors, religions, and both sexes -- an unusual posture indeed for a martial arts instructor in the 1960s. His emphasis on health, safety, and fitness has combined with his technique instruction to build a world-famous traditional martial arts system which is truly a beneficial way of life.