9th Dan Grandmaster Ju Hun Kim:
Due to his demonstrated excellence in Tae Kwon Do, Grandmaster Kim was sent to the United States in 1966 to promote Tae Kwon Do in this country. He traveled thousands of miles coast to coast, doing demonstrations all across the country.
In 1968, Kim School of Tae Kwon Do, Inc. was established. Grandmaster Kim would often travel to three states in one day to teach classes, covering 50,000 miles a year teaching and demonstrating his art! The Charlotte Kim School was started in 1968 at the Morehead Street location. In 1972 the Charlotte headquarters school had its Grand Opening at its present location, attended by the Mayor of Charlotte who presented Grandmaster Kim with a key to the City. He has continued to be a valued member of the Charlotte business community for the past 40 years. Today, Tae Kwon Do is being taught by Kim School Black Belts all across the United States and internationally as well.
The War Years
It was September of 1940 and Korea was in the grip of military occupation when Ju Hun Kim was born. In Europe, Hitler had invaded Poland the year before, and the world was slowly being drawn into a world wide conflict. Japan was attempting to expand its empire throughout the Pacific, and a little over a year later, would attack Pearl Harbor, drawing the U.S. into the war in the Pacific.
He was five years old when Korea was liberated and its independence restored in 1945. But the years of suffering and war were not over, and a hoped-for time of peace did not last long. Though the National Defense Forces of Korea were created in August of 1948, when the government of the Republic of Korea was inaugurated, the country was just two short years away from a brutal conflict with North Korea.
Invasion from the North
Early in 1950 the North Korean Communist Regime began to dispatch large numbers of guerrillas across the 38th parallel into the Taebaek mountains, and then launched a full-fledged invasion on June 25, 1950. Seoul was captured in three days, and as the Army of the Republic was devastated, refugees had to flee the invading armies and head further south. Among those seeking safety was a ten year old boy named Ju Hun Kim. It would be in that same year that he would begin his study of Tae Kwon Do under his instructor, Master Park. As the war grew in intensity and The United States and The United Nations forces intervened, the young boy continued his study of Tae Kwon Do, often practicing only one move for months at a time before Master Park would take him to another move (and now we know why his good technique runs so deep!) The family was eventually able to move back to Seoul, but then in January of 1951 under the onslaught of the Chinese Communists, the evacuation of Seoul was ordered, and at age eleven, Ju Hun Kim found himself riding on top of a train car in the freezing Korean winter, heading once more to the safety of the deeper south. During these years, as he continued with his family to try to stay alive, he continued his study of the Martial Art.
A Cease-Fire Takes Hold, and Studies Continue
In March of 1951, as French, American, South Korean and other United Nations forces countered, Seoul was retaken and remained secure. Major clashes continued and in June of 1953, when Ju Hun Kim was 13 years old, the Chinese Communist Forces launched massive attacks against Republic of Korea Divisions. A cease-fire was finally signed July 27, 1953 in Punmunjom at 10:00am and 12 hours later the fighting ended.
Ju Hun Kim’s family expected that the children would not only receive an education, but that they would also be expected to strive for excellence in whatever they did. Having survived the war, he continued his study of Tae Kwon Do and graduated from Kyong Hee University. During his college years, his discipline and hard work led to the Collegiate and National Championships in Tae Kwon do. He eventually became an instructor in the Korean Army, and then operated a Tae Kwon Do studio in Seoul.
The Journey to America and the
Establishment of Kim School of Tae Kwon Do
Because of his demonstrated excellence in Tae Kwon Do, he was sent to the United States in 1966 to promote Tae Kwon Do in this country. He traveled thousands of miles coast to coast, doing demonstrations all across the country.
In 1968, Kim School of Tae Kwon Do, Inc. was established. Grandmaster Kim would often travel to three states in one day to teach classes, covering 50,000 miles a year teaching and demonstrating his art! The Charlotte Kim School was started in 1968 at the Morehead Street location. In 1972 the Charlotte headquarters school had its Grand Opening at its present location, attended by the Mayor of Charlotte who presented Grandmaster Kim with a key to the City. He has continued to be a valued member of the Charlotte business community for the past 40 years. Today, Tae Kwon Do is being taught by Kim School Black Belts all across the United States and internationally as well. Kim School Black Belts have taught in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia; in Kenya, East Africa; Volos, Greece; and of course in South Korea!
Grandmaster Kim has received countless numbers of awards and international recognition for excellence in his field. In 1972 the Korea Tae Kwon Do Association awarded him the “Certificate of Qualification as an International Master Instructor and Official in the Art and Science of Tae Kwon Do.” In 1973 the Korea Tae Kwon Do Association awarded him special recognition for promoting Tae Kwon Do and in 1977, the World Tae Kwon Do Federation cited him for “Dedicated Service and Outstanding Contributions” in promoting Tae Kwon Do as a world sport. In 1980, the same Federation honored him as the “Best Instructor for 1980.” In 1982 the Korea Tae Kwon Do Association awarded him a letter of commendation for “Achievement in the Advancement of Tae Kwon Do.”
A long list of awards and commendations have continued to mark his commitment to Tae Kwon Do and its practitioners. In 1984 he established the International Black Belt Association, a fraternal organization of Kim School Black Belts committed to promoting excellence in Tae Kwon Do practice and instruction, and was instrumental in establishing the Southeastern Tae Kwon Do Federation.
Grandmaster Kim Receives 9th Dan!
What does it take to achieve this coveted rank that so few achieve? The first thing it takes is dedication! This high achievement does not come to anyone for whom Tae Kwon Do is not “a way of life.” And it certainly has been that for Grandmaster Kim. Aspiring toward excellence in his own technique has inspired all of the rest of us to strive for the very best! World wide, Grandmaster Kim has taught over 80,000 students and has been responsible for much of the popularity the Martial Arts enjoy in The United States. Those contributions, both to excellence and the promotion of Tae Kwon Do, are requirements for 9th Dan.
\The Charlotte Business Community
Throughout the Charlotte business community, Grandmaster Kim has been well respected for his integrity and loyalty in matters of personal and business life. Welcomed as a young Black Belt from South Korea, Ju Hun Kim very quickly established himself as a unique presence in the Charlotte business community, building what has always been known as the oldest and best Martial Arts School in the Charlotte area. The first students to attain Black Belt under Grandmaster Kim often drove great distances to take instruction from him, and receiving Black Belts, opened satellite Kim Schools in other cities and states. Over the years, Kim School Black Belts have taught Ju Hun Kim Tae Kwon Do all across the United States and internationally as well.
For forty years, Grandmaster Kim has been well known, well-respected and a defining presence in this community, and it is our honor and privilege to congratulate him today!
\The International Black Belt Association
In 1984 Grandmaster Kim established “The International Black Belt Association,” a fraternal organization of Kim School Black Belts that for the past 24 years has mirrored his emphasis on excellence in the practice and promotion of Tae Kwon Do. Meeting for Black Belt Seminars each year, our Kim School Black Belts continue to learn the finer points of Tae Kwon Do from their Grandmaster Instructor. Additionally, under Grandmaster Kim’s guidance, they established a scholarship fund for Kim School seniors heading for college or university, again underscoring Grandmaster Kim’s emphasis on excellence in education. Over the years, the Association has granted thousands of dollars in scholarships to Kim School students.
Additionally, integrity and loyalty in matters of personal and business life are factors. Background investigations take place to verify one’s reputation, contributions and standing in the business community. The highest moral and ethical foundations that undergird Tae Kwon Do must always be present in one’s business reputation. As we all know, Grandmaster Kim has not only exemplified that integrity, he has encouraged it in all his students.
Age is also a factor. There is a minimum age requirement to receive 9th Dan, and Grandmaster Kim at that age was the youngest man to have received this degree! That does not surprise us, for he has always been the youngest one among us!
Still another factor that impressed his Kukkiwon examiners in Korea was his extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Any one of us who has had a jammed finger straightened, or another injury attended to by our Grandmaster knows well the phrase, “Come see me. I’ll fix it for you.”
Our Own Appreciation
A final thought… There is another characteristic that goes into the making of someone who receives the rank of 9th Dan International Grandmaster Instructor that is not necessarily reflected in Kukkiwon requirements, but must be mentioned here. That is the personal appreciation and high degree of respect that this Grandmaster’s students feel for him. To have attained a rank that at the time only 20 other people in the world had attained, and still have the desire and take the time to teach white belt beginners along with other students, says a great deal about Ju Hun Kim’s devotion and commitment to his students. He has consistently been concerned about every child that walked through the door, hoping to instill a firm foundation and a commitment to excellence that would serve that child well throughout his or her lifetime. He has often responded with genuine compassion and concern for students in times when they have faced great difficulty or adversity in their lives.
We who have been his students over the years are proud and thankful to have had the opportunity to sit at the feet of the “Best of the Best,” in Grandmaster Ju Hun Kim.