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GRANDMASTER JAE HUN KIM

Mr. Kim carries the tradition set by some of the most recognized Taekwon-do masters in the world. He was especially fortunate to receive personal teachings from General Choi, Hong Hi – the acknowledged founder of modern-day Taekwon-do – and from Grandmaster Jung Tae Park, president of the Global Tae Kwon Do Federation. Mr. Kim received the rank of Grand Master in July, 1993, from the Kukkiwon world Taekwon-do headquarters in South Korea.

EARLY YEARS: KOREA

Mr. J.H. Kim was born and raised in Korea. His father, Mr. Jwah Kyum Kim, was a military officer who later became a diplomat and a cabinet member in the Korean government. Mr. Kim’s father served as the head of the Economic Mission to Vietnam and as the first Korean Ambassador to Indonesia. He later returned to Korea and became a cabinet minister in charge of political affairs. Although the elder Kim passed away in 1985, his presence is felt at our school,

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…as it is he who – with his son, Mr. J.H. Kim – inspired and formulated the school tenets we abide by today: “Improvement of Mind and Body,” “Ethical Self-Conduct” and “Unity Among Members. Mr. Kim was exposed to martial arts at home at an early age. Not only was Mr. Kim’s father a Gumdo (sword arts) expert, he also had the influence of his uncle – a black belt in Taekwon-do – who lived in the Kim household. Studying martial arts became an even more important part of Mr. Kim’s life when his parents had to move to Vietnam, leaving their 11-year-old son behind in Korea. During that time, Mr. Kim practiced various martial arts, including Hapkido and boxing, but Taekwon-do remained the primary focus of his martial arts training. As a young martial arts practitioner, Mr. Kim was drawn to the effectiveness and aesthetically-pleasing qualities of Taekwon-do. While attending an all-boys high school (2,800 young men, all in one school), he became even further convinced of Taekwon-do’s efficacy as a form of self-defense. There was always a “sparring session” going on in some part of the school, so you can imagine why Mr. Kim appreciated the practical aspects of Taekwon-do.

NORTH AMERICA & GRANDMASTER PARK

Mr. Kim moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1967. There, he started his first Taekwon-do club while working hard as a full-time academic student. No one in Winnipeg knew what Taekwon-do was at the time, but those who witnessed it were impressed. The club flourished. Eventually, Mr. Kim invited a leading Taekwon-do Master, Mr. Jung Tae Park, to move to Winnipeg and open a school.  Mr. Kim’s academic pursuits required much of his time, but when the new school opened, he continued to teach under Mr. Park, and also learned from him. Grand Master Park later founded the Global Tae Kwon Do Federation.

General Choi

In 1971, Mr. Kim moved to Boston and started teaching at area universities. At about this time, he had the honor of being invited to the home of General Choi, Hong Hi – the acknowledged founder of modern-day Taekwon-do. After a brief review of forms, General Choi invited Mr. Kim to receive personal training from him, from then on. This was the greatest honor for a Taekwon-do practitioner, as General Choi taught only a handful of instructors in his home.

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Mr. Kim visited General Choi periodically to receive personal instruction, until 1978. It was also during this period that Mr. Kim, with the encouragement of General Choi, opened his school in Boston. Mr. Kim enjoyed and cherished every visit with General Choi. However, as General Choi became more and more politically involved with Eastern Bloc nations, Mr. Kim could not continue training with his teacher. Although Mr. Kim himself was not concerned about General Choi’s personal politics and had no feelings about them either way, maintaining close ties with him would have caused much difficulty for Mr. Kim’s father, who held a high-level position in the Korean government at the time. Mr. Kim had no choice but to leave his cherished teacher. However, the first thing that greets visitors and members at our school, to this day, is a set of beautiful calligraphy writings addressed to Mr. Kim by General Choi.

ADVANCING TAEKWON-DO

Without the help and guidance of General Choi, Mr. Kim wandered for a while. But, it was not too long before Mr. Kim’s closest friend, Grand Master C.K. Ma, brought him into the United States Taekwondo Union (U.S.T.U.). With Mr. C.K. Ma and Mr. Yong Il Lee, Mr. Kim helped the organization’s president, Dr. Dong Ja Yang, to expand the U.S.T.U. into a national organization that officially represents Taekwon-do practitioners in the U.S.  In 1979, Mr. Kim was selected by the U.S.T.U. to coach the national team. After making numerous contributions to the advancement of Taekwon-do organizations, Mr. Kim came to the decision to devote the years ahead to his own school, and to concentrate solely on teaching his students. He continues to teach every day.

OTHER EXPERIENCES

Mr. Kim’s experience outside of the martial arts circle is also quite interesting. He earned a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He also served in the Korean Air Force, with the rank of Captain.

The academic training and skills Mr. Kim obtained from MIT and Harvard led him to a successful career with General Electric, where he served for many years as Vice President (GETSCO), Northern Pacific Operation. In that position, his chief responsibility was in marketing aircraft engines and aerospace products to that region of the world.

JAE HUN KIM TAEKWON-DO INSTITUTE

In 1992, Mr. Kim decided to return to his first love – teaching Taekwon-do – on a full-time basis. He wanted to develop new instructors and to reach new communities, providing good instruction whereby more people could benefit from Taekwon-do training.   The school has flourished, attracting Taekwon-do students of all ages and backgrounds, from around the world. The institute now operates 22 schools in the U.S., Singapore, Korea, Ireland, and China.  

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Our institute is mentioned frequently as a premier Taekwon-do school in the world by various martial arts organizations. The school has been featured in numerous publications as a leader in the field. Our school was selected in 2009 as the top Taekwon-do school in the world by Mookas Media, the world’s largest martial arts media corporation, and we received the “2009 World School of the Year Award” from the same organization.

ONGOING RECOGNITION

The Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA) asked Mr. Kim to conduct a seminar for 100 school owners in Korea. The seminar was held on September 3rd, 2011 at the Korea National Sports University. The seminar facility could only hold 100 people, but 124 school owners crammed into the room, many of whom had to stand during the seminar. It is yet another indication of the respect Mr. Kim has in the Taekwon-do communities around the world.

Mr. Kim was invited by Kukkiwon (Taekwondo World Headquarters) to speak to more than 500 Taekwondo school directors and instructors at the first Kukkiwon seminar of its kind held in Seoul, South Korea on the future direction of Taekwondo around the world.

In 2013, Mr. Kim was named “Grandmaster of the Year” by the Taekwondo Times magazine.

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