Kim Ki Whang

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Kim Ki Whang
Born Kim Ki Whang
1920
Seoul, Korea
Died September 16, 1993(1993-09-16) (aged 73)
Other names Ki Whang Kim
Nationality Korea
Style Taekwondo; Tang soo do; Shudokan Karate-do; Judo
Trainer Kanken Toyama
Rank 10th dan Taekwondo, 8th dan Tang soo do, 4th dan Shudokan Karate, black belt Kodokan Judo[1]
Occupation Martial Art Instructor
University Nihon University
Notable students Sang Kee Paik, Chuck Norris, Pat E. Johnson, John Critzos II, Mitchell Bobrow
Kim Ki Whang
Hangul 김기황
Revised Romanization Gim Gihwang
McCune–Reischauer Kim Kihwang
This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.

Kim Ki Whang (1920 – September 16, 1993), also known in the United States as Ki Whang Kim, was a Korean martial arts grandmaster. He was Chairman in the US of the Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Association, Chairman of the US Olympic Taekwondo team and helped unify several Korean martial arts into the overall style of taekwondo.

Biography[edit]

Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1920. At the time Korea was occupied by Japan. Under their regime martial arts had been banned since 1909, though the practice of taekkyon was not banned until the year of Kim's birth.[2]

Despite the Japanese ban, Koreans still practiced martial arts in secret, and Kim was able to study Judo at the Kodokan from 1931, earning a Black Belt five years later. The ban did not extend to Koreans who lived in Japan, and Kim learned Shudokan Karate from its founder, Kanken Toyama, at Nihon University in Japan. He became captain of the team, earned the nickname "Typhoon" and earned a fourth degree Black Belt rank in this style. He also went to China for two years, probably as a draftee in the Japanese army, where he learned kempo and shaolin kung fu.[3]

After graduation from Nihon University in the 1940s, he returned to South Korea and was employed at the Transportation Administration in Seoul. He wasn't involved in martial arts, but remained good friends with a senior student from the Shudokan, Yoon Byung-In. Upon the government overthrow of South Korean President Rhee Syng-man, Kim accepted a letter of recommendation from Mooduk-Kwan founder, Hwang Kee, to be the Mooduk-Kwan representative in the United States.[4]

In 1963, he emigrated to the United States, where he remained for the rest of his life. His U.S. students included Richard Chun,[5]Albert Cheeks, Michael Warren, James K. Roberts Jr., Chuck Norris, John Critzos II, George Thanos, Pat E. Johnson and Mitchell Bobrow. He taught more than 25,000 students and issued 424 black belts. He had a wife and a daughter, and retired in 1992. He was awarded a 10th dan black belt while in the hospital with liver cancer at the age of 73, and died on 16 September 1993. Kim was held in high regard and more than 650 people attended his funeral.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Black Belt Magazine, January 1994, p. 14, retrieved 24 June 2010.
  2. ^ Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Volume 6 Issue 1 (1997), p. 33, retrieved 24 June 2010.
  3. ^ A History of Modern Taekwondo-part-1,retrieved 11 Aug 2010.
  4. ^ http://www.kimsookarate.com/contributions/kimKiwhangLegacy/kimkiwhang.pdf
  5. ^ Black Belt Magazine, January 1980, p. 84, retrieved 14 August 2010.

Other sources[edit]

  • Burdick, Dakin (1997) Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Volume 6 Number 1 - 1997. People and events of Taekwondo's Formative Years
  • Corcoran, John. "Memorial for Grandmaster Ki Whang Kim (1920-1993)." Inside Tae Kwon Do, 3:1 (Feb. 1994), pp. 56–59.
  • US Taekwondo Grandmasters Society 4th Annual Hall of Fame Awards, 2009, "Pioneer Award" section detailing career.